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tk13
12-05-2005, 02:15 AM
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/13329140.htm

Johnson becomes a KC star

JOE POSNANSKI


Every fiber of Larry Johnson’s being wanted to cut back and hit somebody. It was cold. It was dark. He could hardly feel his feet. People can talk all they want about being patient, setting up blocks, all that jazz, but when you’re 6 feet 1, 230 pounds and can move like a Ford Excursion, it’s hard to wait. You want to plow over somebody.

Still, Larry Johnson waited. And waited. His blockers arrived. He waited still.

Then, he saw the opening. He sprinted to the light. He scored the winning touchdown.

“I was being patient,” he would say to Chiefs radio afterward, “and really frightening myself.”

Larry Johnson became a star on Sunday. Oh, there were those who had already granted him stardom after he ran for 110 yards in only nine carries against the New York Jets, after he gained 211 yards against Houston, after he passed the 1,000-yard mark on only his 199th carry of the season. Johnson has put up all kinds of big numbers.

But stardom — the kind of stardom Larry Johnson longs for — is about more than big numbers. And Sunday was different. The Chiefs’ season was on the line again, this time against the Denver Broncos and the best rush defense in the NFL. The Broncos led by three early in the fourth quarter. We would not need to play Sudoku with playoff combinations had the Chiefs lost. Everybody in Arrowhead understood. A Chiefs loss would have meant something close to playoff death.

The Chiefs turned their fate over to Larry Johnson. And Johnson blasted through the Denver defense like an arctic cold front. He slammed through linebackers, pulled away from defensive linemen, ran like a man chasing demons.

He willed the Chiefs to a 31-27 victory and an 8-4 record and a place in the playoff chase. It was quite a day for the guy.

“Larry’s big. He’s strong,” guard Brian Waters would say. “This is what the man is built for.”

That remarkable fourth quarter is worth reliving. Johnson went into the quarter with 50 tough yards. The Broncos had slammed him around. Most teams give up the run after getting slammed around by that Broncos defense.

But the Chiefs were just getting started running. Johnson sprinted outside for 8 yards. He ran up the middle for 2 and a first down. After a Trent Green completion, Johnson broke outside, waited for left tackle Willie Roaf to block (patience, Larry, patience), ran smack into Roaf, cut back and sprinted for 30 yards. It was a crushing play. The Broncos had not given up a long run in more than a month.

Three plays later, Johnson waited and waited and scored on that 4-yard touchdown.

“I was saying, ‘Stay out there, stay out there, and don’t turn it back in there,’ ” Johnson would say. “There was a time I would have turned inside and gotten tackled.”

The touchdown was big. What followed was just as big. The Chiefs got the ball back with 8:52 left. And they gave the ball to Johnson. He ran for 3, he ran for 2, he ran for 7, he ran for 2, he ran for 7 more. He just kept coming, time after time, tearing into the Denver defense. Defenders wilted. The Chiefs ran 5 minutes off the clock.

“You got a big back, you feed him enough,” Denver cornerback Champ Bailey says, “and people get tired of hitting him.”

Denver did get the ball back, of course. They had the crazy fourth-and-1 play, gave the ball to their big running back Mike Anderson. He got turned sideways by the Chiefs defense. People will talk about that play for a while, but it seemed pretty obvious:

1. The Chiefs’ defense stopped Anderson short of the first down.

2. The officials spotted it badly and gave Denver the first down.

3. The officials overruled the bad spot and gave the ball to the Chiefs.

Sure, Denver fans probably saw it differently. Oh, well. The Chiefs got the ball back, and then it was more Larry Johnson, 2 yards, then 16, then 6. In all, Johnson rushed 14 times in that fourth quarter for 90 yards. Amazing. That means in one extreme quarter, with the game close and the season at stake and the Broncos stacking everyone to stop him, Johnson ran for more yards than LaDainian Tomlinson, Tiki Barber, LaMont Jordan and, yes, Priest Holmes gained in entire games against the Broncos. After the game, everyone was in awe.

“He showed how tough he is,” Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez said. “Guy’s a stud.”

“He stepped up into another level,” Chiefs fullback Tony Richardson said. “You do that to a great Denver defense, you move up into a different class.”

“He really set up his blockers,” Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil said.

“What impresses me most is the way he understands protections now and the way he blocks,” Green said. “Obviously, I’m the guy he’s protecting, so that should be what impresses me. Still, I know people love to see a guy run the ball. But to be a great back in this league, you have to do more than that. You have to run after the catch. You have to pick up your protections. Larry’s doing that now.”

“What can you say?” Waters said. “He’s a man.”

He’s the man now. After the game, Johnson sat alone on the bench for a moment while his teammates celebrated. His jersey, once bright red, was the color of mud. He got a drink. He ran inside and sat on the training table and tried to get back the feeling in his feet and fingertips. He came out to the locker room, played some music on his iPod, signed a few autographs and posed for a few photographs. He did not want to talk to reporters. He had said it all on the field.

“Everybody, including the media, expects me to fold,” he said.

I don’t know who those media people were who expected Johnson to fold. But maybe to run like that in the fourth quarter, in that kind of cold, against that kind of defense, you need people to prove wrong. Johnson is good running angry.

Hey, whatever it takes. Still, Larry Johnson did more than run angry Sunday afternoon. In this game, when it came down to it, he ran patient. He really did wait for his blockers, really did stretch plays until something opened up. It was a breakthrough. When you’re that big, that strong, that fast, and also patient — well, Johnson said he frightened himself.

He frightened NFL defenders more. And the Chiefs are suddenly a contender.

Guru
12-05-2005, 02:30 AM
If the rest of the league hadn't noticed him yet, they will notice him now. He ought to be offensive player of the week again too.

tk13
12-05-2005, 02:39 AM
If the rest of the league hadn't noticed him yet, they will notice him now. He ought to be offensive player of the week again too.
Eh, Chris Chambers had like 2000 yards receiving this weekend. He'll probably get it. It definitely was his national coming out party though... maybe, I guess that could've been the Houston game, but they weren't the #1 run D.

huskerdooz
12-05-2005, 02:40 AM
If the rest of the league hadn't noticed him yet, they will notice him now. He ought to be offensive player of the week again too.

I concur, this wasn't your every day run of the mill Houston Texans defense he just ran roughshod over. This was the #1 run defense in the entire NFL this season. Like Joe Pos said, LJ got more yards in the 4th quarter than Denver's D has been allowing in entire games this season.

Guru
12-05-2005, 02:40 AM
Eh, Chris Chambers had like 2000 yards receiving this weekend. He'll probably get it. It definitely was his national coming out party though... maybe, I guess that could've been the Houston game, but they weren't the #1 run D.

That is the reason I feel he should get it. He did it to Denver. You have a good point though. I also noticed Lee Evans numbers. Good night!!!

the Talking Can
12-05-2005, 06:24 AM
Sure, Denver fans probably saw it differently. Oh, well. The Chiefs got the ball back, and then it was more Larry Johnson, 2 yards, then 16, then 6. In all, Johnson rushed 14 times in that fourth quarter for 90 yards. Amazing. That means in one extreme quarter, with the game close and the season at stake and the Broncos stacking everyone to stop him, Johnson ran for more yards than LaDainian Tomlinson, Tiki Barber, LaMont Jordan and, yes, Priest Holmes gained in entire games against the Broncos. After the game, everyone was in awe.

luv it....

Count Alex's Losses
12-05-2005, 06:33 AM
Larry Johnson ****ing rules.

siberian khatru
12-05-2005, 07:29 AM
Everybody stop hating on LJ!

AZORChiefFan
12-05-2005, 07:36 AM
Still not a believer. DAMMIT CARL YOU LOST SAMKON!!!!!!!!!














J/K LJ Kicks butt!

KCTitus
12-05-2005, 07:43 AM
“Everybody, including the media, expects me to fold,” [Johnson] said.

Not me....Larry is now the man in KC.

HemiEd
12-05-2005, 07:55 AM
Carl is a Genious (cp spelling)

Skip Towne
12-05-2005, 08:08 AM
LJ's got my vote.

KC Jones
12-05-2005, 08:18 AM
LJ was awesome - and for all the crap I've posted about him being a punk his post game quotes showed a lot of maturity. I hope we can sign him up long term when his contract is over.

MOhillbilly
12-05-2005, 08:19 AM
Dear Larry - yesterday i witnessed one of the gamest bids ive ever seen on a footballfield. (i dont know much but i know gameness when i see it)
You have the heart of a lion Larry.

NJ Chief Fan
12-05-2005, 08:32 AM
lj is the truth!!!!!!!!!!!!1111111111!!!!!!!!!!!!niner

bringbackmarty
12-05-2005, 09:03 AM
I wish on the play to Dee brown, they had faked to brown, and did a toss to trich. At least then it would have went for no gain, instead of a two yard loss,

Chief Henry
12-05-2005, 09:05 AM
It sure was nice to see the Starters on the Offensive line again alltogeather. Combine that with
the hard nosed running of LJ and a Defense with an Attitude.....well, just pinch me.

MOhillbilly
12-05-2005, 09:09 AM
I wish on the play to Dee brown, they had faked to brown, and did a toss to trich. At least then it would have went for no gain, instead of a two yard loss,


guy at work mentioned that he would have rather seen LJ make the first then take himself out.

anyone know how many runs LJ had in that series prior to him taking a breather?

Extra Point
12-05-2005, 09:12 AM
guy at work mentioned that he would have rather seen LJ make the first then take himself out.

anyone know how many runs LJ had in that series prior to him taking a breather?

All of 'em. I think six.

Notice that LJ gained more yards than Denver's RB's combined? Nice stat!!!

Raiderhader
12-05-2005, 11:08 AM
LJ did reach another level yesterday. His forcing himself to be patient and wait for his blockers was the one thing in his running game I was waiting for. He took that step yesterday, and it paid off for him and the team.

Great game, LJ.

MOhillbilly
12-05-2005, 11:27 AM
LJ did reach another level yesterday. His forcing himself to be patient and wait for his blockers was the one thing in his running game I was waiting for. He took that step yesterday, and it paid off for him and the team.

Great game, LJ.


How many plays in the first half could the gaymos D not bring LJ to the ground?

Thig Lyfe
12-05-2005, 11:29 AM
I concur, this wasn't your every day run of the mill Houston Texans defense he just ran roughshod over. This was the #1 run defense in the entire NFL this season. Like Joe Pos said, LJ got more yards in the 4th quarter than Denver's D has been allowing in entire games this season.

Most def. Hanging up 140 yards and 2 TDs on the top run D? That's player of the week material.

dtebbe
12-05-2005, 11:49 AM
If you think he's angry now, just wait until King Carl refuses to re-negotiate his contract... then to really see him pissed off, just wait for the francise tag....

One thing is for sure, LJ and King Carl are gonna slug it out soon.

DT

htismaqe
12-05-2005, 11:57 AM
If you think he's angry now, just wait until King Carl refuses to re-negotiate his contract... then to really see him pissed off, just wait for the francise tag....

One thing is for sure, LJ and King Carl are gonna slug it out soon.

DT

LJ and Carl love each other. Don't think Carl doesn't stick his grimy finger in Vermeil's face every day and say "I was right, you were wrong."

Raiderhader
12-05-2005, 12:09 PM
LJ and Carl love each other. Don't think Carl doesn't stick his grimy finger in Vermeil's face every day and say "I was right, you were wrong."


What exactly was DV wrong about? That we needed help on defense?

This whole situation is so f#cked up. In 2003 we were kept from the SB because of the D, which Vermeil wanted to draft for. Now, with Priest being hurt and in the twilight of his career, LJ looks like the right move.

In '03 LJ was the wrong pick. In '05 he was the right pick. Granted, had we drafted D in '03 it may not have made a difference, but who is to say for sure? We did win 13 games with the D we did have.

MOhillbilly
12-05-2005, 12:11 PM
What exactly was DV wrong about? That we needed help on defense?

This whole situation is so f#cked up. In 2003 we were kept from the SB because of the D, which Vermeil wanted to draft for. Now, with Priest being hurt and in the twilight of his career, LJ looks like the right move.

In '03 LJ was the wrong pick. In '05 he was the right pick. Granted, had we drafted D in '03 it may not have made a difference, but who is to say for sure? We did win 13 games with the D we did have.

Cheese will do for brains when you are lucky.

htismaqe
12-05-2005, 12:18 PM
What exactly was DV wrong about? That we needed help on defense?

This whole situation is so f#cked up. In 2003 we were kept from the SB because of the D, which Vermeil wanted to draft for. Now, with Priest being hurt and in the twilight of his career, LJ looks like the right move.

In '03 LJ was the wrong pick. In '05 he was the right pick. Granted, had we drafted D in '03 it may not have made a difference, but who is to say for sure? We did win 13 games with the D we did have.

Whether he was or wasn't the right pick is irrelevant.

Dick Vermeil was the one who inactivated Larry Johnson for an entire season in favor of Derrick Blaylock...

Raiderhader
12-05-2005, 12:25 PM
Whether he was or wasn't the right pick is irrelevant.

Dick Vermeil was the one who inactivated Larry Johnson for an entire season in favor of Derrick Blaylock...


Derrick Blaylock didn't exactly look like Donnell Bennett out there....

htismaqe
12-05-2005, 12:34 PM
Derrick Blaylock didn't exactly look like Donnell Bennett out there....

He didn't look like Larry Johnson, either.

Raiderhader
12-05-2005, 12:47 PM
He didn't look like Larry Johnson, either.


Larry Johnson didn't look like Larry Johnson when he first got on the field.


I'm not necessarily justifying DV's decisions so much as I am playing devil's advocate. As previously stated, this was/is a f#cked up situation all the way around.

penchief
12-05-2005, 01:21 PM
Larry Johnson didn't look like Larry Johnson when he first got on the field.


I'm not necessarily justifying DV's decisions so much as I am playing devil's advocate. As previously stated, this was/is a f#cked up situation all the way around.

Larry Johnson as a Penn State running back looked better than Blaylock as a Pro. The speed, power, open-field elusiveness, and determination were LJ's attributes then just as they are now. The onus was on Vermeil and Saunders to put their resentment aside and find a way to use those attributes to the benefit of the team which they didn't do until they looked foolish for not doing so.

JMO.

Dunit35
12-05-2005, 01:22 PM
He took his skills to another level, not just with his patience but with his blocking. Did anyone see him pick up some blockers on blitzes. I was very impressed with him doing that. I noticed on one play that Lynch brought the blitz and LJ stood him up.

htismaqe
12-05-2005, 01:45 PM
He took his skills to another level, not just with his patience but with his blocking. Did anyone see him pick up some blockers on blitzes. I was very impressed with him doing that. I noticed on one play that Lynch brought the blitz and LJ stood him up.

There was a play where he was knocked towards the sideline and the Denver LB hit him while he was standing there (he wasn't OOB, but he was close). He shrugged Williams off like a gnat and the LB hit him and Larry just kinda looked around like "did someone just hit me?"

ROFL

Raiderhader
12-05-2005, 01:50 PM
Larry Johnson as a Penn State running back looked better than Blaylock as a Pro. The speed, power, open-field elusiveness, and determination were LJ's attributes then just as they are now. The onus was on Vermeil and Saunders to put their resentment aside and find a way to use those attributes to the benefit of the team which they didn't do until they looked foolish for not doing so.

JMO.


How many times have you seen a Heisman winner turn out to be a bust in the NFL? Comparing LJ's college play to Blaylock's professional play is assanine, pure and simple.

CoMoChief
12-05-2005, 01:51 PM
I just remember yesterday at the game that everyone in the stadium was chanting his name. He had to of loved that. Maybe we keep doing that and he'll start to love playing in KC, because we all know that he's gonna hold out at some point, maybe even next season because he either wants to big payday or he wants out because he doesn't like the city.

Calcountry
12-05-2005, 02:02 PM
LJ's got my vote.Some of us were ready for him in the first Raider game. Glad to have the rest of you on board now.

Calcountry
12-05-2005, 02:03 PM
It sure was nice to see the Starters on the Offensive line again alltogeather. Combine that with
the hard nosed running of LJ and a Defense with an Attitude.....well, just pinch me.We earned a birth in round four of OUR playoffs this week. :D

Calcountry
12-05-2005, 02:06 PM
LJ did reach another level yesterday. His forcing himself to be patient and wait for his blockers was the one thing in his running game I was waiting for. He took that step yesterday, and it paid off for him and the team.

Great game, LJ.I knew it would come for him eventually. That was the only issue I had with him after the Patriot game, and he just took it up another level this week. The YOUNG MAN is getting better each week.

Calcountry
12-05-2005, 02:08 PM
What exactly was DV wrong about? That we needed help on defense?

This whole situation is so f#cked up. In 2003 we were kept from the SB because of the D, which Vermeil wanted to draft for. Now, with Priest being hurt and in the twilight of his career, LJ looks like the right move.

In '03 LJ was the wrong pick. In '05 he was the right pick. Granted, had we drafted D in '03 it may not have made a difference, but who is to say for sure? We did win 13 games with the D we did have.I think the best thing that could have happened to LJ is for him to have to fight to emerge from the shadow of another great back. It built some characther in him, which is sorely lacking in a lot of players in the NFL these days.

Calcountry
12-05-2005, 02:09 PM
He didn't look like Larry Johnson, either.LJ looked like shit 2 years ago?

penchief
12-05-2005, 02:13 PM
How many times have you seen a Heisman winner turn out to be a bust in the NFL? Comparing LJ's college play to Blaylock's professional play is assanine, pure and simple.

He definitely exhibited skills that Blaylock did not have. While Vermeil is always willing to tout the skills of lesser talented players he refused to nurture LJ's talent. He stuck him on the inactive list. I'm not saying LJ should have started from the get-go. What I'm saying is that the coaching staff could have done a better job nurturing that talent for the good of the team. But they didn't and there was really no good reason.

Every young player has areas which they can improve but good coaching staffs emphasize the positive and they put players in a position to succeed ultimately encouraging that player to grow and at the same time contribute to the team's success.

htismaqe
12-05-2005, 02:42 PM
LJ looked like shit 2 years ago?

What?

htismaqe
12-05-2005, 02:43 PM
How many times have you seen a Heisman winner turn out to be a bust in the NFL? Comparing LJ's college play to Blaylock's professional play is assanine, pure and simple.

Who said anything about accolades? We're not talking about Gino Toretta.

Larry Johnson displayed capabilities in college that led many people to believe Larry could dominate in the NFL. Those people were 100% dead-on RIGHT.

Boyceofsummer
12-05-2005, 03:10 PM
in regards to being surrounded by Johnson County Republicans.

YOU DA MAN!

penchief
12-05-2005, 04:49 PM
Larry Johnson displayed capabilities in college that led many people to believe Larry could dominate in the NFL. Those people were 100% dead-on RIGHT.

.......except it wasn't evident to a coaching staff that supposedly nurtures players through positive reinforcement and prides itself in being offensive gurus?

Deberg_1990
12-05-2005, 05:32 PM
LJ looked like shit 2 years ago?

No he did not. He was just being buried by DV on the inactive list. I remember his 1st TD of his career in that game against Detroit in Dec of 03. It was a quite an amazing run where he started on one side of the field and then cut back over to the other side to finish.

Tuckdaddy
12-05-2005, 05:50 PM
LJ was awesome - and for all the crap I've posted about him being a punk his post game quotes showed a lot of maturity. I hope we can sign him up long term when his contract is over.

I have also slammed LJ for his attitude but he's turning into a team player. LJ is a monster and we were crazy for slamming on Carl for drafting him.

Calcountry
12-05-2005, 05:58 PM
What?He looked green, hesitant, and couldn't hit the holes.

Of course, nothing that a lot of game reps at the NFL level wouldn't fix for a talent like him. But the point is to win games.

He wasn't getting very many reps 2 years ago either, but the few he got, he didn't look that good on. I am not saying tha the talent wasn't there, just the greenness.

Calcountry
12-05-2005, 06:06 PM
No he did not. He was just being buried by DV on the inactive list. I remember his 1st TD of his career in that game against Detroit in Dec of 03. It was a quite an amazing run where he started on one side of the field and then cut back over to the other side to finish.I believe I remember that play, he looked pretty damned relieved to have gotten his first TD in the NFL out of the way too. Garbage time against a chitty opponent IIRC.

The kid has come a long way, now he is the man, and is proving every game that he can handle the load of this Franchise.

Respect doesn't come easily from me, but LJ is earning mine. It doesn't come from pissing and moaning at the coaches because you think you are the man just because you are from Penn State and #1 pick and shit. It comes from grabbing hold of your opportunity when it is presented to you and making the most of it, which he has done every time Priest has went down.

I will go so far as to say, him having to battle that spot away from Priest, a sports legend as far as KC Chiefs are concerned, has broadened this kids potential to be a truely great NFL running back.

Keep running angry LJ.

Count Alex's Losses
12-05-2005, 07:11 PM
He shrugged Williams off like a gnat and the LB hit him and Larry just kinda looked around like "did someone just hit me?"

ROFL

That's DJ Williams, the second-best DJ in the AFC West. :)

elvomito
12-06-2005, 08:26 PM
Eh, Chris Chambers had like 2000 yards receiving this weekend. He'll probably get it. It definitely was his national coming out party though... maybe, I guess that could've been the Houston game, but they weren't the #1 run D.from foxsports:
Chambers had 238 yards, but he only caught 15 of the 26 passes thrown to him, and his fumble in the first quarter set up Buffalo's first touchdown.

milkman
12-06-2005, 10:22 PM
from foxsports:
Chambers had 238 yards, but he only caught 15 of the 26 passes thrown to him, and his fumble in the first quarter set up Buffalo's first touchdown.

Damn, they threw to him 26 times?

WTF were the other receivers?

LJ was dominating on Sunday.

That was reminiscent of the kind of games that Earl Campbell used to have.