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Examiner
  • Stephen Brown: Johnson shows Chiefs' attitude improving

  • Kansas City Chiefs fourth-round draft pick Nico Johnson is ready to go.

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  • Kansas City Chiefs fourth-round draft pick Nico Johnson is ready to go.
    "I'm just ready to get to work," the linebacker said.
    "I'm just ready to get there and learn as much as possible from (Derrick Johnson) and all the others guys around and try to earn their respect as much as possible. I am just thankful that I went through the program with Coach (Nick) Saban and Coach (Kirby) Smart, because like you said, it prepared me very well. I feel like I am a step ahead of the guys and I’m going to take advantage of the opportunity.
    "I'm ready to get to the next level and make a difference.”
    ESPN's Bill Williamson says Johnson inspired himself by watching retired Baltimore Ravens Ray Lewis.
    "I've watched Ray Lewis since he was at Miami," Johnson said at the NFL Combine in February. "That's one guy I look up to a lot. Before every game on Saturday, that Friday night I watch a lot of his speeches that he gives to his team or whoever he's giving a speech to to remind myself how important it is to take advantage of opportunities. I just (model) myself after him, his game, the way he brings his passion and energy and the way he's able to affect his other teammates and get them to rise to the occasion when their best is needed."
    Lewis is known for his involvement in a fight resulting in murder and aggravated-assault charges in January 2000. Lewis pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in exchange for testifying against two other defendants.
    As inspirational as Lewis speeches are, Lewis has that stigma of what happened earlier in his career. Still, hard to argue what Lewis accomplished and how he motivated his teammates on the field.
    Nico would like to help inspire the Chiefs.
    "I'm always trying to improve for the next one," Johnson said about wearing all three of his national championship rings he won playing for Alabama 2009, 2011 and 2012. "That’s the mindset I got from Coach Saban, never being satisfied. When I get that (third ring), I’ll put it away and try to work on that next one at the next level."
    That next one would be a Super Bowl ring for Kansas City.
    "(Saban) said he was one of the tougher guys on his football team, he was one of the leaders on the football team," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said about Johnson. "And you know we're talking about a national championship football team."
    Johnson has a chance to start right away for Kansas City.
    "We're going to put him at the Mike Linebacker spot and he'll compete with Akeem (Jordan), who obviously has a few snaps under his belt in the league," says Reid on Johnson starting. "He'll get in there and compete with him. He was a four-phased special team's player for them, so he can also do that. I'm sure he'll find his way in, granted that he stays healthy and picks everything up, but he's capable of finding his way in for playing time."
    Page 2 of 2 - Saban spoke at Johnson's mother's funeral service saying, "Miss Mamie made me promise to make sure he did the things he needed to do to be successful. It's not hard because of the job she did raising him."
    What has truly been lacking for the Chiefs, despite having the Pro Bowlers they had in 2012, is raw passion. With Eric Berry, I saw that passion immediately. I believe that helped the Chiefs even with Berry being just a rookie three years ago.
    Nico Johnson has a winner's mentality, a strong desire to lead and inspire.
    Hungry rookies are good, because they don't think they know anything. John Dorsey and Reid are placing players on the roster who don't know anything of Kansas City's past.
    All the new guys understand is that they're excited about Kansas City's future.
    That's progress. The right attitude carries on each day.
    Dorsey and Reid are about team, it's the "team concept". It should've been there with Kansas City. It wasn't, but it definitely is with Dorsey and Reid. They want those kinds of players.
    Players who do what they're asked, when they're asked and to the best of their ability.
    I'd like to see offensive tackle Branden Albert stick, but Albert has to agree to do what he's asked and play where he's asked to play. It's a new attitude at One Arrowhead Drive.
    I'm excited about Nico Johnson; he may be starting for Kansas City sooner than later. I’m happy about the Chiefs’ entire direction.
    It's a good feeling!
    Good day, Chiefs fans!
     

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