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tk13
11-11-2005, 02:25 AM
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/13137566.htm

Johnson may have something to prove against Bills’ McGahee

By ADAM TEICHER

The Kansas City Star


The irony couldn’t possibly be more delicious to Larry Johnson as he officially takes over from Priest Holmes as the Chiefs’ featured back.

The Buffalo Bills have been offered up as his first opponent. This has little to do with Buffalo’s leaky run defense, next to last in the league, and everything to do with his Bills counterpart, Willis McGahee.

There’s no ill will personally. They met each other in college at the Heisman Trophy ceremony in New York, where everything was cordial.

But McGahee, despite a college knee injury that would cost him his entire rookie season, was the first running back selected in the 2003 draft. Johnson, who went to the Chiefs later in that first round, was second.

Sunday’s game at Buffalo’s Ralph Wilson Stadium gives Johnson the chance to make his statement about that situation.

“Don’t think for a minute that that draft day isn’t etched in Larry Johnson’s mind still to this day,” said Chiefs vice president Lynn Stiles, who oversees draft preparations. “He hasn’t said anything to me about it, but I just know Larry Johnson. Larry Johnson is one heck of a competitor. Some people say he plays with a chip on his shoulder because he wants to prove himself and show that maybe, just maybe, he should have been a worthy candidate to be the first running back taken in that draft.

“That’s regardless of who the first back taken was. It just happens that it was McGahee. In Larry’s mind, he rushed for 2,000 yards (as a senior). He thought he might be the first back taken. That didn’t happen. Now it’s ironic we just happen to be playing Buffalo this week. So there’s two great backs facing each other this week.”

Johnson declined to speak to the matter this week by refusing interview requests.

But the draft snub, real or imagined, is the kind of thing that would get Johnson going. He continually chafed about being a backup since joining the Chiefs, feeling the role wasn’t suitable for a back with his ability and background.

If he outplays McGahee on Sunday, Johnson may not hoist a title belt as Denver’s Clinton Portis did after outgaining Holmes in a game a couple of years ago. But he will undoubtedly get his fill of satisfaction.

There is little to choose from between Johnson and McGahee. Both players are big, in the 230-pound range, and physical. Each has a burst of speed when he gets in the open field.

Buffalo coach Mike Mularkey sees a lot of McGahee when he watches Johnson play. He sees enough similarities that he believes each player could be successful in the other team’s system.

“He’s a little bit like that, a slasher, (runs) upright, sees something and can hit it on a dime,” Mularkey said of Johnson. “He’s a physical runner. He looks like he’s running much harder. He’s making yards after first contact.

“They both have good hands, and when they get the ball in their hands, they’re just as dangerous as if they hit a crease in the run game. Very similar styles.”

The Chiefs could have had McGahee. They were scheduled to pick that year in the middle of the first round, but they eventually traded down with Pittsburgh to the back of the round. McGahee was available at their pick in the middle of the round, but he was gone to Buffalo by the time they eventually selected Johnson.

Because of his knee injury, McGahee was never in the Chiefs’ sights. They were looking for immediate insurance at running back in case Holmes, who then had a hip injury, couldn’t return.

“We wouldn’t have taken that kind of calculated risk on McGahee knowing we already had Priest,” Stiles said. “We also had Derrick Blaylock at the time. We had a lot of high regard for him.

“Buffalo took a calculated decision on him. They predicated that decision, I’m sure, on a lot of medical consultation. Larry Johnson was at the time the best offensive player left on the board and maybe the best player left on the board.

“He served the purpose. He not only was a valuable backup player and worked his way into the rotation but has become the heir apparent now that Priest isn’t available.”

The Bills are happy with their end of the deal. McGahee carries an otherwise feeble offense. He has four of their 11 touchdowns and, between rushing and receiving, 44 percent of their yards.

So neither team would make a trade, one for the other, now. Sunday’s game might change some minds.

“Maybe we can get it settled this week,” Stiles said. “Which guy should have been the higher first-round pick?”

StcChief
11-11-2005, 06:09 AM
LJ puts up 250 running/recieving yards 3 TDs
Ma-Gay-hee - 125 running/recieving yards 2 TDs

Chieftain58
11-11-2005, 06:34 AM
Ohhhh, sounds like Lynn Stiles is stirring up some SH*$... woot.. Of course we'll fair much better! :)

OmahaChief
11-11-2005, 06:37 AM
I am not sure how fair it is to compare. LJ has a terrific line and a good QB to help ease back the D from keying on him while McGahee ha no line and a crap QB. Put Willis behind out line and I would be just as happy.

That being said I have no doubt LJ puts up better numbers on Sunday and I certainly hope that is the case. I would not mind seeing a 150 yard 2 to 3 TD out of LJ. I think that is pretty realistic with that pourous BUffalo run D.

donkhater
11-11-2005, 07:13 AM
If LJ doesn't outperform McGahee on sunday, KC will lose.

the Talking Can
11-11-2005, 07:21 AM
hilarious...couldn't get a quote from LJ so they go with the "may have something to prove" angle....yes, I may be taking a dump as I type...or I may be having sex....

KCTitus
11-11-2005, 07:47 AM
I like Teicher, but this one was a stretch.

siberian khatru
11-11-2005, 07:51 AM
yes, I may be taking a dump as I type...or I may be having sex....

In your case, probably both.


:p

Deberg_1990
11-11-2005, 07:54 AM
I like Teicher, but this one was a stretch.

I predicted columns and stories like this would happen as early as last weekend.......doesnt surprise me at all....

the Talking Can
11-11-2005, 07:54 AM
In your case, probably both.


:p

i can't find the appropriate smiley for that...but I'm laughing...

MOhillbilly
11-11-2005, 08:03 AM
you guys are right it is a strech-noone thinks LJ needs extra motivation & ill lay any odds he knows its his time to shine.

Garcia Bronco
11-11-2005, 08:09 AM
I don't get these angles that writers use...sure McGahee and Johnson are going to play sunday....but they are not on the field at the same time playing against each other.

Garcia Bronco
11-11-2005, 08:09 AM
If LJ doesn't outperform McGahee on sunday, KC will lose.
Not true....the chiefs need to score more points than the bills....thart's all...and they'll do it too. The bills are going to get killed.

vachief58
11-11-2005, 08:15 AM
In your case, probably both.


:p
The old blumpkin, eh?

jspchief
11-11-2005, 08:18 AM
It's going to be difficult to keep LJ "running angry" for the next 5+ years. We're really going to have to brainstorm to keep him pissed

sedated
11-11-2005, 08:46 AM
McGahee has no line

We do have a good line, but Buffalo's line is HUGE and good for running.

MOhillbilly
11-11-2005, 08:50 AM
We do have a good line, but Buffalo's line is HUGE and good for running.


they are big- mike williams is a goon-though they spent all that $$$ in buffalo theyve never seemed to be able to get the O-line to gell.
the bills have talent upfront.

Iowanian
11-11-2005, 09:25 AM
All they have to do is pay a kid in the oposing team's jersey to ask him to autograph a Penn State Mini helmet...

"Mr Enis, could you sign my helmet?"

200 yards.

SNR
11-11-2005, 09:26 AM
Not true....the chiefs need to score more points than the bills....thart's all...and they'll do it too. The bills are going to get killed.The Broncos are the best team evah! We have no chance when you come to Arrowhead later in the season. We may as well hand the keys over to you as soon as you touch foot in the KC airport.

OmahaChief
11-11-2005, 04:07 PM
We do have a good line, but Buffalo's line is HUGE and good for running.

Only if the QB and passing game work and do not allow the D to stack the box which has happened all year. I agree the line is a decent run block line but the QB and WR play has been so horrible every D has stacked the line and not worried much about it. With Holcomb there is at least a bit more of a chance for a decent passing game, with Losman it was non existant.

ChiefFan31
11-11-2005, 04:59 PM
Yeah, it is a stretch. He usually has good articles IMO. or at least seems to have a good inside track.

anyways, Haha. with the keeping him running "angry" could be a challenge. But I dont know. He seems to have the perma-chip on his shoulder.

penchief
11-11-2005, 05:24 PM
Yeah, it is a stretch. He usually has good articles IMO. or at least seems to have a good inside track.

anyways, Haha. with the keeping him running "angry" could be a challenge. But I dont know. He seems to have the perma-chip on his shoulder.

Well said. Peterson said it well, too. LJ is very competitive. He's always ran the football with authority, IMO. Maybe it comes from being a coaches son. I think the last thing we'll have to worry about is LJ getting fat and happy. He's a football player before he's anything. His competitive attitude combined with his speed, power, and open-field elusiveness has me very excited about what he can potentially do as the focus of our offense.

Thig Lyfe
11-11-2005, 06:10 PM
The irony couldn’t possibly be more delicious to Larry Johnson as he officially takes over from Priest Holmes as the Chiefs’ featured back.


I want to know how this situation is at all ironic.

I hate it when journalists -- especially sports journalists -- misuse the word "irony".