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Thursday, May 2, 2013
Did Chiefs find their Ray Lewis?

By Bill Williamson

Nico Johnson was considered a leader on Alabama’s national championship team.

That was one of qualities that the Kansas City Chiefs were most interested when they made Johnson a fourth-round pick Saturday. Johnson is expected to immediately compete for a starting job as an inside linebacker in the Chiefs’ 3-4 defense.

It will be interesting to see if Johnson continues his collegiate tradition in the NFL. To fire himself up, Johnson used to watch film of pre-game speeches given by former Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis, he of famous pre-game speeches.

“I've watched Ray Lewis since he was at Miami,” Johnson said at the NFL combine in February. “That's one guy I look up to a lot. Before every game on Saturday, that Friday night I watch a lot of his speeches that he gives to his team or whoever he's giving a speech to to remind myself how important it is to take advantage of opportunities. I just (model) myself after him, his game, the way he brings his passion and energy and the way he's able to affect his other teammates and get them to rise to the occasion when their best is needed.”

The Chiefs can only hope Johnson has a Lewis-like impact on their organization.