John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

Derrick Johnson: Chiefs’ ILB Got Snubbed From Pro Bowl


At the end of they day it’s just the Pro Bowl, which has become arguably the most meaningless event in sports. Still, it’s hard not to notice that Kansas City Chiefs’ inside linebacker Derrick Johnson won’t be representing the Chiefs in said meaningless event.

Eight Chiefs were elected to the Pro Bowl this year, and that’s an accomplishment that truly lets you know just how talented this team is. It should also let potential playoff opponents know that beating Kansas City will be no easy task.

Running back Jamaal Charles, offensive tackle Branden Albert, nose tackle Dontari Poe, outside linebacker Justin Houston, outside linebacker Tamba Hali, cornerback Brandon Flowers, safety Eric Berry and wideout/punt returner Dexter McCluster have all been selected to the Pro Bowl.

Charles, Hali, Berry, Houston and McCluster were all givens, because they’ve all been among the best in the league at their respective positions. Charles, in particular, should be in the league MVP race when all is said and done, so he’s a more than deserving recipient.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Albert, Flowers and even Poe to a certain extent were a bit surprising though, especially because Johnson was left off the list.

If I had the power to swap Pro Bowl choices, I’d say the more realistic list would feature Johnson instead of Flowers; and the key word I would use in that argument is the word consistency.

Flowers had made plays this season and he’s notched a sack and an interception, but he’s also gotten burned on multiple occasions as well. Remember those games when Kansas City was getting torched through the air by Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers? Flowers was on the receiving end of some of those aerial smackdowns.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Johnson, on the other-hand, has been the model of consistency for the Chiefs in 2013; and the case could be made that he’s the heart and soul of Kansas City’s defense.

He leads the team in tackles with 107, and No. 2 on that list, Berry, isn’t even close with 74. Johnson also leads the team in tackles for loss, with nine, and he’s notched seven passes defended, two interceptions, 4.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries.

Statically, he’s had a great year, but even when Johnson doesn’t end up in the stat book, No. 56 can normally be found right around the ball carrier or somewhere in the pile.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

To leave Johnson off the Pro Bowl list is a travesty, and I don’t even care about the darn Pro Bowl.

He may not be flashy and he may not be excelling in the “pretty” stats department (sacks, interceptions), but he’s arguably been Kansas City’s best defender in 2013; and he’s certainly the most consistent.

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Tags: Branden Albert Brandon Flowers Derrick Johnson Dexter McCluster Dontari Poe Eric Berry Jamaal Charles Justin Houston Kansas City Chiefs Tamba Hali

  • Deaudrey Dre-Mac MacDonald

    Amen

  • guest

    Criminal.

  • John White

    Blows my mind DJ is not on this list. He is by far one of the best and most consistent linerbackers in the entire NFL. Every other play his name is being called. He’s always in the pack making huge hits and stops. No one gives this man enough credit. Come on now, wth…

  • JDInOregon

    He won’t be able to go to the boring bowl anyhow, because they’ll be in New Jersey. Hey, a guy can keep hoping after 44 years anyhow. But yes, seriously, he is a very solid linebacker in his prime, and it’s a shame.

  • micah stephenson

    Yall funny talking bout how Flowers got burned by Manning and Rivers. It wasn’t just Flowers it was all the DBs and don’t those QBs do that to all DBs in the Nfl most of the time?

  • Tim Cudmore

    The issue is it’s unconferenced. Meaning it isn’t equally distributed over the two conferences. With four players chosen; he wouldn’t bypass Willis or Kuechly, they are set for sure. Burfict from Bengals is the AFC feel good story and they needed to represent a new player. Even though DJ’s stats are there, he can’t compete with the story. Given our defense has staggered badly these last few weeks, we are lucky to have Hali, Houston and Poe aswell. They don’t take major votes until week 14+ plus, (the beginning of our slide).

    • berttheclock

      Unfortunately, what you write is correct. It is a shame Derrick was left off as stated by the writer of this thread as he is the heart and soul of the defense. But, only so many LBs from the entire NFL can be sent to this, mostly, money producing product for the wallets of those sent there. I really hope Mr Johnson can be able to have something far more meaningful happen to him and that would be to proudly wear a Super Bowl ring upon his finger.

  • Danny W

    Derrick Johnson is one of the best linebackers in the business. Damn shame he didn’t get picked. He deserves it.

    • Blake Molina

      Absolutely agree

    • Troy Utt

      No argument from me as to DJ being more deserving than Flowers. Being a homer I was a bit beside myself when DJ was left off the roster & I was hell bent on proving it! But when I went to the numbers at ILB it appears the voters got this one right, w/Willis scoring out at the bottom. (13 games) Even tho I felt DJ deserved to be named to the Pro-Bowl I couldn’t argue the “numbers,” when as a Chiefs fan so many were screaming (nationally) for recogniton for what KC had accomplished “by the numbers…” WAR CHIEFS!!!

  • Blake Molina

    Poe surprising? Have to question that, he was a lock 4 games into the season!

    Definitely surprised by Flowers, and Albert for that matter. Albert has played above average yes, but not Pro Bowl caliber. Jeff Allen deserves it more than Albert. Johnson instead of Flowers.

    • Troy Utt

      Not surprised by Poe at all… He has made himself a house-hold name this season, by anchoring KC’s D. Not coming off the field like so many others, who are only able to handle the rush but are replaced in passing situations. Kind of like Suh, folks will complain & argue about his style of play but I can’t think of another I’d rather have on defense? Poe & Suh… Would that not be one hell of a combination! LOL Flowers & Albert were the two that got me.

  • freshmeat62

    I agree w/ you about not having the game itself. I have never been a fan of any all-star game including baseball and basketball. I don’t see the need for these talented players risking their livelihood on a meaningless game, especially football. Now w/ the emphasis on concussions, why do it? Yeah I know, money. The greedy don’t want to leave a dime on the table, that they can have in their pockets.

  • d-block

    The pro bowl continues to get more pathetic year after year.

  • Bdiddy

    I think Poe is undoubtedly THE most dominant 3-4 NT in the league. As anyone will tell you, a successful 3-4 defense relies heavily on a dominant NT (See Casey Hampton of Steelers’ heyday fame). If we could just get one more physical shut down corner (and a decent FS), I think you’d see this D turn the corner to greatness. Wish we had Carr back…

    The name that doesn’t belong in that Pro Bowl list is Albert. To a lesser extent, I would agree that Flowers does not belong either, but his woes this year have been the result of a VERY inconsistent pass rush.