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Kansas City Chiefs Quarter Season Review: Linebacker

The Kansas City Chiefs linebackers were a weak point in 2009.

In 2010 they've been part of the solution.

The biggest surprise has been Derrick Johnson. He didn't play much last year but now is becoming one of the better linebackers in the league. He's really starting to thrive, as folks suggested he would when the Chiefs first made the switch to the 3-4.

His partner has been Jovan Belcher, a rookie undrafted free agent. He's been playing well particularly when you consider where he came from.

Corey Mays and Demorrio Williams haven't been starting. Mays has been more of a special teams guy while Williams has seen time with his hand on the ground in the Chiefs nickel defense. Williams is among the team leaders in penalties.

The linebackers are becoming better and it's good timing. The Chiefs will face a very difficult decision this year with Derrick Johnson in the final year of his deal.

As for the outside linebackers, the Chiefs can be pretty happy right now. They've got Tamba Hali who is my defensive MVP to this point. There are no problems with him (other than not getting enough holds called). He's on pace for 18 sacks and an outstanding year. I can't say much bad about Tamba Hali. On the other side, I think the Chiefs are happy with Mike Vrabel (this year) and Andy Studebaker (next year). Studebaker hasn't played quite as much this year as I originally thought he would. He's being utilized more on special teams. The Chiefs had a nickel package with Studebaker on the outside and Vrabel on the inside that we haven't seen much of this year.