This season it seems like Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson drops a potential interception at least once a week. Johnson told Josh Looney that the dropped passes bother him just as much as the fans and that’s he’s putting in extra work to correct the problem.
“It’s really frustrating, especially since I’m a very athletic and talented linebacker that can catch,” Johnson said. “I play around before and after practice all the time catching balls, trick balls, anything that I can really catch. To actually have an opportunity in the game to make a big play, I’ve just got to hold onto it.”
So this week, Johnson has re-committed himself to extra drills both before and after practice. It’s all in an effort to finish off reads that have put him in the position to make a game-changing plays.
“The first thing that you realize is that if Derrick had Jerry Rice hands, he’d be a tight end,” Haley joked. “None of those (drops) have been ‘gimmes.’ They’ve all been difficult plays to make and you’re just not going to make them all.”
Haley is half right when talking about DJ’s drops. Some of them — like the one on the Bills first possession Sunday — would absolutely have been incredible plays if Johnson was able to hold on. But he has also dropped at least two INTs that were literally in his hands, with daylight ahead of him.
After a season in which Johnson was able to find his way into the middle of big plays even though he played sporadically, it’s amazing that he has been able to step back into a starting role and still rip off plays at such a frenetic pace.
Oakland quarterbacks have averaged one INT per game over the first eight weeks of the season, which means Johnson should have a chance to finally pick off his second pass of the season when the Raiders decide to go away from the running game.