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Haley's motivation major reason for Johnson's breakout

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Recent posts by Michael Blunda

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Posted Nov. 10, 2010 @ 2:49 p.m. ET
By Michael Blunda

Derrick Johnson might not have gotten off on the best foot with Todd Haley, but the Chiefs' head coach may be a major reason why Johnson is the owner of a new five-year contract reportedly worth up to $34 million. From what we hear, Haley's handling of Johnson over the past year and a half has had a lot to do with the inside linebacker having a breakout 2010 campaign. We understand that spending most of '09 on the bench caused Johnson, a former first-round pick who had underachieved to that point, to work even harder. "Last year was not a negative year for Derrick Johnson in my opinion," Haley said. "He made great progress last year." Johnson's training-camp battle with Demorrio Williams also played a key role in his improvement, as he was forced to take his game to a higher level to earn back a starting job. It has worked, as Johnson is not only producing off the charts, but he also is becoming a team leader.

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