Pro Bowl 2012: Derrick Johnson's Season Of Validation, 'Blessing To Go To Hawaii'

Derrick Johnson has been in the NFL for seven seasons now, and while his talent has never been questioned his ability to put it all together had. To culminate the end of his 2011 season, Johnson was named an outright member of the AFC Pro Bowl squad, not an alternate.

"It’s a great way to be appreciated for what you did on the field during the year," Johnson said of his 2012 Pro Bowl selection. "I know a lot of guys that should go don’t get to go, but when you get your first chance, like I have this year, it’s a blessing to go to Hawaii."

Johnson set a Chiefs franchise record for tackles in a season with 179, and more importantly entrenched himself as the leader of a Kansas City team dealing with regime change at the top. New head coach, uncertainty at the quarterback position and changes at various coaching levels will bring change at Arrowhead but Johnson and the Chiefs defense are the building blocks to grow own.

"He's the leader of the defense and he's just so consistent," said defensive end Glenn Dorsey, voted Johnson as team MVP. "He's always around the football and plays with a lot of effort. He just pretty much has the mentality of the team.

Its all about 2012 for the Chiefs, and their defensive leader has his sights on accomplishing much more than just a Pro Bowl invitation.

For more on the Kansas City Chiefs be sure to check out Arrowhead Pride. For more NFL news and analysis head on over to SB Nation's NFL Football hub.

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