D.J. Gets DTA; Houston Grabs MLH Award

From the Truman Sports Complex

Head coach Romeo Crennel announced Monday afternoon that linebackers Derrick Johnson and Justin Houston won the two highest honors the Chiefs present to their players.

Johnson, a first-time Pro Bowler and the team’s record-setting tackler, was voted winner of the Derrick Thomas Award as MVP of the 2011 Chiefs. He’s the first defensive player to win the honor as voted by his teammates since 2007 and DE Jared Allen. In fact Johnson and Allen are the only team MVPs on defense in the last dozen years.

This season, D.J. led the Chiefs with 179 total tackles, a team record for one season. He also contributed 11 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 13 QB pressures, 2 interceptions, 5 passes defensed, a recovered fumble and a forced fumble.

Houston won the Mack Lee Hill Award, given to the rookie that “best exemplifies the spirit of the late Mack Lee Hill. A running back for the Chiefs in 1964-65, Hill died on the operating table in a Kansas City hospital during surgery on an injured knee. A third-round draft choice out of the University of Georgia, Houston saw a great deal of playing time in the Chiefs defense, opening the season as the starter opposite Tamba Hali, then moving to the nickel defense and then back to the starting lineup.

The Georgia native played all1 6 games and had 70 total tackles, 12 TFL, 5.5 sacks, 12 QB pressures, 4 passes defensed, one recovered fumble and one forced fumble.

Johnson becomes the seventh Chiefs player to win both the MVP and Mack Lee Hill awards during their time with the team. The others were S Gary Barbaro (1976/1979), CB Gary Green (1977/1982), S Lloyd Burruss (1981/1985), RB Christian Okoye (1987/1989), LB Derrick Thomas (1989/1991) and DE Jared Allen (2004/2007).

7 Responses to “D.J. Gets DTA; Houston Grabs MLH Award”

  • January 2, 2012  - ED J says:

    Both guys well deserved

  • January 2, 2012  - Tenand6 says:

    The Chiefs are one LB’er away from having, perhaps, the league’s best unit. Credit Pioli for picking Houston. He stepped out of his comfort zone and it paid off. Hope he tries that with the QB.

  • January 2, 2012  - BigJimInWisconsin says:

    I was thinking about these 2 guys winning the awards for this year. No other rookie comes close to Houston and Tamba Hali would be the only other veteran close to DJ in contribution.

    Congratulations to Justin and Derrick!

    I agree with 10& 6; just one more decent LB away from a really good midline.

    Go CHIEFS!

  • January 2, 2012  - johnfromfairfax says:

    Agreed. If we could pick up a decent linebacker and another decent defensive lineman to complement Hali we may have a scary good defense once again. Some depth would really help also,

  • January 2, 2012  - johnfromfairfax says:

    My cold weather euphoria (or dementia) may be getting me carried away but a really effective nose tackle as well would go a long way toward my wishes.

  • January 3, 2012  - Bill Leifer says:

    It could be that Brandon Siler, when he recovers from his Achilles, could be final piece for the LB’s. If he is truly good, as many say, then NT is the biggest missing piece, along with some other DT depth. I am wondering about Powe. Haven’t seen much about him. Hope that’s not a bad sign, but it could be.

  • January 3, 2012  - rufus says:

    to me, that 11 TFL is what makes DJ so improved.

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