KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson has mentioned he wants to get into coaching when he's finished with his playing career. He can get a head start on his new career because his season as a player is finished.
Johnson tore his Achilles tendon for the second time in his career in Thursday night's win over the Oakland Raiders.
"Last night, I called him up," said Chiefs coach Andy Reid on Friday. "He got out of here before everybody came in. I talked to him and I said, 'Well, you can start working on coaching now. You get a chance to sit back and see it from that side.'
"I want him around here. I don't want him going anywhere. I want him to hang around, do his rehab and get himself back to where he can play. But in the meantime, he can work on a little coaching there with some of our young guys."
The Chiefs have started the search for replacing Johnson, 34, but it won't be easy. Johnson was an every-down player, equally efficient in passing or running situations. He relayed the defensive signals and was often the defender responsible for making sure teammates were lined up in the proper place.
He has also been a player who enjoys working at football -- not just playing in the games but the practices and workouts as well.
"The thing that jumps out to me about him is, as old as he is, if you watch practice -- I'm not talking about the drills, I'm talking about every play -- you'd think he's 20 years old," Reid said. "I always joke with the old guys, 'Hey, feel like you're 20.' That's how he goes about his business. Every day he does that. It's incredible. He loves, loves, loves to play the game."
The Chiefs have already lost two starting inside linebackers, Josh Mauga and Justin March-Lillard. March-Lillard is eligible to be activated off the injured reserve list, if the Chiefs so choose.
They can also turn to others on the active roster, including Frank Zombo, D.J. Alexander and Terrance Smith. Zombo has played outside linebacker this season but played Johnson's position two years ago when he went out with his first torn Achilles.
"He's done that, so he's our emergency guy in there," Reid said of Zombo. "Then he played there the last time this all kind of went down. He took some snaps in there. That's an option. We haven't put anything in stone here. We're just kind of going through the different options, but that's definitely one of them.
"[General manager John Dorsey] is going through and looking at different people. We know we've got some guys on board here that can play, but he's looking at the different options right now. Haven't made any decisions. Don't have anybody coming in as of yet, so it's kind of in the beginning stage here."