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Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson 'itching' for training camp

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson took part in OTA's after blowing an Achilles and missing 15 games last season. Now the three-time Pro Bowler is aching to finally hit someone again.

"I can't wait until training camp," Johnson said, per the team's official website. "You know what, I missed a lot of football last year and I'm itching to get back...

"I'm a defensive guy and we're running around in shorts and shirts, that's not real football. Sometimes the offense is clapping when (they) catch a ball over the middle, and I'm like 'come on man, I would have got them on that one.' But OTAs is a good time for the offense to not be getting hit, to actually see some looks, get some passes and get some confidence going.

"Because when we get to training camp, there will be a lot more hitting."

Hitting is what Johnson does best. His absence from the Chiefs' front was noticeable in 2014, as they finished 28th in the NFL against the run sans the inside linebacker.

Johnson and defensive end Mike DeVito returning to the lineup should help restore order in a Chiefs front seven that became a sieve on the ground last year, even as it was causing having to quarterbacks in the passing game.

With Justin Houston eventually returning to the field -- either with a long-term deal or on the franchise tag -- Tamba Hali, Dontari Poe, Dee Ford, Johnson and DeVito, the Chiefs boast one of the deepest and most talented fronts in the NFL. They'll need that front to carry them through the season if they are to finally break their playoff curse.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast breaks down the latest news surrounding Jason Pierre-Paul's injury, as well as the Mettenberger and Watt feud.

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