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Ravens pull away in second half for 34-27 victory over Saints -11/25/2014, 10:21 AM

Wildcats prep for Jayhawks -11/25/2014, 10:21 AM

KSU beats Purdue in Maui, No. 3 Arizona next -11/25/2014, 10:21 AM

Tigers earn all-region honors -11/25/2014, 10:21 AM

Berry out with possible cancer -11/25/2014, 10:21 AM

No. 11 Kansas returns to form in 87-60 win -11/25/2014, 10:11 AM

Lehman named MIAA Player of the Week -11/24/2014, 11:09 AM

Romo rallies Cowboys past Giants for 31-28 win -11/24/2014, 10:33 AM

Dolphins collapse, lose to Broncos -11/24/2014, 10:33 AM

Wichita State routs Newman, now 3-0 -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

TCU closing in on program's first Big 12 title -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

KSU's Weber has strong ties with Purdue, Painter -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

Tigers' Page wins at UNK Open -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

FHSU soccer falls in quarterfinals -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

Tigers move on to Elite Eight -11/23/2014, 7:43 PM

Tiger men pick up second win -11/23/2014, 7:43 PM

Tigers search for new coaches -11/23/2014, 7:43 PM

Phillipsburg drops a heartbreaker to end season -11/23/2014, 7:42 PM

KVA all-state volleyball teams -11/23/2014, 7:42 PM

Tiger women roll to second straight win -11/23/2014, 7:42 PM

Knights claim state title -11/22/2014, 10:46 AM

Tigers' Paraguay soccer connection -11/21/2014, 10:56 AM

One last go for Knights' seniors -11/21/2014, 5:00 PM

Phillipsburg one step away -11/21/2014, 10:47 AM

McPherson standout signs with FHSU -11/20/2014, 2:35 PM

Wildcats look to bounce back at Morgantown -11/20/2014, 10:29 AM

Tiger women roll to record win -11/20/2014, 10:20 AM

FHSU men pick up first win -11/20/2014, 10:20 AM

Cavs fumble chance to beat Spurs -11/20/2014, 10:20 AM

A's officially sign Butler -11/20/2014, 10:20 AM

Two Tigers named to MIAA vb team -11/19/2014, 11:13 AM

Jordy Nelson sets early tone for Packers' offense -11/19/2014, 10:05 AM

Kentucky blasts KU -11/19/2014, 10:05 AM

Defense leads Wildcat women -11/19/2014, 10:05 AM

K-State looks to run stronger -11/19/2014, 10:13 AM

No. 11 Wichita State rolls over Memphis -11/18/2014, 8:05 PM

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Competition for Chiefs' linebacker spot heats up

Published on -8/26/2014, 9:57 AM

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By Randy Covitz

McClatchy-Tribune

If there's one position that's totally wide open in the Chiefs' lineup, it's inside linebacker in their base 3-4 defense.

With Joe Mays out indefinitely after undergoing wrist surgery, second-year linebacker Nico Johnson, veteran Frank Zombo and veteran James-Michael Johnson all saw playing time at the position in last Saturday night's preseason game against Minnesota.

Josh Mauga, signed during training camp, missed the last two preseason games because of a groin injury, but he's expected to join the fray in Thursday night's preseason finale at Green Bay.

Nico Johnson, a fourth-round draft pick from Alabama in 2013, started last Saturday night alongside Derrick Johnson against Minnesota. He was on the field for 22 snaps and was credited with three tackles and a quarterback hurry.

Zombo, usually an outside linebacker, began working inside even before Mays' injury and saw time with the starters against Minnesota. He took part in 20 snaps and made three tackles. James-Michael Johnson, who also backs up Derrick Johnson, participated in 27 snaps with the backups and had an assist.

"Nico has had a really good camp and is an improved player," defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said. "We've played Frank in there a little bit way before the injury training him because when you go to a (regular-season) game, you don't always get your full complement of backups.

"To have a guy who can play both inside and outside is a real plus for us, depending what game we're in and what situation we're in where we might not get two-deep all the way across the board."

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