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Bob Dole
12-07-2005, 06:56 AM
By DOUG TUCKER
AP Sports Writer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. Great running backs seem to follow Priest Holmes everywhere he goes.

Holmes was an established college star at Texas when a future Heisman Trophy winner named Ricky Williams showed up and stole the spotlight.

A few years later at Baltimore, after Holmes had put together a 1,000-yard season and been declared a top-flight NFL back, the Ravens drafted Jamal Lewis. Quickly beating Holmes out of his job, Lewis zoomed to stardom and led the league one season with 2,066 yards rushing.

So, Holmes again went looking for a home. He found one in Kansas City and wound up scoring an NFL-record 27 touchdowns in 2003. But something else also happened that year. The Chiefs drafted running back Larry Johnson in the first round.

Since Holmes was sidelined earlier this season with head and neck trauma, Johnson has stepped in and rushed for more than 100 yards for five straight weeks and helped propel Kansas City (8-4) into the playoff chase.

During the past three games, starting with a team-record 211-yard effort at Houston, Johnson has amassed 470 yards. After spending the first half of the season sharing carries with Holmes, the hard-running, 230-pounder has rocketed to sixth among the league's top rushers with 1,108 yards. His per-carry average of 5 yards is exceeded by only one of the top 20 rushers.

With a tough and angry running style that seems to reflect his personality, the muscular and heavily tattooed Penn State product has led the NFL since Nov. 1, with 709 yards.

"There's been some unbelievable (running backs) Gale Sayers, Marshall Faulk," coach Dick Vermeil said Tuesday. "This guy is, I think, going to go into that category one day."

A rare combination of power and speed, Johnson seems to have added the one ingredient he had been missing: cunning. Twice while running for 140 yards last week against a Denver defense that had been giving up fewer than 80 yards a game, he stopped, let his blockers regroup, then broke free.

On one of those runs, he went 4 yards for what turned out to be the winning touchdown.

"I think he could become a dominating type player," Vermeil said, "because of the physicalness within his framework. And he has great stamina."

So what does Johnson think? Well, it's hard to know.

The sometimes-moody running back has been refusing to talk with most members of the media. He granted an interview to the Chiefs' radio network after the Denver game and said his patience "kind of shocked me."

"That's not really my thing, my character," he said. "I felt I was out of character, bouncing out, and after a while I got comfortable with it. Of course, on that last touchdown, I had it, was being patient and keeping with it, really frightening myself. There was a time I would have turned inside and gotten tackled. But I had patience and came out there with the rest of the boys."

One reason for his hostility toward the media may be the way he has been treated in regard to several controversies, including Johnson being characterized as frequently at odds with Vermeil, who publicly chided him during his rookie season to "take off the diapers."

Johnson has indicated he'll bolt the Chiefs as soon as his contract expires after the 2007 season.

But Vermeil insists all is fine.

"I've been a fan of Larry Johnson's for a long time," Vermeil said.

For two years, Johnson sulked about having to play behind Holmes. Many wrote him off as just a hotheaded kid who didn't know what he was talking about. But now that he has gotten his chance to be the featured back, he has backed up everything he said and then some.

"I predicted what Larry would be in his rookie year, sitting behind closed doors," Vermeil said. "The only thing I asked him to do was be patient and take the time it takes to become what you have the ability to be.

"He was very impatient. Part of it was caused by his passion to play the game. Part of it was caused because we had a great running back in Priest Holmes."

If Holmes decides to resume his career next year, he'll have quite a battle on his hands. Or maybe he'll move on somewhere else. He's done it before

Source (http://www.statesman.com/sports/content/shared-gen/ap/General_Football_News/FBN_Chiefs_Johnson__Holmes.html)

KC Jones
12-07-2005, 07:03 AM
Johnson has indicated he'll bolt the Chiefs as soon as his contract expires after the 2007 season.

This has been my thought all along ever since the diaper comments and all of the other fallout. I think he pretty much hates it here. The 2007 franchise tag has his name written all over it.

jcl-kcfan2
12-07-2005, 07:50 AM
I don't remember seeing where he actually said that, LJ that is. Probably just more media buildup.

huskerdooz
12-07-2005, 07:51 AM
The 2007 franchise tag has his name written all over it.

That's a pretty safe bet.

Ralphy Boy
12-07-2005, 07:57 AM
I seem to remember him acknowledging that he and Carl are attached at the hip.

Brock
12-07-2005, 09:21 AM
NFLPA says his contract goes until 09. Not to mention that if Larry thinks he can dictate where he plays, he's a fuggin moron.

StcChief
12-07-2005, 12:00 PM
NFLPA says his contract goes until 09. Not to mention that if Larry thinks he can dictate where he plays, he's a fuggin moron.
LJ run the ball, help win, stay out of Jail.

Be ready to say 'show me the money' when your time comes.

It's all about what have you done to earn. Here or anywhere in NFL.

Attitude is part of the game as well. Take a lesson from TO.

Simply Red
12-07-2005, 12:06 PM
LJ run the ball, help win, stay out of Jail.

Be ready to say 'show me the money' when your time comes.

It's all about what have you done to earn. Here or anywhere in NFL.

Attitude is part of the game as well. Take a lesson from TO.


BRILLIANT :bravo:

Skip Towne
12-07-2005, 12:31 PM
NFLPA says his contract goes until 09. Not to mention that if Larry thinks he can dictate where he plays, he's a fuggin moron.
Tell that to Elway.

Tribal Warfare
12-07-2005, 12:34 PM
Like many I've been pondering the LJ situation, and come to the realization that part of his angst is youth. The guy wants to be kid, wanting to party all night and so on. I remember rumors that Gonzo wanted out KC, and as a FA wanted to go to a west coast team. He "intended" to go to for the very same reason LJ wants to spilt, and that's the party scene in a bigger metropolis. Concerning LJ distaste of KC, that will be quelled with more experience as a starter, and proper mentoring that T-rich is providing as we speak.

Ultimately, LJ will mature, and it may take time. The guy is still a kid, and wants to live it up as indicated. Johnson shall wise up, because of possibly endorsement deals, and being a new face of dominant RBs in the league. Indeed some of the issues he comments on could discourage individuals, but these people have to realize the guy is still learning how to deal with situations in the lime light.