View Full Version : Q&A LJ

12-16-2004, 03:48 PM
Q&A RB Larry Johnson

Dec 16, 2004, 3:18:10 PM

Q: What does winning the Snickers Hungriest Player award and a $1,000 check to the charity of your choice mean to you?

JOHNSON: “It’s just a stepping stone for maybe next season and game after game. It’s a great award and I’m definitely going to give it to the JPD, which is the NFL’s Junior Player Development. There are a lot of kids that love to play football, want to play football, but just don’t have the equipment to do it. So hopefully the schools that need that type of equipment can use that check.”

Q: Can you say what getting your first start means to you?

JOHNSON: “It means a lot, but I thought it meant a lot at the beginning of the season and what happens if I get to start and I’d be all excited. But as of now it’s just going out there and being able playing well and continue to play well. I don’t think starting has really hit me yet until I actually get there and be the first one out there. I don’t think it’s going to hit me until game time.”

Q: Is it nice to start seeing rewards after having some success?

JOHNSON: “It’s great, but coming out of college it was the same way. You just have to learn how to handle it. I think I’ve handled it fairly well. They always give you good things when you’re doing well. When you come into an opportunity and situation like I have, nobody says anything to you. I’m taking this as the same situation I just came out of. Just keep moving on and hopefully getting better week by week.”

Q: What do you say to the comment anybody can run well behind the Chiefs offensive line?

JOHNSON: “Those offensive line guys are great. And those receivers did an excellent job keeping those extra DBs off of me. All I had to do was make one guy miss. Talent alone can’t get you that far into the secondary unless you have guys in front of you who are willing to block for you.”

Q: Do you think you always have to go out and prove yourself?

JOHNSON: “Always. I feel that as much as there are a lot of people that support me, there is also another handful that don’t. It may be one guy, maybe two guys, but that’s who I really concentrate on to see if I can change his or her mind about me. I think that’s what I really concentrate on because no matter how well you do, there is always going to be somebody to say you can’t do this again and you can’t do that. That’s what I mainly focus on when I go into this week’s game.”

Q: Do you have an, “I told you so” feeling?

JOHNSON: “The funny thing is I wrote that when they gave me the horse trailer. They told me to sign it and I put that on the thing I had to sign. ‘I told you so.’ That was just me kidding around. My dad watched the television version when we played on Monday night against St. Louis (9/23) and John Madden made a couple comments. My dad said that he didn’t say anything much about me this game. It’s kind of like what I felt the whole time, but it wasn’t enough to say ‘I told you so’. I knew I could do it, but the opportunity had to be there for me to prove so.”

Q: Who were you saying “I told you so” to?

JOHNSON: “Oh, just people in general. Anybody and everybody who said I was slow, that I couldn’t do it, I didn’t hit the holes fast enough. Hopefully I changed their minds, but if not then I guess I have to go out there another week and try to do it again.”

Q: Do you feel like you have an interesting kinship with Carl Peterson?

JOHNSON: “He’s been really excited. He was even more excited before the game because he came up to me and said a lot of things. Then after the game he was really excited and real happy for me. I think it’s really a testament on his part because I did stick his neck out on me. For him to take a lot of heat for drafting me, I feel like I did it some justice and prove to everybody that he made a right decision.”

Q: Have the expectations been raised for you now?

JOHNSON: “It doesn’t matter to me. I know what I expect. I came to Kansas City to help and be a backup to Priest Holmes. That’s what my initial plan was. Now of course things have changed, but I’m not going to live up to somebody else’s expectations, I’m going to live up to my own. I know what I have to do Sunday in my own mind to feel like I did something.”

Q: Why is it important for the Chiefs to win these last few games?

JOHNSON: “Because we have to have something to hang our hat on at the end of the season. We don’t want to end the season thinking we lost and they say well this has been a losing season and then take that into spring workouts and training. We’re going to come out and win every single last one of these last games and say, ‘Okay now we know we can improve.’ We can take that into summer camp and hopefully preseason.”

Q: So nobody in that locker room cares about draft position?

JOHNSON: “I don’t think anybody cares. We basically want to go out there and do what we can do now. We can’t worry about April. Everybody know you can’t control April. We can control what we do against Denver on Sunday.”

Q: Are you having fun with football?

JOHNSON: “I’m more focused and know what I have to do. I poke fun here and there, but that’s the only time I get to laugh. The other time I’m in meetings and everything is so serious. You know how crucial it is. That one slip up, one mistake and it’s not going to be funny. You’ve got to look at a situation where you’re dealing with somebody like Trent (Green) and you’re dealing with his health. Any hit could end his career or anybody else’s, so you take everything real serious until the season is over. Then I can go have my fun.”

Q: Do you think your pass-protection skills have improved?

JOHNSON: “Yeah, I’m feeling a little bit more comfortable with myself going into that situation. All it is, is just recognition and knowing where guys are coming from and how hard they are going to hit you. That just comes from watching more and more tape and that’s what I’ve been doing this week, trying to figure out what guy is going to pass-rush me hard and what guy is not. That’s what’s really the key to being successful in pass blocking.”

Hammock Parties
12-16-2004, 03:52 PM
King Carl and LJ are going to be linked at the hip like King Carl and DT.

12-16-2004, 03:57 PM
King Carl and LJ are going to be linked at the hip like King Carl and DT.

Well if Johnson has even half the career Thomas did I don't care.

12-16-2004, 04:05 PM
He sounds like a locker room cancer. Thanking Peterson for drafting him, giving the OL some credit, wanting to win the remaining games - AHHH trade him, trade him. Hell release him before this winning attitude rubs off on the rest of the team.

Hammock Parties
12-16-2004, 04:07 PM
Well if Johnson has even half the career Thomas did I don't care.

I think it's a good thing. Remember the problems the rift between Carl and Tait caused?

12-16-2004, 04:08 PM
johnson needs to take the diapers off

12-16-2004, 04:10 PM
hees not that good, my grandma could get 100 yards begind the chiefs ofensife line, and against a bad titans defense

12-16-2004, 04:26 PM
Q&A QB Trent Green

Dec 16, 2004, 4:06:45 PM

Q: WR Eddie Kennison has made some big catches and had some big games in recent weeks?

GREEN: “I think a lot of it has to do with his health. He got hurt in training camp and missed almost all of training camp with two separate injuries. Once he got back in there he’s played well all year. Early in the season I think he ended up having a hamstring problem, missed a couple of games in the first half of the season. Now that he’s back and healthy, he’s very productive. He’s on a nice streak right now.”

Q: Are you making a concerted effort to get the ball to him more?

GREEN: “This offense is based on reads. There are times you can call certain plays because you want to get one person more involved than another, but it’s more of a progression-type offense. It just so happens that he’s been the guy that’s come up with big plays.”

Q: Talk about the long TD pass to Eddie early in the game against Tennessee?

GREEN: “That was just a double move and fortunately they got confused in coverage. Later in the game we tried a double move to Johnnie (Morton) and they had the right coverage on. It wasn’t that we were trying to get the ball to Eddie and not Johnnie, it was just the way they happened to play it on that play. Sometimes timing works to your favor.”

Q: Is having Eddie back in the lineup going 100 percent make it harder for Denver to key on TE Tony Gonzalez by putting CB Champ Bailey on him in coverage? That seemed to cause some problems for you and Tony in September.

GREEN: “Eddie played in the first game, he caught the first bomb. It did cause some problems and its something I’m sure they’ll try to do again. When you look at the amount of attention (Gonzalez) gets – the Raiders put Charles Woodson on Tony. If that’s who they feel is going to be the biggest threat in the passing game, I’m sure that’s who they’ll continue to put it on. With Eddie playing as well as he is, hopefully that will be able to continue no matter who they put on him. We weren’t very successful in the passing game the first time we played them. We were effective running the ball but not as effective passing as we need to be in order to try and find a way to win this week.”

Q: Are you more confident in RB Larry Johnson now?

GREEN: “Yeah, and it’s not just me, its everybody. The way he’s hitting the holes; the way he’s setting his blocks. The linemen feel better about him; (offensive coordinator) Al (Saunders) feels better about him. You can tell by the play calling, by the number of opportunities he’s getting. He’s maintained the right demeanor. He’s carried himself well these last couple of weeks instead of all the criticism he was taking earlier in the year and last season. He’s just kind of going about his business and played hard and done a good job. Hopefully that continues.”

Q: With the Chiefs offensive line, could anyone have success rushing the ball?

GREEN: “I wouldn’t say that. I feel good about the way our offensive line blocks. Obviously they take good care of me. If you look at the running backs we’ve had with Priest (Holmes), Derrick (Blaylock) and Larry in there, it still takes a good running back to be able to do it. We’re fortunate that we have three guys who are able to do that.”

Q: Do you feel pressure to score every time you step on the field with the struggles the team has had defensively?

GREEN: “We take that approach no matter how the defense is playing. Our goal is number one to get some first downs and move the ball and get yourself in the position to get points. We’ve taken a lot of pride in the Red Zone the past couple of years and not just from a points standpoint with field goals, but touchdowns. That’s what we strive for in every possession. There is at times in specific games, added pressure to score on every possession or score quite a bit.”

Q: Is it tougher to have success in those situations where you feel pressure to score?

GREEN: “It doesn’t make it any tougher. You go out with the same mindset every time to score points. You don’t put any added pressure on ourselves. I think where it comes into play is later in the game, you tend to take more risks. You tend to try and maybe squeeze the ball in there that you would not actually do if you had the lead, so that’s really the only time it comes into play I think, when its later in the game and you’re trailing and trying to catch up, sometimes you have to try too hard.”

Q: Do you talk with the defensive players about that team concept?

GREEN: “Over the last three years, everybody has tried to make it an offense/defense battle and there’s none. We have to get it done as a team. We’ve had opportunities on offense where we’ve messed up this year and haven’t held up our end of the bargain. Just like our success last year was a product of all three phases. So yeah, I communicate with those guys all the time.”

Q: After having all summer to prepare for the opener against Denver, is this game going to be different having only a short week?

GREEN: “It’s very different. Going into the season with very high expectations, they came out with a win. We felt at this time of year we’d be battling for the division lead and a playoff spot. They’re still in that position and unfortunately we’re not. So it’s a much different attitude and approach and I’m sure if you ask them, they’re trying to stay in the hunt. They’re trying to win a game and we’re trying to salvage a season. It’s a much different approach by both teams.”

Q: Are you looking forward to the opportunity to derail Denver’s playoff chances?

GREEN: “That really hasn’t been brought up this week, either by coaches or players. I think it’s just a division game. It’s a rivalry going back a long way and there have been a lot of great games just the four years that I’ve been here, overtime games, games that have come down to the final play. I just think it’s a great series to be involved with. Right now we haven’t brought any of that up. It’s more just the opportunity to play Denver, a division opponent and because it’s a back and forth series and we’ve just got to play our best.”

Q: Is there any credence in the thought that wins now just mean that you’re sacrificing your draft position?

GREEN: “No, it doesn’t. We’re just trying to win games. At least I hope nobody in our organization is thinking about draft picks. I know from a player standpoint that we’re all still focused on the same thing. As far as outside forces, I don’t let that influence me good or bad.”

Q: Could it motivate guys, knowing that the draft pick might be the guys that takes their job?

GREEN: “I’ve said that for a few weeks. People ask ‘What are you still playing for?’ And the answer is your job. Unfortunately we’ve been out of the playoff race picture for a few weeks now, so if guys want to be around here… there are going to be changes made on both sides of the ball. We had 15 new players from a year ago when we were 13-3, so right now we’re in much worse position and you think there’s going to be changes. If guys want to stay a part of this, you’ll see it on the field.”

Q: What are your impressions of Broncos QB Jake Plummer’s gesture to the crowd last week being a fellow member of the quarterback club?

GREEN: “It’s tough because we’ve all been in that situation. Obviously, if you ask him, he wants it back, those few seconds of concentration lapse you wish you could have back. There are times when people say things or throw things that you want to respond, or something negative happens on the field where you want to have an outburst on the sideline. You’ve seen players in the past have an outburst on their coaches or another player or throw their helmet. There are times when everybody feels like that through the course of a game. Your adrenaline is pumping. It’s a tense game, a tense environment. It’s tough to maintain your composure in that kind of environment. Like I said, we’ve all (been there). You want to do it, but I don’t respond good or bad, that’s been my policy. I started that a long time ago. It’s real hard to ignore, because when somebody’s saying something good or bad or you’re winning in the fourth quarter, having fun on the sidelines, you want that reaction from the crowd. But what you’re doing is just setting yourself up. You’re setting yourself up in that regard.”

Q: Is it different when it’s caught on camera? Does it change the way you carry yourself?

GREEN: “There’s a couple of guys that have been caught in spitting incidents. Back in the ‘50s and ‘60s, we have a couple of guys here who played (then) and they could say (what went on): biting and pulling, you read books about the guys down in the trenches and all the dirty stuff that happened. Now everybody has to act much differently because of all the cameras and different angles. It’s a more scrutinized league both on and off the field. There’s a lot of tradeoff. From a financial standpoint there’s a huge tradeoff there. The TV contracts are the things that are really paying our contracts. The reason the salary cap continues to go up is the money people pay to see the games.

There’s much more scrutiny. And 20, 30 years ago, when things were going on, on and off the field, many of you know there was a lot of stuff that took place off the field that just got swept under the rug.”

Q: But for a quarterback to react the way he did, isn’t that the guy who is always supposed to be cool and collected?

GREEN: “You know, I think we’ve had our cast of characters at the quarterback position. I think the guy that comes to my mind, that I’ve met a couple of times, the energy he brought to the game – (former Bears QB) Jim McMahon. He did everything to stir the pot. Anything he could to break the trends, go against the stereotype he did. There have been plenty of guys, but the normal, stereotypical role of the quarterback; you don’t typically see that response.”

Q: Can you put your finger on what the difference has been in the fourth-quarter wins the last two weeks?

GREEN: “I don’t necessarily think so. I wish we could have figured it out a long time ago. Certainly Dante (Hall)’s kick return set us up about the 35, 40-yard line. We didn’t have any timeouts, fortunately we had a couple penalties go our way and we had some big plays up the field where we were able to get out of bounds, able to get first downs, get the clock stopped and those kinds of things. The last few weeks we’ve been very fortunate.”

Q: You talked about taking chances more often later in the game, but those last two drives didn’t seem to have a moment where you were forcing the ball?

GREEN: “There was one last week early in the drive that I forced to Tony and (LB Keith) Bulluck tipped away. That was just dumb on my part, once again just trying to force a play up field. Going back and watching film, I had a checkdown and the next play I went to the checkdown and got seven yards to give us a third-and-short situation, which it would have been much better to be in a second-and-short, second-and-medium situation. Sometimes I just have to remind myself, ‘Hey, we have 1:30, it’s not like we have 30 seconds and we have to go 60 yards. Even though we didn’t have timeouts you can still work the clock a little bit.”

Q: Is it a matter of not looking up the field so much then and trying to get smaller chunks or yardage?

GREEN: “I tend to look up field quite a bit. It’s just trying to be smarter, smarter in those situations.”

12-16-2004, 04:56 PM
Q&A with Dick Vermeil

Dec 16, 2004, 4:47:17 PM

Q: How did Jerome Woods’ trip to see Dr. Andrews go in Birmingham?

DICK VERMEIL: “Dr. Andrews saw the injury and the problem exactly the same as we saw it. It’s just a matter of time for the healing process.”

Q: How about Ryan Sims’ injury?

VERMEIL: “Sims will practice tomorrow. Bober practiced today but struggled a little bit, so we’ll have to see.”

Q: You feel good about Sims and Wesley playing, right?

VERMEIL: “Yeah, I do.”

Q: Have you decided whether William Bartee will start this Sunday?

VERMEIL: “No, that will be a game day thing. Right now it’s just status quo.”

Q: You decide to pass on the punter you had in?

VERMEIL: “Yeah, we just worked him out.”

Q: Larry Johnson was named the Snickers Hungriest Player of the Game earlier today. Is hungriest a good adjective to use when describing Larry?

VERMEIL: “I think he’s definitely hungry, hungry for the opportunity. I’m glad he won. He deserves it.”

Q: Do you see a different Larry Johnson now that he’s getting an opportunity?

VERMEIL: “He’s got a smile on his face, you know, and he’s getting repetitions in practice and is working hard. He’s having fun and feels good about himself. It’s a great mood swing. It was going to happen sooner or later. He had his struggles going through the process.”

Q: What can you learn about him against a real quality defense?

VERMEIL: “He’s going to have to make people miss. He’s going to have to run over some people like any player. If you look at our tapes against Denver, Priest Holmes made some runs where he made guys miss on the line of scrimmage. He made two more guys miss as he went for 10 yards. When you play Denver you’re going to have to make people miss.”

Q: Does that speak not only to the offensive line but sometimes the back has to do it?

VERMEIL: “Yeah, plus they’re a stunting line. They slant stunt and come from all different angles and sometimes there’s a guy running free. So, it isn’t always going to be a clean line of scrimmage.”

Q: Nobody can predict the future, but if we have the same Priest Holmes back next year do you think that Larry’s new found maturity will allow him to be the backup?

VERMEIL: “Oh yeah, I think. We’ll see how it goes but we might with Priest and Larry; we might play them both.”

Q: Is Eddie Kennison playing better than at any time you’ve been coaching him?

VERMEIL: “I think he’s playing well. I’d like to see him get over 1,000 yards. It’ll be a little more of a test this week because this is a better secondary than we’ve seen. But I think he is playing well; he’s blocking well and doing everything. He’s only dropped a couple of balls. He’s doing everything a coach can ask him to do.”

Q: He’s had this string where he’s had something like six touchdowns in the last five games. When a guy has a streak like this is it just a function of coverage or…

VERMEIL: “A function of coverage, some breakdowns. We’ve had some. It’s Al Saunders’ design to make plays and Eddie’s ability. He’s still fast. He can run.”

Q: Have you talked to Bartee about his psyche?

VERMEIL: “Yeah, I’ve talked to him a little bit. The other coaches have, too. I always try to pick one, two or three guys a day to visit with. I visited with Bartee just a little bit today. He’s in a good frame of mind. He’ll play well Sunday.”

Q: You haven’t lost faith in him?

VERMEIL: “No. I just think that we as coaches as we have all gone back and evaluated, we just maybe have put too much pressure on those guys in a specific form of coverage. We’ve got to change it up more and take some pressure off and don’t be so predictable.”

Hammock Parties
12-16-2004, 04:59 PM
Eddie might break the 1K mark this weekend. He will pass the mark for sure against Oakland IMO.

12-16-2004, 05:04 PM
Q: Nobody can predict the future, but if we have the same Priest Holmes back next year do you think that Larry’s new found maturity will allow him to be the backup?

VERMEIL: “Oh yeah, I think. We’ll see how it goes but we might with Priest and Larry; we might play them both.”

I hope he means both on the field at the same time. Priest to the outside or LJ up the gut

12-16-2004, 05:15 PM
I hope he means both on the field at the same time. Priest to the outside or LJ up the gut

I doubt that's what he means. We could end up with two 1000 yard rushers though. Wouldn't that be cool :thumb:

PhilFree :arrow:

Spicy McHaggis
12-16-2004, 05:54 PM
hees not that good, my grandma could get 100 yards begind the chiefs ofensife line, and against a bad titans defense

Your grandma must be 6 foot 220 and run a 4.4 40 And have you had anything constructive to say about anything? If not take your drivel over to the Mane. And my grandma could have better numbers than Bulger throwing to Holt and Bruce.