Andy Reid sees linebacker rotation as “positive thing”

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 08: Deshaun Watson
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 08: Deshaun Watson /

Andy Reid didn’t have much positive to say about the team’s performance on Sunday, but the linebackers are one area where good things are happening.

While there wasn’t much a person could file under “positive” for the Kansas City Chiefs after Sunday’s loss to the New York Giants, head coach Andy Reid did single out the team’s inside linebackers and the strong rotation that’s currently in place between incumbent starter Derrick Johnson and two impressive preseason imports in Reggie Ragland and Kevin Pierre-Louis.

Ragland played a season high 47 total snaps on Sunday. Game by game, he looks a bit stronger and healthier after losing his entire rookie season to a torn ACL. Kevin Pierre-Louis also had a good amount of snaps at 34, and the former Seattle Seahawk is making it hard on coaches to keep him off the field after coming over in a preseason trade for D.J. Alexander. After getting his start on special teams, he’s now becoming an important facet of the team’s overall defense.

Of course there’s also Derrick Johnson, who seems to be in danger of losing his starting role to Pierre-Louis. Now in his mid-thirties, Johnson is a bit slower in step this season although his instincts and experience typically help him make up for some lost athleticism. However together in tandem with KPL and Ragland, Reid sounded confident about the linebacker situation at this stage.

"“I think he did a nice job. There were a couple plays he’d like to have back, but for the most part he did a nice job. He’s getting better every week, I think we’re seeing that. You have to remember this is really his rookie year. I think we have a nice rotation with DJ (Derrick Johnson) and him and (Kevin) Pierre-Louis. We’re able to keep everybody fresh and playing downhill and the whole deal. I think it’s a positive thing.”"

Given the development of both Ragland and KPL, it will be interesting to see how Brett Veach handles the future of Derrick Johnson knowing he remains a franchise icon and healthy player. For now, the Chiefs seem content to enjoy this trio.