Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson unleashed what might have been the best hit of training camp Sunday, and the victim was friend and star running back Jamaal Charles.
The Chiefs' first-team offense and defense were practicing against each other in goal-line situations, and on one play, Charles slipped into the middle of the field for a shovel pass. Quarterback Alex Smith flipped the ball his way, but Johnson — who was sitting in the middle of the field — read it all the way, lowered his right shoulder and flattened Charles the moment he caught the ball.
The hit drew oohs and aahs from the crowd, but it would be easy to understand if there were a few grimaces, as well. Charles does almost everything for the Chiefs' offense and has a concussion history — remember, he had to sit out most of the playoff game against Indianapolis after he suffered a concussion on a innocent-looking tackle.
“They've got this Texas thing,” coach Andy Reid said of Johnson and Charles, who are both former Longhorns. “You've got to look at the positives. Jamaal got up and his head was good so I'm good with it.”
This isn't the first time Johnson has flattened Charles this year, either. Johnson laid out Charles during the Pro Bowl in January, which was a little revenge after Charles — who was a captain for Deion Sanders' team — passed on Johnson in the Pro Bowl draft in favor of Carolina's Luke Kuechly.
Johnson's hit on Charles on Sunday might have been bigger than the Pro Bowl hit, but Reid was unfazed.
“That's part of the game, things are gonna happen,” Reid said. “You see a lot of that as a football coach, you just keep going. They're competing. It's a Texas thing.”
To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to email@example.com. Follow him at twitter.com/TerezPaylor.