Hard work pays off

Published 12:03 am Saturday, June 28, 2014

Chiefs vs Texans Week 7 2013

Andalusia native Nico Johnson said the offseason has gone well for him. | Kansas City Chiefs

Johnson said OTAs went well for him

The opportunity to stay and work on getting back to 100 percent was just too appealing for Andalusia native and Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Nico Johnson.

Since the start of the offseason, Johnson has stayed in Kansas City and worked on getting better. During the preseason of his first year, Johnson suffered an ankle injury that set him back a bit.

“It’s going well,” he said about his summer. “I stayed out there in KC (Kansas City) during the offseason because I got injured last year (during the preseason). I just wanted to get my body back to where I’m comfortable and playing fast.”

Johnson said the work really paid off during organized team activities (OTAs).

“I was moving around faster than normal,” he said. “All the way around, I’m just glad to be in the spot that I am in. I’m just waiting for an opportunity at camp. I’m just going to bust my butt the best of my ability and let what happens, happen.”

Johnson will have to bust his butt again in the lead up to the season because he has teammate Joe Mays still ahead of him for the starting spot.

When asked how he’s handled the competition on the team, the Andalusia native responded just like an Andalusia Bulldog.

“I love competition,” he said. “It can only make me better and makes my team better. Everybody’s taking it and running with it. I’ve got a guy in front of me, and he’s real good. We both will be competing for the job.

“I’m up for the task and I can’t wait,” he said. “It just motivates me every day that I got to know to bring my ‘A’ game. That’s how I like it. I want to be at my best all the time. I can’t wait.”

Tomorrow, Johnson will return to Kansas City to get back to work for the lead-up to preseason camp, which starts July 23-24.

Johnson will start his second year as a pro and the second year in a four-year contract with the Chiefs this season.

He said he’s approaching this season more “focused” than in the lead up to his rookie year.

“I’m more focused now than anything, and I hate to say that,” Johnson said. “I’m more focused now than I was last year. I’m more confident and just want to get back to what I do best, and that’s playing football.”