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Tribal Warfare
10-12-2009, 11:54 PM
Running game with LJ has ground to a halt (http://www.kansascity.com/sports/chiefs/story/1505014.html)
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star

The last couple of seasons haven’t been happy ones for running back Larry Johnson, but he hasn’t seen hard times like these.

Johnson is again far down the NFL’s list of top rushers, only with numbers that reflect futility more than a lack of activity.

With 93 carries, he is fifth among backs, but only 26th in yardage.

His per-carry average of 2.4 yards is the lowest among the league’s top 50 rushers.

Johnson had perhaps his roughest game of the year in the Chiefs’ 26-20 overtime loss Sunday to Dallas. He had just 37 yards, once a quarter’s worth of work for Johnson.

Coach Todd Haley indicated Monday that he’s not inclined to make a change at running back anytime soon, saying Johnson’s struggles may be a factor of the larger offensive problems around him.

“The kid ran hard,” Haley said. “He stuck it in there. He needs a little help, too.”

In that, Haley referred to an ineffective offensive line that has largely been unsuccessful in creating significant running space for Johnson. The Chiefs finished the Dallas game without left tackle Branden Albert, who was on the sideline because of an injured ankle.

Haley was hopeful Albert would play in Sunday’s game at Washington, saying Albert was close to returning to the lineup late in the Cowboys game.

“We taped him up a couple of times,” he said. “He tried to come back in. It just wasn’t meant to be.”

At running back, one option for the Chiefs is to give more playing time to Jamaal Charles. But the Chiefs so far at least have mainly resisted the idea of using Charles as anything but a third-down or change-of-pace back. He’s been handed the ball just 15 times in five games.

The Chiefs will get another option beginning next week when Kolby Smith becomes eligible to return to practice and the active roster. Largely forgotten outside of Chiefs headquarters since he tore ligaments in his right knee halfway through last season, Smith could eventually get a look at least as a part-time back.

“I feel good,” Smith said. “It’s just a matter of once you get back on the field going through contact to see how the knee feels then. That’s when we’ll decide whether I’m ready to go or not. Whenever they say I can play, I’ll be out there. I want to make sure I’m right before I come back.”

Since the start of training camp, Smith conditions in a corner of the Chiefs practice field while his teammates go through drills. Part of his ritual includes running up a steep, grassy slope adjacent to the practice field the Chiefs have come to call Priest Holmes Hill for the former running back who regularly scaled its heights.

“Running up that hill,” Smith said, “it will get you right.”

Smith took over as the Chiefs’ featured back for several games in 2007 after injuries knocked out both Johnson and Holmes. He had a 150-yard, two touchdown game that season against Oakland.

For now, at least, the Chiefs are committed to making their running game work with Johnson. It clearly hasn’t so far, but Haley said that is far from being only Johnson’s fault.

He indicated the Dallas game was one of Johnson’s best this season. He praised Johnson’s pass protection, which has been a deficiency in his game. Haley said Johnson twice effectively picked up a Dallas blitz.

“It’s a little bit misleading because we threw a couple of swing passes that ended up being counted as runs, specifically the one for the big (7-yard) loss,” Haley said. “There was really nothing he could do about that. Those hurt your numbers. They hurt his numbers. I know that’s discouraging at times for a running back to come in and see the average he saw.

“It wasn’t all great, but Larry was an important part of us being in a position to win.”

salame
10-12-2009, 11:59 PM
I really liked LJ but he really seems like a shadow of his former self

Tribal Warfare
10-13-2009, 12:03 AM
I really liked LJ but he really seems like a shadow of his former self

This year was the first time I thought that LJ was out of gas and running like an old man.

T-post Tom
10-13-2009, 12:13 AM
Teicher has mastered the art of reporting w/o reporting. At this point, Brian Shay > Kolby Smith.

teedubya
10-13-2009, 12:23 AM
Hell Ricky Williams is like 5 years older than LJ... and he was tearing it up on MNF.

DaneMcCloud
10-13-2009, 12:28 AM
Hell Ricky Williams is like 5 years older than LJ... and he was tearing it up on MNF.

Ricky Williams is a freak.

Ricky Williams is a wasted talent.

The guy didn't care about football, quit, smoked pot and traveled. He played in the CFL. He just broke the all-time TD and rushing record for the Dolphins franchise in just a few seasons.

If he had his priorities and passion in place, he'd have challenged the All-Time rushing and TD record.

As it stands, he'll be known as a good RB, but a weird guy.

It's a waste.

kcxiv
10-13-2009, 04:00 AM
wrong thread.

CoMoChief
10-13-2009, 06:20 AM
As bad as this Oline is....LJ is not the kinda RB that would be successful in this offense.

There's always an opposing DL in the backfield almost as soon as the ball is hiked.

We need a RB that can make the first cut and make a guy miss, then explode through a hole.

LJ is type of runner who is just a straight forward runner. Which is ok if you had DV's Oline. This Oline sucks so fucking bad a lot of times he has to work his ass off just to get 1-2 yards.

chief husker
10-13-2009, 06:44 AM
LJ is done. I'm excited to see Smith back and for Charles to get more carries. Our O line doesn't give old LJ enough time to get his wheels going.

Reerun_KC
10-13-2009, 07:20 AM
LJ is done. I'm excited to see Smith back and for Charles to get more carries. Our O line doesn't give old LJ enough time to get his wheels going.


Tires are flat...

wild1
10-13-2009, 07:28 AM
I don't think he runs the same way as he used to, but the offensive line is just awful. He's not running as hard, but maybe on most plays he just realizes it doesn't matter. He can't shake off the 3 guys who penetrate the offensive line on every play. It's hard to blame him after a time.

Baby Lee
10-13-2009, 07:40 AM
Tires are flat...

Ironically, low tire pressure helps traction in a straight line.

http://www.dragstuff.com/techarticles/images/videocameras/launch1.jpg

Reerun_KC
10-13-2009, 07:45 AM
Ironically, low tire pressure helps traction in a straight line.

http://www.dragstuff.com/techarticles/images/videocameras/launch1.jpg


Nice Chevelle... That was LJ before he got paid by King Carl

Now LJ is more like this...

http://www.chevelles.com/showroom/data/500/DayOne.jpg

ThunderChief
10-13-2009, 07:51 AM
I see none of the former explosiveness in LJ's running. Used to be that he could stutter-step in the hole, plant a foot and explode past a would be tackler, through the line and into the opponent's backfield. Those days are gone and no amount of Haley spin control is going to change what we can all see with our own eyes.

The good news is that RBs are generally available and I have to think there are better guys out there on the beach right now than what we're seeing out of LJ and the rest of the Chief's stable of RBs.

NOT All-Pro types of RBs obviously, but better than what we're seeing. That said, until the Oline comes together, a reincarnate Gale Sayers would be challenged to make an impact just now. Well, check that. Sayers in his prime would make even this unit look good, but you get my point?

Micjones
10-13-2009, 07:57 AM
Hopefully Kolby Smith can give us something when he returns.

Radar Chief
10-13-2009, 08:00 AM
So NFL Network was showing the last time the Boys and Grief’s met in ’05 and it was interesting to watch the contrast in line play.
In ’05, even though the Grief’s lost, Larry had a big game. Thing is, on most plays he wasn’t getting touched until he got to the second level, linebackers at least. He scored on a play about 20 yards out where he went untouched all the way into the end zone. Contrast that to this year and Larry has to evade tackles in the backfield.
Not that Larry hasn’t slowed, he’s showing the wear and tear, but Barry Sanders wouldn’t have a much better average behind this line.

Reerun_KC
10-13-2009, 08:27 AM
So NFL Network was showing the last time the Boys and Grief’s met in ’05 and it was interesting to watch the contrast in line play.
In ’05, even though the Grief’s lost, Larry had a big game. Thing is, on most plays he wasn’t getting touched until he got to the second level, linebackers at least. He scored on a play about 20 yards out where he went untouched all the way into the end zone. Contrast that to this year and Larry has to evade tackles in the backfield.
Not that Larry hasn’t slowed, he’s showing the wear and tear, but Barry Sanders wouldn’t have a much better average behind this line.


Yeah your right, Barry Sanders had zero vision and cutback ability...

KCUnited
10-13-2009, 08:42 AM
Larry's a long strider, if he doesn't have room to extend he's ineffective. He shouldn't even be run out there with this team.

nychief
10-13-2009, 08:43 AM
what happened to the jackie battle hype? I was hoping to see more of him...now watching LJ's reanimated corpse run... I am still wondering about mr. battle.

Radar Chief
10-13-2009, 08:56 AM
Yeah your right, Barry Sanders had zero vision and cutback ability...

Didn’t Barry hold the record for most plays run for a loss?
Doesn’t matter, Barry isn’t the point, the Grief’s weekassed offensive line is. Barry was thrown out as an exaggerated to make a point example.

Reerun_KC
10-13-2009, 09:00 AM
Didn’t Barry hold the record for most plays run for a loss?
Doesn’t matter, Barry isn’t the point, the Grief’s weekassed offensive line is. Barry was thrown out as an exaggerated to make a point example.agree the line is much better with Goff out and Allenman in...

But LJ is done, regardless of the line, he isnt going to play like he did a couple of years ago... Just not going to happen... No matter how much GoChiefs slobbers on his sack...