Nico’s got the right mental approach

Published 12:01 am Thursday, August 15, 2013

Nico Johnson’s message is clear: I have to earn my keep.

The Kansas City Chiefs’ rookie and Andalusia said this on as he continues his practice and preseason games for a chance at a starting position at inside linebacker.

Johnson is battling for the position with teammate Akeem Jordan, whom many consider is the favorite going into the regular season.

Luckily for Nico, he has a one-up over Jordan.

He’s got the mentality to get and be better at what he does on the field.

Johnson’s trainer for the past four years was none other than former head coach Nick Saban, a believer in the process.

Even when he was playing for Saban, Johnson had a mentality about him that oozed words that I’m sure his coach ingrained into him.

In recent interviews, Johnson has kept to a similar message — he’ll have to earn his keep and take advantage of whatever opportunity Chiefs coach Andy Reid gives the former Andalusia stand out.

Johnson has said repeatedly that nothing’s going to be handed to him, and that he’s going to have to work hard to be successful in the NFL.

Tonight, Johnson will more than likely play in his second preseason game at home against the San Francisco 49ers.

I think he’s on the right path to start for the Chiefs come Sept. 8, the first day of the regular season for the pros.

Johnson has the physical gifts, the mentality and the know-how to get the job done.

I’ll be looking forward to see what the home-town figure has in store for the Chiefs and the organization’s fans soon.

Won’t you join me?