On of the hottest topics around the Chiefs this season has been the playing time of LB Derrick Johnson. After the Dallas game, 610 Sports’ Nick Wright got a rise out of Todd Haley when he wondered why the talented former first round pick couldn’t get on the field. And then yesterday, DJ finally spoke with the media and revealed he met with Haley to talk about his diminished role.
“I should be out there playing,” Johnson said. “I should be out there starting. I should be out there helping this team win. Coach knows I want to play. He knows I disagree with not playing.”
Johnson was rumored to be in trade discussions the last several weeks, before Tuesday afternoon’s deadline. He said he heard the rumors, and so did the friends who texted Johnson and asked about his status. Johnson said he didn’t expect to leave Kansas City, but he avoided televised sports coverage Tuesday anyway.
“At the end of the day I knew I was going to be a Chief.”
That makes one of us, Derrick. I have been the biggest DJ fan around, but was convinced that if Scott Pioli was offered decent compensation — 4th round pick? — he would have happily shipped him out of town. When you are trying to acquire as many selections as possible in a draft that will be pivotal to shaping the future of the franchise, it doesn’t make sense to hold onto a player that doesn’t fit.
I am glad that Johnson expressed his frustrations to Haley and also to the media. Usually I would prefer a player keep his feelings to himself to avoid rocking the boat but when a coach is being constantly questioned about someone’s role it never hurts to get the players side (after talking to the coach first, of course).
After barely playing against the Cowboys, Johnson got a healthy dose of snaps last week and hopefully will make more of an impact as the Chiefs move forward.