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View Full Version : Chiefs Teicher: Chiefs make Larry Johnson a factor again


Tribal Warfare
09-29-2008, 02:26 AM
Chiefs make Larry Johnson a factor again (http://www.kansascity.com/sports/story/818074.html)
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star

Two weeks after saying he was being phased out of the Chiefs’ plans, Larry Johnson doesn’t feel like that anymore.

A 28-carry, 198-yard, two-touchdown game will do that for a guy.

The Chiefs used Johnson like at no other time this season Sunday in their 33-19 win over Denver at Arrowhead Stadium. They were able to get an early lead and, though they later trailed briefly by a point at one juncture and were tied at another point, they stayed close, so Johnson for the first time all season was always a factor.

“We wanted to enhance our running game and get back to what we do the best,” Johnson said. “This is a new offense, new personnel, a new team. We definitely had to work at it and find out what we were actually good at and get back to what we do the best, which is run the football.”

The Chiefs and Johnson continued what they started in the second half of last week’s game in Atlanta. Although they were hopelessly behind the entire 30 minutes, Johnson carried the ball 17 times for 102 yards.

“I thought we finished our blocks, and we’re starting to learn how to run the ball,” coach Herm Edwards said. “I thought we ran the ball last week, and while we didn’t win the game, we did some things running in the second half and we built on that. That was our mind-set.

“The only way you can run effectively is if you don’t get behind. We weren’t behind, and we kept running it. That was our whole emphasis. It was a close game, and we wanted to stick to it. We didn’t get down by two scores or anything like that. That was our plan.”

The offensive line also had its best game of the season despite losing rookie tackle Branden Albert late in the first half because of an elbow injury.

“It really doesn’t matter what Larry does,” guard Brian Waters said. “He’s the only position on the field that depends solely on everybody else. When we do our jobs up front, he’s going to have a better day.”

It certainly matters to Larry what Larry does. Johnson carried for a 3-yard gain on the game’s first play from scrimmage and busted a 65-yard run on the next snap.

“It helped everybody … understand we could run the ball,” Johnson said.

Even without the big stats, Johnson looked more like himself than he had all season. He was involved in trash talk from an early point, mostly with Denver cornerback Dre’ Bly.

Johnson, ever with the long memory, was trying to get even for insults Bly sent his way in 2003, when Johnson was a rookie playing sparingly and Bly played for Detroit.

“When I was getting scrap time, he would bust on me about Penn State running backs being busts and like that,” Johnson said. “I definitely wanted to go after him for that.”