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Wile_E_Coyote
07-31-2005, 01:42 PM
http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/sports/12266732.htm

RIVER FALLS, Wis. - First-round bust? Or a Priest Holmes in the making?

The jury is still out when it comes to Chiefs third-year running back Larry Johnson. But a year ago at this time, the verdict most likely would have been bust.

If Johnson didn't change a lot of minds with his production during three ho-hum December games in 2004, he at least opened them.

In those games -- victories over Oakland, Tennessee and Denver -- Johnson rushed for 373 yards and five touchdowns on 57 carries. He showed blazing speed and ability to elude tackles. And he showed he's not afraid to run over defenders.

He caught balls out of the backfield and was even marginally successful as a pass blocker.

Holmes, who missed the final eight games of 2004 with a strained MCL in his right knee, looks good to go so far during the team's training camp.

But he'll turn 32 in October, and there are sure to be days when he's dragging.

Johnson showed he's more than just an insurance policy. He's a legitimate back, and the Chiefs' offensive braintrust is trying to figure out more ways to get him involved in the fireworks, even if Holmes gets through the season without a scratch.

There have been sightings of Holmes and Johnson working in the same backfield during training camp.

Johnson is working a lot with the first-team offense. He is far from the wallflower who spent most of his rookie season in 2003 sulking and pining for playing time.

Now Johnson has managed to get his name onto a crowded marquee of Kansas City offensive stars.

It's now: "The Kansas City Chiefs, starring Priest Holmes, Trent Green, Tony Gonzalez, Will Shields, Dante Hall, Willie Roaf, Tony Richardson and Larry Johnson."

"I think he proved what we already knew and that's he can run with the football," Chiefs offensive coordinator Al Saunders said of Johnson. "That's why we drafted him in the first round."

But if you're in the Kansas City backfield, you also have to be a target for Green, the quarterback. And you have to be willing to throw a block into a steamrolling linebacker, safety or defensive end to protect your quarterback.

Those are the areas in which Johnson took more time to develop. And they're why he spent most of his rookie year standing and watching, but not always quietly.

Kansas City coach Dick Vermeil became so fed up with Johnson's media blasts that he called him out last September, saying Johnson needed to "take off the diapers" if he wanted a chance to play.

You got the idea right then and there that Vermeil was doing more than just chiding his young back; that maybe there was a method to his ways. It might not be coincidence that Johnson, when given that chance, produced.

To this day, though, Johnson, who was angered by Vermeil's diaper blast, says he didn't need to be inspired.

"I inspire myself," he said. "I'm a competitor and with every opportunity I get I'm going to try and prove that I should be the starter if we need it, the next guy up after Priest."

Johnson has always been good at talking about how good he is, and his boastful nature didn't go over well with the media or Chiefs fans.

"The media thought I was just some spoiled kid," Johnson said. "They think that with Priest here, I should just calm down and wait my turn."

But Johnson rattled cages, and when he was finally offered the opportunity, he busted out.

Holmes, the Chiefs' career rushing leader, was having another hugely productive season running in 2004 when his knee gave out. But in eight games, he caught only 19 passes, a huge drop from the three previous seasons when he averaged 69 receptions.

There's a lot of wear and tear on Holmes' body. He averaged nearly 25 carries per game last season and the Chiefs would be foolish to continue having him carry that big of a load.

Johnson, who will be 26 in November, may have put to rest concerns that he's not well rounded enough to be an NFL back -- or more precisely a Chiefs back.

But he was at his best in games that really had no meaning, against opponents who also were playing for nothing. How will he do on center stage in games that matter and against opponents who are breathing fire?

"To come out and really pick it up in the last few games last season was a real confidence booster," Johnson said. "Hopefully I can make it happen again this year -- just with a few more games and opportunities."

While Saunders hinted that a Holmes-Johnson two-man backfield could be an occasional reality, Vermeil wasn't as quick to sign off.

Yes, the Chiefs are working on a few two-back sets in camp.

"But, you know, most of the time you do a lot of that sort of thing during training camp and then you get into the regular season games and you don't use it," Vermeil said. "Now, maybe with these two guys we will. But it's not like we're going to go back to the old-fashioned two-back set."

The likely scenario has Johnson spelling Holmes a lot more than ever. Holmes will get the bulk of the carries, but gone are the days when he gets them all.

Johnson is a weapon and Saunders likes all of those he can put in his trick bag.

So does Green, who has no problem divvying up the offensive fun.

"Hopefully, Larry's role in the offense this season is the same and even more," Green said. "It's clear Priest is going to be the starter. But I think we'll be able to rotate the two of them and take some of the pressure off Priest. Based on what (Johnson) has done out here so far, he's going to be prepared whether he gets 10 snaps a game or 45."

Johnson would vote for somewhere in between. He recognizes Holmes' value to the team. But he also recognizes his own and always has, even when others didn't.

jspchief
07-31-2005, 02:08 PM
The notion that Vermeil's stupid diaper comment provided some sort of motivation for LJ is f*cking ridiculous IMO. Vermeil called him out and then didn't even give him a chance to meet the challenge in the next game. It was nothing more than DV putting his foot in his mouth.

To this day I think we'll be lucky if Johnson even remotely considers resigning with us after his contract expires.

|Zach|
07-31-2005, 02:09 PM
I think our offense is better with LJ in the backfield outside of the redzone.

jspchief
07-31-2005, 02:12 PM
I think our offense is better with LJ in the backfield outside of the redzone.I think it's a bit early to say that for certain, but you very well could be right. He appears to be more of a homerun threat. But there's no question that there's no better RB in the league than Priest when it comes to getting it across the goal line.

|Zach|
07-31-2005, 02:14 PM
I think it's a bit early to say that for certain, but you very well could be right. He appears to be more of a homerun threat. But there's no question that there's no better RB in the league than Priest when it comes to getting it across the goal line.It is tough to say for certain but as good as Holmes is...he gets stuffed a lot. There just a lot of plays where he gets hung up for no gain or one yard if he is lucky. I don't see that a lot with LJ.

Infidel Goat
07-31-2005, 02:17 PM
Um.

I'm pretty sure he's not considered a first-round bust.

Stupid way to start an article.

--Infidel Goat

KCChiefsMan
07-31-2005, 02:35 PM
I think our offense is better with LJ in the backfield outside of the redzone.


I think that Priest Holmes' yards per carry, consistency, pass blocking skills, and excellent field vision proves that statement wrong. I'm sure that LJ will get more opportunities this season so we shall see.

Logical
07-31-2005, 02:42 PM
"I think he proved what we already knew and that's he can run with the football," Chiefs offensive coordinator Al Saunders said of Johnson. "That's why we drafted him in the first round."
This sounds almost as hypocritical as if I had said "this is why I was thrilled KC drafted Larry Johnson in the first round". I call bullshit bandwagon riding on the part of Saunders.

Skip Towne
07-31-2005, 03:08 PM
This sounds almost as hypocritical as if I had said "this is why I was thrilled KC drafted Larry Johnson in the first round". I call bullshit bandwagon riding on the part of Saunders.
You were quite comical that day. Whatever happened to that LB you wanted instead of LJ?

Mr. Laz
07-31-2005, 03:30 PM
You were quite comical that day. Whatever happened to that LB you wanted instead of LJ?
nick barnett is the starting MLB for the green bay packers and has been since day 1.

boss bailey is starting OLB for detroit

ej henderson is starting MLB for the vikings

Tinoisamoa started for the ram

kawika mitchell started at MLB for the chiefs :rolleyes:

Rausch
07-31-2005, 03:35 PM
You were quite comical that day. Whatever happened to that LB you wanted instead of LJ?

http://www.nfl.com/teams/story/DET/8690249

He's starting to practice after recovering from another knee injury...

gblowfish
07-31-2005, 03:41 PM
Leon glad to see his name in print. Leon gonna cut it up this year. Leon's daddy and Leon's agent says Leon gonna be a mega star. Believe it.

Leon get lots of yards on every carry. Leon catch the ball out the backfield. Leon got nose for the end zone. Leon even pick up the blitz every once in awhile. Leon ain't wearin' no diaper. Leon wearin' a thong and wearin' his Ché shirt under his jersey every practice. Why? Because Leon has charisma. Leon got cajones. Leon wear a Kangol just like Ché did. Leon a bad mofo. And my agent says camo gear is gonna be HOT at Old Navy this fall, and they may need a celebrity spokesman...
like LEON!

How many more years till Leon be a free agent? Damn!

You watch Leon. Watch Leon. Watch Leon. That nacho eatin' Texas sissy boy ain't got nuthin on Leon. You know he'll get hurt sometime. He old. He'll never make it all the way. He never does. Leon young and pretty. Leon's agent tells Leon to chill, 'cause Leon's time is comin.' Leon da lead dog on this sled. Believe it, y'all.

htismaqe
07-31-2005, 03:51 PM
Leon glad to see his name in print. Leon gonna cut it up this year. Leon's daddy and Leon's agent says Leon gonna be a mega star. Believe it.

Leon get lots of yards on every carry. Leon catch the ball out the backfield. Leon got nose for the end zone. Leon even pick up the blitz every once in awhile. Leon ain't wearin' no diaper. Leon wearin' a thong and wearin' his Ché shirt under his jersey every practice. Why? Because Leon has charisma. Leon got cajones. Leon wear a Kangol just like Ché did. Leon a bad mofo. And my agent says camo gear is gonna be HOT at Old Navy this fall, and they may need a celebrity spokesman...
like LEON!

How many more years till Leon be a free agent? Damn!

You watch Leon. Watch Leon. Watch Leon. That nacho eatin' Texas sissy boy ain't got nuthin on Leon. You know he'll get hurt sometime. He old. He'll never make it all the way. He never does. Leon young and pretty. Leon's agent tells Leon to chill, 'cause Leon's time is comin.' Leon da lead dog on this sled. Believe it, y'all.


It was sorta funny when everybody could at least IMAGINE that it were true.

Now that we know that it was just Crybaby Vermeil calling people childish names, like he is prone to do, it's just tired.

Rausch
07-31-2005, 03:53 PM
It was sorta funny when everybody could at least IMAGINE that it were true.

Now that we know that it was just Crybaby Vermeil calling people childish names, like he is prone to do, it's just tired.

If Larry was a Leon he would have been traded already.

All he had to do after year one was say "I'm not playing for you fockers, period. Trade me."

Demonpenz
07-31-2005, 03:57 PM
LJ needs to get that bad attitude in check

Messier
07-31-2005, 04:01 PM
nick barnett is the starting MLB for the green bay packers and has been since day 1.

boss bailey is starting OLB for detroit

ej henderson is starting MLB for the vikings

Tinoisamoa started for the ram

kawika mitchell started at MLB for the chiefs :rolleyes:

Yes, it would be nice to have Barnett, but Bailey is a borderline starter, Henderson lost his starting job and is Tinoisamoa really good? I'm just saying in two years it might very well be that Johnson is the best pro out of these players.

jspchief
07-31-2005, 04:16 PM
Yes, it would be nice to have Barnett, but Bailey is a borderline starter, Henderson lost his starting job and is Tinoisamoa really good? I'm just saying in two years it might very well be that Johnson is the best pro out of these players.I think it's highly likely that Johnson will be a better pro. Barnett is the only one that has even come close to showing the promise that LJ has shown.

There are still a lot of reasons to not like the pick though. We needed help on defense, but instead used our highest pick on the third string of an offensive position. Then, instead of taking full advantage of his talent, we allowed Blaylock to build his resume for another year and a half.

I would have preferred to address immediate defensive needs in round 1, then look for insurance for Holmes' hip in a later round. If LJ continues to develop, and he resigns with us inspite of being mishandled early, it will probably pay off in the long run.

Ultra Peanut
07-31-2005, 04:18 PM
Now that we know that it was just Crybaby Vermeil calling people childish names, like he is prone to do, it's just tired.Exactly. That was Young and Restless, Days of Our Lives bullshit.

I think our offense is better with LJ in the backfield outside of the redzone.I almost have to agree. I still can't believe how adept he is at just busting open huge runs.

philfree
07-31-2005, 04:37 PM
Larry is already a better pro then those other guys. There were no real difference makers on D when we picked in that draft. Drafting for need is exactly the wrong thing to do and especialy when there's a 2000 yard rusher on the board. We didn't reach we took what was by far the best player and because of that if Holmes goes down again we won't miss a beat and when Holmes retires the window won't slam shut because we have LJ primed and ready to blast off. LJ could turn out to be Carls finest pick ever before it's all said and done.

PhilFree:arrow:

CHIEF4EVER
07-31-2005, 05:24 PM
Larry is already a better pro then those other guys. There were no real difference makers on D when we picked in that draft. Drafting for need is exactly the wrong thing to do and especialy when there's a 2000 yard rusher on the board. We didn't reach we took what was by far the best player and because of that if Holmes goes down again we won't miss a beat and when Holmes retires the window won't slam shut because we have LJ primed and ready to blast off. LJ could turn out to be Carls finest pick ever before it's all said and done.

PhilFree:arrow:

Great take. Agree 100%. Rep.

Logical
07-31-2005, 05:30 PM
Larry is already a better pro then those other guys. There were no real difference makers on D when we picked in that draft. Drafting for need is exactly the wrong thing to do and especialy when there's a 2000 yard rusher on the board. We didn't reach we took what was by far the best player and because of that if Holmes goes down again we won't miss a beat and when Holmes retires the window won't slam shut because we have LJ primed and ready to blast off. LJ could turn out to be Carls finest pick ever before it's all said and done.

PhilFree:arrow:

He is definitely not better than Barnett and only time will tell if he is better than Henderson and the others.

I did not make that post to rag on LJ but to rag on Saunders for being hypocritical.

HemiEd
07-31-2005, 05:35 PM
Larry is already a better pro then those other guys. There were no real difference makers on D when we picked in that draft. Drafting for need is exactly the wrong thing to do and especialy when there's a 2000 yard rusher on the board. We didn't reach we took what was by far the best player and because of that if Holmes goes down again we won't miss a beat and when Holmes retires the window won't slam shut because we have LJ primed and ready to blast off. LJ could turn out to be Carls finest pick ever before it's all said and done.

PhilFree:arrow:

:clap:

jspchief
07-31-2005, 05:39 PM
LJ could turn out to be Carls finest pick ever before it's all said and done.
He's got a steep climb to surpass #58.

htismaqe
07-31-2005, 05:52 PM
Barnett? Nick Barnett? Give me a break.

There's a ton of cheeseheads in DSM, and they're not fond of Barnett. The guy racks up tons of tackles (like Donnie Edwards) and all the while the Green Bay run defense continues to SUCK.

jspchief
07-31-2005, 05:56 PM
Barnett? Nick Barnett? Give me a break.

There's a ton of cheeseheads in DSM, and they're not fond of Barnett. The guy racks up tons of tackles (like Donnie Edwards) and all the while the Green Bay run defense continues to SUCK.I agree. Barnett got a lot of rookie hype because he was inserted as a starter right away, but his play has been pretty mediocre.

He might currently have more on his resume than LJ, but I don't think he has anywhere near the potential.

Demonpenz
07-31-2005, 06:02 PM
barnett did a real nice job on that 4th and 34 against the eagles

Reaper16
07-31-2005, 06:09 PM
barnett did a real nice job on that 4th and 34 against the eagles

FredEx!

penchief
07-31-2005, 06:24 PM
It's nice to see everybody warming up to LJ. I think he's going to do big things this year. He runs in the pros just like he did at Penn State which leads me to believe he's a potential 2000 yard back.

tk13
07-31-2005, 06:27 PM
It is tough to say for certain but as good as Holmes is...he gets stuffed a lot. There just a lot of plays where he gets hung up for no gain or one yard if he is lucky. I don't see that a lot with LJ.
I've always thought the opposite of that, because both Priest and LJ had similar yards per carry numbers, yet LJ broke off far more long runs. They're only like 0.2 ypc different. It seems to me... so far, LJ is the better home run threat, but he'll hit you with 3 yards, 3 yards, 3 yards, 35 yards.... while Priest is better in those short quick bursts, picking up 5-10 yards at a time and moving the chains. Interesting discussion point though.

Logical
07-31-2005, 07:19 PM
Barnett? Nick Barnett? Give me a break.

There's a ton of cheeseheads in DSM, and they're not fond of Barnett. The guy racks up tons of tackles (like Donnie Edwards) and all the while the Green Bay run defense continues to SUCK.Yea we all know one linebacker doth a run defense make.:rolleyes:

ROFL

Terribilis
07-31-2005, 07:53 PM
It is tough to say for certain but as good as Holmes is...he gets stuffed a lot. There just a lot of plays where he gets hung up for no gain or one yard if he is lucky.
I have to say- I totally disagree with this... If its one thing that has always amazed me about Priest, its his ability to slip that first tackler.
Priest averages in the high 4.* per carry, you cant get stuffed much and still maintain an average like that.

Line Judge
07-31-2005, 09:51 PM
No way. There ain't no way that Larry Johnson will ever sign another contract with the Kansas City Chiefs. He has no team loyalty. When his contract is up color him gone.

|Zach|
07-31-2005, 09:56 PM
I have to say- I totally disagree with this... If its one thing that has always amazed me about Priest, its his ability to slip that first tackler.
Priest averages in the high 4.* per carry, you cant get stuffed much and still maintain an average like that.I am not saying Priest does not get his yards...but when he doesn't get those solid gains he gets stuffed for nothing...it happens alot...but its ok because he generally makes up for it.

philfree
07-31-2005, 10:43 PM
He's got a steep climb to surpass #58.


True. But the difference would be that we got LJ after trading down and it was like the 24th pick or something like that. They'll never be another DT for KC though.

PhilFree:arrow:

philfree
07-31-2005, 10:49 PM
The winner of the LJ better then Barnett discussion will be decided during the 2005 season. I think I know who's gonna win but we'll see. I do know the Pack fans don't think Barnett is all that from I've read but the cream will rise to the top on this one.

PhilFree:arrow:

Logical
07-31-2005, 10:50 PM
So has anyone told Whiney Gonzalez that LJ was a better draft pick, how about Will Shields?

J Diddy
07-31-2005, 10:54 PM
So has anyone told Whiney Gonzalez that LJ was a better draft pick, how about Will Shields?

I haven't drank that much.

BTW, Shields was a luck pick.

Logical
07-31-2005, 10:56 PM
I haven't drank that much.

BTW, Shields was a luck pick.Probably, but I give Carl constant shit about his bad drafting, whether by luck or not he got it right with Shields.

J Diddy
07-31-2005, 10:57 PM
Probably, but I give Carl constant shit about his bad drafting, whether by luck or not he got it right with Shields.

Yeah, I guess the sun shines up a chickens ass every once in a while.

Demonpenz
07-31-2005, 11:08 PM
i would have to go against zach on this one. It's hard for anyone to get a clean shot on priest if anything it seems like he ususally gets stuffed but spins or wiggles his way for a couple yars he has some ability to make defenders miss just enough to get 2 yards also i would have to say priest does an awesome job of being patient.

|Zach|
07-31-2005, 11:14 PM
I really think his ability to make amazing plays on such a consistant basis clouds all the time he gets stuffed in a lot of minds around here.

philfree
07-31-2005, 11:44 PM
So has anyone told Whiney Gonzalez that LJ was a better draft pick, how about Will Shields?

Now Shields was a great pick but Gonzo was supposedly a no brainer for the Chiefs. A great player who seems to have some class no doubt. I also said he "could" turn out to be Carls best pick ever. I didn't say he was definately, definitively Carls best pick. The point is when Holmes was out and Johnson was in there was no slippage in the O. He was the best pick on the board when we picked and Carl done good on that one. :clap: Carl :clap: :)

PhilFree:arrow:

philfree
07-31-2005, 11:47 PM
Between Larry Johnson and Derrick Johnson we should have our two cornerstones for the future of the Chiefs franchise. We have our own version of Johnson & Johnson. You'll need more than a band-aid when they're done.


PhilFree:arrow:

Logical
08-01-2005, 12:01 AM
I really think his ability to make amazing plays on such a consistant basis clouds all the time he gets stuffed in a lot of minds around here.
Hmmm career 140 586 4.185 career avg LJ
1156 5482 4.74 career avg Chiefs Priest

Now I will admit LJ breaks more long ones so Priest has to be stuffed less to average almost 1/2 a yard more per carry for his career with the Chiefs.

Ultra Peanut
08-01-2005, 12:22 AM
We have our own version of Johnson & Johnson. You'll need more than a band-aid when they're done. ROFL

greg63
08-01-2005, 12:23 AM
It is tough to say for certain but as good as Holmes is...he gets stuffed a lot. There just a lot of plays where he gets hung up for no gain or one yard if he is lucky. I don't see that a lot with LJ.
...And as good as LJ is the occasional "stuff" will occur more with more opportunity to carry the ball. Having two talented backs who pride themselves on excelling at their positions is a problem a lot of head coaches and Offensive Coordinators wish they had.:drool:

philfree
08-01-2005, 12:28 AM
Larry looks like he's angry all the time.

Nightfyre
08-01-2005, 03:58 AM
LJ could be out 40 to 40 or 30 to 30 back. Plug in Priest in the red zone and in passing situations. This would limit Priest's likelihood of injury while maximizing his potential. This also gives us the homerun threat in LJ. :shrug:
When is his contract up? I think if Vermeil is gone he will stay, but I really dont know about the innerworkings of LJ's situation.

bringbackmarty
08-01-2005, 06:18 AM
Johnson has had a relatively smooth ride, given the position he was put in when he was drafted. I imagine he did look pretty bad in pass protection at times the last couple, it's hard to judge cause when he was in he usually got the ball. He seems to break more than his share of big runs, albiet late season meaningless contests against inferior opponents for the most part. That is if you consider denver, oakland and tennessee inferior, which I do.

bringbackmarty
08-01-2005, 06:20 AM
fug him lets trade for a defensive tackle. running the ball is for pussies.

Nightfyre
08-01-2005, 06:26 AM
Bah, passing is for pussies. Defense is for real men.

htismaqe
08-01-2005, 07:26 AM
Yea we all know one linebacker doth a run defense make.:rolleyes:

ROFL

Like I said, I'm surrounded by Packer fans.

Concensus is that he's not one good player surrounded by shit. Concensus is he's PART OF THE PROBLEM.

siberian khatru
08-01-2005, 07:44 AM
LJ could be out 40 to 40 or 30 to 30 back. Plug in Priest in the red zone and in passing situations. This would limit Priest's likelihood of injury while maximizing his potential. This also gives us the homerun threat in LJ. :shrug:


:thumb:

Last year I think I floated a similar idea, copying what the Packers do with Ahman Green and Najeh Davenport. Poop Boy plays between the 40s, and when it's money time Green comes in.

Baby Lee
08-01-2005, 08:46 AM
Larry is already a better pro then those other guys. There were no real difference makers on D when we picked in that draft. Drafting for need is exactly the wrong thing to do and especialy when there's a 2000 yard rusher on the board. We didn't reach we took what was by far the best player and because of that if Holmes goes down again we won't miss a beat and when Holmes retires the window won't slam shut because we have LJ primed and ready to blast off. LJ could turn out to be Carls finest pick ever before it's all said and done.

PhilFree:arrow:
Possible, and I think my pedigree as a Johnson supporter is established, but it'd take at least 5-6 years of Priest level output to put him on the level of Derrick Thomas.
And let's hope Derrick Johnson eclipses them both as Carl's best pick.

Best of all possible worlds. :thumb: