Ryan Lilja, Derrick Johnson Named To USA Today All Joe Team

The Kansas City Chiefs seem to be racking up the awards and accolades this season. Jamaal Charles, Matt Cassel, Brian Waters and Dwayne Bowe are all going to be playing in the Pro Bowl this Sunday. Tamba Hali was selected to replace James Harrison but had to bow out due to injury issues. Charles and Bowe were named All-Pro’s and now, Derrick Johnson and Ryan Lilja have been named All-Joes.

USA Today has released their annual All-Joe team and two Chiefs made the grade. The All Joe team was created in 1992 to and named after who else, a Kansas City Chief by the name of Joe Phillips. USA Today felt Phillips was overlooked for his grunt work in the trenches while stats like Derrick Thomas and Niel Smith got all the glory. Thus, they decided to do a yearly honor of the guys who make a difference but don’t always get noticed.

It makes it all the more fitting then, that this year Derrick Johnson and Ryan Lilja will represent the Chiefs on the All-Joe team.

Lilja, in my opinion, actually had a better season than Waters but the former NFL Man of the Year got the Pro Bowl invite, largely on name recognition.

As for Johnson, well he nearly put together a Pro Bowl season and probably would have made the team if he had pulled in even half of the interceptions that bounced of his hands. If he isn’t a Pro Bowler, he is certainly an All-Joe.

One guy I wouldn’t have minded seeing make the team that didn’t is DE Shaun Smith. Smith had 56 tackles and a sack playing DE for the Chiefs and he was a large part of KC’s improved run defense in 2010. He was certainly doing some grunt work for the Chiefs this season, especially in the pile.

Congratulations to Lilja and DJ. Well deserved.

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Tags: Derrick Johnson Kansas City Chiefs Ryan Lilja Shaun Smith USA Today All-Joe Team

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