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What does departure of Chiefs LB coach mean for Derrick Johnson?

The Kansas City Chiefs made a bunch of coaching staff changes and the most notable one was the firing of linebackers coach Gary Gibbs, who had been with the team since 2009. We figured more change was coming and here it is ...

So what do we make of his firing? Linebackers were an issue last year. The Chiefs saw some young players they liked such as Reggie Ragland but the linebackers as a whole had an up and down season. The pass rush simply wasn’t good enough. For part of the season, the run stoppers weren’t good enough. The personnel certainly wasn’t good enough but the scheme wasn’t always either.

The Chiefs switched up more than just one position on the staff; they split Gibbs’ duties in half. They made one coach the inside linebackers coach (Mark DeLeone) and one coach the outside linebackers coach (Mike Smith) which is a different setup (at least on paper) than they had before. That’s interesting but also makes sense to me. Inside and outside linebacker are totally different positions in the Chiefs scheme.

I thought it was remarkable that Gibbs was able to survive multiple regime changes in Kansas City. He worked under head coaches Todd Haley, Romeo Crennel and Andy Reid and under GMs Scott Pioli, John Dorsey and Brett Veach. That’s impressive.

Here’s a big question too: What does this mean for Derrick Johnson? I figured his return was a toss-up already and now the coach who has been with him since the days of those Todd Haley benchings has been let go. Hmm ...