Four-time Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Johnson joined Brian Jones and Kenyon Rasheed this week for the latest episode of BetUS Unfiltered, and the longtime Kansas City Chiefs star didn’t mince words when asked about his favorite — and least favorite — head coaches during his 14-year NFL career.
“I played five years for Andy Reid and he is something else,” Johnson said of the current Chiefs’ head coach. “You talk about a guy that’s a player’s coach – he always harps on the little things and he’s always said, ‘If our players can do the little things right, we can achieve the big things down the line.’
“He has a standard and everybody knows it,” Johnson continued of Reid, who coached Kansas City to a victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV in February. “He’s not a coach of many words, but he’s a coach of standard, and he set the example early. He’s the best head coach I’ve had.”
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Johnson didn’t maintain that level of rapport with all of his coaches, however, and recalled a less-than-fuzzy relationship with Todd Haley upon Haley’s arrival in KC in early 2009.
“This was his first head coaching job, and he came in super-hard because he was under Bill Parcells,” Johnson said. “And when you take that on, you’ve got to win with it — you can’t lose with it. So when he had that attitude it came off wrong. He benched me when he first got there. He was making examples of certain people.”
Still, Johnson said there were benefits to working for such a hard-nosed boss.
“It did (make me a better player), and I tell people that to this day,” Johnson said when pressed by Rasheed. “(My benching) wasn’t for the right reasons, but sometimes things happen where you have to respond a certain way, and I did. It helped me big time. All my Pro Bowls and All-Pro seasons, they came after that fifth year.”
Later, in the show’s “Huddle Up” segment, Johnson shared his early thoughts on the Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals — and he wasn’t alone in selling on Cleveland, as Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Sapp also joined to drop the hammer on the Browns.
However, Sapp and Johnson were both sold on Kyler Murray and the Cardinals, who return to the field against the Dolphins on Nov. 8.
“I’m all the way in,” Johnson said of Arizona. “I see a quarterback that’s better than Baker (Mayfield), that makes plays, that doesn’t make as many mistakes as Baker. He’s got a team, too, now, and I’m buying Kyler Murray.”
Added Sapp: “I’m buying 150 percent. Not only do they have Mr. Murray at quarterback – and nobody seems to want to contain this young man – but let’s think about DeAndre Hopkins commanding double-teams, now you’ve gotta put your third DB on Larry Fitzgerald?”
Another wide-out Sapp is buying these days? Antonio Brown, the newest member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — but only as long as he stays in line.
“If this young man has not learned his damn lesson … throw his ass away, and I never want to hear AB, Antonio Brown, 84, none of this [expletive],” Sapp said. “You’ve been nice and quiet. Delete the Twitter, delete the Instagram, go to work and bring your ass home.”
From there, the crew also discussed their most hated teammates and their worst purchases during the Hot Seat segment and made their picks in this weekend’s Steelers-Ravens showdown — a game that will be a “paint-swapper extravaganza,” according to Sapp.
“It doesn’t get any better than this,” Sapp said. “Just open the damn gate, because I want this. This is what I wake up for twice a year, yes sir. This is what the old NFL was, this is when me and you played when it was, ‘Property of..’ and it really meant something to you.”
Sapp then closed the show with 99 seconds you won’t want to miss on why Tom Brady isn’t the GOAT — this year.
“Let’s leave Tom Brady’s resume in New England in damn New England,” No. 99 said in part. “He’s in Tampa, it’s a whole party, a whole new year, so let’s see if Tom Brady can do what he does.”
The entire episode is below for your enjoyment.