They have the talent. They have the coaching. They have the perfect record.

But that isn’t all the 3-0 Kansas City Chiefs have going for them, according to standout linebacker Derrick Johnson, whose 14 tackles are also a factor.

‘We’ve got high-character guys on offense and defense’

“We’re definitely confident, we’re a confident group,” Johnson told Jeff Rickard and Gil Brandt on Late Hits. “And regardless of what the score is, when it comes down to the fourth quarter, to be able to be a really good team, you’ve got to win in the second half and we’ve been doing that the last couple weeks, really the last three weeks. It’s one of those things where we’ve got high-character guys on offense and defense, and our leaders are stepping up myself — Justin Houston, Marcus Peters is playing great ball on the outside.”

The Chiefs also are getting more than competent quarterbacking from Alex Smith and exceptional play-making from rookie running back Kareem Hunt.

‘I love the way (Alex Smith) goes about his business and he doesn’t get distracted’

“Alex Smith, you talk about a quarterback that some people give grief for managing the game,” Johnson said. “He’s managing very well right about now. I love the way he goes about his business and he doesn’t get distracted. That’s the best thing about Alex Smith.”

When did Johnson know Hunt had the goods to succeed in the NFL?

‘I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I tell you I thought (Kareem Hunt) was going to do the things he’s doing right now’

“Before he set foot on the field,” the linebacker said. “He’s a guy that’s very athletic, runs very hard. We saw that from the get-go in training camp. But I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I tell you I thought he was going to do the things he’s doing right now. He’s really tearing it up. He’s just one of those running backs that has the perfect balance and really good speed, and just a hard runner and a tough runner. That’s a great combination for a running back.”

Johnson sees a tremendous future for another rookie, quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

‘(Patrick Mahomes) is going to be one of the great ones later in his career’

“He’ll be a Chief for awhile, I’ll tell you that,” Johnson said. “He’s going to be one of the great ones later on in his career. He’s a guy that’s learning under Andy Reid, who is an offensive guru. He’s in a great spot. He’s on a team that’s winning and he gets to learn from Alex Smith. Patrick is a little different. He’s a little more gutsier, but he’s a guy that Andy Reid is going to make a star when it’s his time to play. It’s going to be a joy to watch his career.”

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