CHIEFS EXCLUSIVE PROFILE: Derrick Johnson opens up about life before football

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Derrick Johnson has been with the Chiefs for nine years and is clearly one of the leaders of the team.

He is humble and religious and a good role model for kids.

Derrick, or DJ as his friends and family call him, didn't want to play football when he was young.  He said he used to cry when it was time to go to peewee football practice. He said it was because he had a mean coach; he realizes now the guy was just tough.

Derrick says he focused on conquering whatever he was doing at the time. He didn't strive to get to the NFL from the beginning.


"Whenever I was in peewee football I tried to be the best at that. When I got to junior high. I tried to be the best at that. And so on with high school and college. For some reason, I never looked too far ahead. And that was a good thing for me because I kind of conquered where I was at that moment in life," Johnson said.

DJ is extremely religious. He reads the bible weekly. His favorite bible verse is Proverbs 3: 5 -6. And he recites it easily.

"Trust in the Lord with all thing heart. Lean not unto thine own understanding, but acknowledge him in all our ways and he will direct your paths."

On game days, Derrick's mom comes in and makes a big breakfast for him. On the way to the stadium, he listens to church music. He says he listens to all kinds of music, but that he's already hyped on game days. He says the spiritual music helps him get in a humble place for the game.

DJ's alma mater is Waco High School. To this day, he still recites the chant from high school when he's on the side line as a Chief every game as sort of a tribute to where he's from.

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