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Chiefs' Nico Johnson Keeping A Level Head


The Kansas City Chiefs rookies have been practicing for three days with only a handful of veterans on hand and despite the fact that the rest of the team arrives today, linebacker Nico Johnson expects things to stay the same.

“A lot of the older guys expect a lot from us just like the coaches do,” said Johnson. “We’re holding ourselves to a higher standard out here as rookies. Once everybody comes it won’t be anything different because we’ve been holding ourselves to that standard for the past three days. It won’t be any different. The tempo will be a little different, that’s it.”

Johnson is in a unique position. The Chiefs’ other starting ILB position next to Pro Bowler, Derrick Johnson, is wide open. The Chiefs brought in linebacker Akeem Jordan in free agency but the veteran hasn’t played well enough during his career to guarantee himself a starting role. The departure of Brandon Siler in free agency and the unfortunate suicide of former starter Jovan Belcher mean that ILB is one of the biggest holes on the Chiefs’ roster.

Johnson likely hopes to fill that role but for now, he is keeping a level head and says he hasn’t been promised anything.

“We haven’t talked about it,” said Johnson when asked if the Chiefs’ coaches told him he’d have a chance to start. “The only thing is that they are pushing me to be my best.  That’s the only thing I’m taking from that. Going out and doing my best and everything else will take care of itself. That’s the only thing I can control. I can’t control what the coach’s do, just what I can and that’s what I’m going to do.”

No doubt head coach Andy Reid is hoping Johnson will seize the opportunity and the starting role. For now, however, it is good to see the rookie is keeping his head down and staying humble.

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Tags: Kansas City Chiefs Nico Johnson

  • steve james

    Why do you think coach Reid would be pulling for Nico over Akeem? I think he wants Nico to push him but to learn from the veterans and become a contributor who can step up if the need arises. I would think that if Nico won the job that maybe Akeem was a bad signing. I hope we have a good ILB ready to start at an above average level in Akeem and a solid rookie who is getting better everyday in Nico. My gist is I hope that Akeem and Nico are both stellar and if Akeem was a good hire there is no way Nico would win the starters job right off the bat. That would make me very worried. Or Nico has a cape in his locker and he is a superhero. That would be ok too :)

    • Justin R Groth

      I think he meant that Andy hopes Nico steps up to the plate and is an unnatural force that demands the respect of playing next to some of the beat Linebackers in the league. Because, just basing this off of my opinion and what Akeem did previouse, Akeem is great depth but not “the” guy. He can come in and provide average play and not mess everything up. Now considering we have 3 probowl linebackers I think that’s a pretty good deal for us, someone who isn’t going beast mode but isn’t a liability

  • twaddy

    I don’t know. Having “Johnson and Johnson on the inside” sounds like a hemorrhoid commercial.

    • ArrowFan

      Or better yet they will leave our oppents reaching for their hemroid cream after the game. It would make a nice commercial to have both of them handing Manning or Cry baby a tube.

  • Jim Harper

    I am high on Nico. This is no ordinary rookie. The boy was on 3 National Championship teams. Playing for Bama is the next best thing to playing in the pros.

  • cd3382

    I believe his college success will translate into the NFL with no problem. He will take the spot in preseason. Chiefs!!!