Veteran inside linebacker Derrick Johnson wouldn’t call it a burden that was lifted from his shoulders after the Chiefs beat Houston 30-0 in a wild-card playoff game last weekend.
He never gave up hope, even after seeing former teammates such as Tony Gonzalez, Trent Green and Brian Waters fail to win a postseason game with the Chiefs. And Johnson won’t be satisfied with just one playoff victory.
“That’s why you strap on the pads, because you have that confidence, that belief, knowing my team can win it all,” said Johnson, 33. “I’ve been to the playoffs four times … it took me 11 years to get one playoff win, but it’s been worth it.”
Johnson, the club’s first-round draft choice in 2005, lost in postseason games playing for three different coaches — Herm Edwards in 2006; Todd Haley in 2010 and Andy Reid in 2013 — and missed all of last season with a torn Achilles tendon.
It’s why Johnson, who tied for the team lead with six tackles against Houston, is savoring this experience and won’t be satisfied unless it ends with a Super Bowl.
“There’s something about this team that is very special,” said Johnson, a three-time Pro Bowler, whose contract expires at the end of the season. “We’re just seizing the moment. There were a lot of high fives after the game. But not any hugs yet because we’re saving that until the end.”