The Kansas City Chiefs have started the first of three sets of organized team activities, or more commonly known as OTA’s. With the beginning of these essential, but voluntary, team actives taking place, lets take a look at one of the stronger units the Chiefs currently have going in 2015, their linebacker corp.
Kansas City has had a great group of linebackers for the last few years. Names like Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson and Justin Houston have become feared names while wearing the red and yellow.
Unfortunately, Johnson was lost for the season with an Achilles injury in Week 1 of the 2014 season. But before the 31-year-old was lost for the year, he was averaging 101 tackles per season from 2010-2013. He also averaged 2.3 sacks per season, had five total interceptions, a touchdown and eight forced fumbles. Johnson has been a leader of the organization both on the field and off, and his loss was felt by all the Chiefs Kingdom.
As for 2015, Johnson seems to have recovered by fully participating in the teams OTA’s. Only 19 tackles shy of becoming the Chiefs’ all-time leading tackler, it is fair to say Johnson is not only back, but back with something to prove.
Wish that could just be the end of it. Every Kansas City fan knows the name, opposing teams fear the name. Hali has been a formidable player on the team since he entered the league in 2006. Hali has averaged almost nine sacks per season and 43 tackles per season, and finally scored a touchdown in the 2013 season opener. Many felt with the team’s cap number situation that Hali might become a victim to his large contract. However, Hali took an incredible $7 million pay cut to stay with the team, forever making himself a legend in Kansas City.
Hali has seemed to slow down a little, as the fast motor he runs during every game is bogging down with time. Yet, despite getting older, Hali is still a huge part of the defense and with rest should be a key part of one of the most fear pass-rushing duos in the NFL.
Next: Onto the best linebacker in football...