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Wile_E_Coyote
04-16-2006, 12:16 PM
Catching up with elusive runner

Nice guy found at an egg hunt

Chiefs’ Johnson shows softer side on kids Easter outing

By ELIZABETH MERRILL

The Kansas City Star

A dark Mercedes SUV rolled in shortly after 12:30 p.m. Saturday, fashionably late, and the mob subsequently followed. Kids screamed. Mothers fumbled for their cameras.

“That’s him right there,” a dad in a Chiefs jersey said to his young daughter as he pointed to the end of the parking lot.
“Oh my gosh,” she gasped.

Larry Johnson stepped out, a starter after 2 1/2 seasons riding the bench, a star after roughly 10 years of snubs. He scooped up a young boy, twirled him in the air and hustled off to his Easter egg hunt.

If Johnson keeps this up, he’ll ruin his reputation. Remember angry L.J., the brooding, brash, tattooed and tortured soul who yearned to play while Priest Holmes got all the love and the carries? He was fiddling with Easter eggs on Saturday and kissing babies. Remember the large chip on his shoulder?

It was gone Saturday, replaced by a softer, fuzzier side that Johnson doesn’t reveal very often. Last Thanksgiving, he quietly bought food for a shelter downtown and served up dinner minus the cameras. He adopted three families for Christmas. And while L.J. emerged as the hottest young back in the NFL, clicking off nine straight 100-yard games while Holmes was out with a neck injury, he canned the press releases and clammed up with the local media.

He wanted his play on the field to do the talking. But Johnson did talk Saturday afternoon, answering about seven questions before being whisked away by a PR person. He called his late-season tear “fun.” He said he was ready when new coach Herm Edwards told him he’d be the starting running back heading into training camp.

“That’s what I’ve believed since I got here,” Johnson said. “That was going to be my position. It was just a matter of time.”

This will undoubtedly be a huge transition year for Johnson, who’s 26. After spending much of high school, college and the first part of his professional career as the hungry backup bent on proving himself, Johnson now must summon a different motivation. And he’ll do it without his close friend and mentor, veteran fullback Tony Richardson, who recently signed with the Vikings.

Richardson, Johnson said, was like a big brother. He understood his aggressiveness and desire to prove that he was the best. Now Edwards has asked Johnson to be a team leader. Johnson softly said that he’s not the type to bark out orders. If the Chiefs are going to follow him, they’ll do it by watching him.

“He’s been here every day, working, doing the right things, saying the right things,” said Edwards, who showed up to help at Johnson’s charity event Saturday. “And I think that’s important.

“Even this. This is part of the leadership. When you put on something like this and your teammates are involved … these are the things players need to be. It’s part of being a professional.”

Since the start of offseason workouts last month — which are voluntary
— Johnson has been around most mornings, trying to build on a Pro Bowl season. He racked up 1,750 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2005, and he did it in just nine starts. Offensive lineman Jordan Black said recently that he senses the Chiefs will revert more to a smash-mouth, run-it-down-your-throat mentality in 2006.

That obviously has something to do with Johnson, who bulled his way through tackles and averaged 5.2 yards a carry.

“We’ve got the best running back in the NFL,” linebacker Boomer Grigsby said. “He is the man, and I don’t think he’s changed in the slightest. He still comes to work every day with the same attitude as he did before, wanting to be the best. What makes him so great is that natural kind of chip he holds on his shoulder in order to run people over.
“I don’t think he’ll ever lose that chip. Never.”

Not even on a carefree spring day when L.J. looked anything but menacing and angry. His mom, Chris, said Johnson has a way with children because his dad used to be an elementary school teacher.

“Everyone was young once and enjoyed Easter egg hunting. I did until I was almost 16 or 17,” Johnson said. “I know it sounds ridiculous, but I love Easter egg hunting.”

He laughed. For one day, he was a kid. And that was OK with L.J.

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/football/nfl/kansas_city_chiefs/14352603.htm

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Count Zarth
04-16-2006, 01:11 PM
He's a big jerk. Just ask Taco.


I don't personally believe that Larry Johnson really wants to be in Kansas City... Especially not at the level he is being paid now. Add to that the firing and hiring of a new agent, and I can't help but raise my eyebrows.

Does it mean anything? Maybe not. But that's not been my experience as an observer of this league.

No one can bring this stuff up and expect to be very popular. Especially when you bring TO's name into it. But one thing that LJ has made clear since joining the Chiefs is that he's only concern is LJ. And with the situation being how it is, I see a lot of motivation for LJ to make a play for more money.

philfree
04-16-2006, 01:16 PM
We need Holmes to comeback and pressure LJ but it is nice to see this side of LJ.

PhilFree:arrow:

big nasty kcnut
04-16-2006, 01:24 PM
Lj is the man. Also Priest will be back.

Chan93lx50
04-16-2006, 01:29 PM
He's a big jerk. Just ask Taco.


What? Taco speaks only the truth!

Wile_E_Coyote
04-16-2006, 10:01 PM
was dropping T-Rich a savvy move? LJ doesn't have Tony to lean on, now he has to step up and be the man, challenged

elvomito
04-16-2006, 10:20 PM
oh shit, just realized we have an offensive coordinator who sucks when roaf isn't in his line... anyone ever ask him specifically why he failed with black etc?

Valiant
04-16-2006, 10:33 PM
oh shit, just realized we have an offensive coordinator who sucks when roaf isn't in his line... anyone ever ask him specifically why he failed with black etc?


I don't know either to laugh at your sig or well.. err laugh... that shits funny...

T-post Tom
04-16-2006, 10:37 PM
More hard-hitting journalism from the Star. :shake:

dtebbe
04-17-2006, 07:58 AM
Catching up with elusive runner

Nice guy found at an egg hunt

Chiefs’ Johnson shows softer side on kids Easter outing

By ELIZABETH MERRILL

The Kansas City Star


“Everyone was young once and enjoyed Easter egg hunting. I did until I was almost 16 or 17,” Johnson said. “I know it sounds ridiculous, but I love Easter egg hunting.”

He laughed. For one day, he was a kid. And that was OK with L.J.

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/football/nfl/kansas_city_chiefs/14352603.htm

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Ok, now the truth comes out. LJ is really making an easter egg sign when he scores a TD... And to think all you fools thought it had something to do with hip hop clothing...

DT

Skip Towne
04-17-2006, 09:22 AM
I will assure you that I won't be the guy who kicks him in the nuts.

chagrin
04-17-2006, 09:56 AM
More hard-hitting journalism from the Star. :shake:

Chicks and sports writing do not mix

PunkinDrublic
04-17-2006, 10:18 AM
Ok, now the truth comes out. LJ is really making an easter egg sign when he scores a TD... And to think all you fools thought it had something to do with hip hop clothing...

DT

I heard he flashed the diamondcutter sign every time he found an easter egg before the kids.

Kerberos
04-17-2006, 11:40 AM
I will assure you that I won't be the guy who kicks him in the nuts.


Whats the matter Skip .... Not able to RUN as fast as you used to?

Kick him SQUARE in the nuts and you might get a 30 second head start if he ain't wearing a CUP. :hmmm:


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