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Old 07-03-2006, 08:23 AM  
Kerberos Kerberos is offline
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GRETZ: Larry Johnson #1 - Running to 2,000 Yards

http://www.kcchiefs.com/news/2006/07...to_2000_yards/




In his fourth season of scholastic football at State College High School, Larry Johnson ran for 2,159 yards over 12 games for the Little Lions.



In his fourth season of playing college football at Penn State University, Johnson ran for 2,087 yards over 13 games for the Nittany Lions.

This is Larry Johnson’s fourth year of pro football.

Will the four-year trend of 2,000-yard seasons continue in 2006 with the Chiefs? Will L.J. join what is a very exclusive group of backs that have run for that magical total?

First, understand that Johnson knows there will be plenty of talk about getting to 2,000 yards based on how he finished up last season with his remarkable run of nine-games with 100-plus yards.

But know this: reaching 2,000 yards is not a pre-season goal for the Chiefs running back.

“Two-thousand yards is very reachable, but everything has to click. It has to be the right time for the running back and it has to be the right time for the team,” Johnson said.

“I really want to get to the Super Bowl. I want to walk around with my Super Bowl ring like everybody else does, and kind of sit on the plane, and put my arm on the arm rest and have that big Super Bowl ring and have somebody ask ‘Oh, OK you were part of the Super Bowl champs.’

“You get more respect being a Super Bowl champion than you do for being a Super Bowl champion of somebody’s fantasy league.”

A year ago this kind of talk about Johnson’s production would have been considered fantasy. He was just looking to get on the field. A season with 1,000 yards seemed an unreachable goal.

Then came the neck injury suffered by Priest Holmes and Johnson’s ascension to full-time status. He grabbed his opportunity and ran hard with it, showing the entire NFL that there was a new offensive force in Kansas City.

Last year, Johnson’s nine-game run produced 1,351 yards, or an average of 150.1 yards per game. Now, project that over a full 16-game season and L.J.’s total yardage would reach 2,401 yards. That would shatter the NFL record for rushing yardage set by Eric Dickerson in 1984 of 2,105 yards.

Over 16 games, a back would have to average 125 yards per game to hit 2,000 yards. To break Dickerson’s record, a back would have to average 132 yards per game.

After what he did over the second half of last season, it all seems very doable for Johnson.

“Looking at what he (Dickerson) did in that season and looking at what I did, they were so similar, maybe it (2,000-plus yards) could have happened last year if I started the whole season,” Johnson said. “As far as Eric Dickerson’s record, I don’t know if I really want to break it because I have so much respect for Eric Dickerson.

“When they bring those records up, those guys names stay alive. As soon as you break them, nobody talks about them. When Walter Payton was approaching Jim Brown’s record (career rushing yards), everybody talked about Jim Brown, Jim Brown, Jim Brown. Then when he broke it, all the talk was about Walter Payton and nobody wanted to talk about Jim Brown.

“I have so much respect for those guys, Dickerson, Payton, Brown, Earl Campbell. I shouldn’t be on a list with those guys. Put me on a separate list of guys who have done things like that in the last five years.”

More math: Johnson averaged 5.2 yards per carry last season and over his NFL career, his average is 5.08 yards per carry. If he maintains that rate in the coming season, it would take 394 carries to reach the 2,000-yard plateau.

Last year, he carried the ball 336 times, so he would need about four more carries per game. Understand that he averaged just eight carries per game over the first four weeks of the season and that would seem to be an easily reachable number. In fact, it would break down to 25 carries per game over the 16-game season.

Over the last nine games of the ‘05 season, Johnson averaged 29.5 carries per game.

The rest of the Chiefs think 2,000 yards is very possible.

“Can he do it? Absolutely,” said guard Brian Waters. “But there’s a lot of things that have to go right. And he needs some help, not just from the offensive line, but from Eddie Kennison, Tony Gonzalez and the passing game.

“Getting everything to fall together isn’t easy, or you would see it happen all the time.”

Coming on Wednesday: It’s not easy to run for 2,000 yards. We’ll look at those backs and teams that have made rushing history.
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Old 07-03-2006, 08:33 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rxrider
http://www.kcchiefs.com/news/2006/07...to_2000_yards/
“I have so much respect for those guys, Dickerson, Payton, Brown, Earl Campbell. I shouldn’t be on a list with those guys. Put me on a separate list of guys who have done things like that in the last five years.”
I LOVE this quote.
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Old 07-03-2006, 08:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rxrider

“Looking at what he (Dickerson) did in that season and looking at what I did, they were so similar, maybe it (2,000-plus yards) could have happened last year if I started the whole season,” Johnson said. “As far as Eric Dickerson’s record, I don’t know if I really want to break it because I have so much respect for Eric Dickerson.

Liar.
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Old 07-03-2006, 09:08 AM   #4
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If he does, we're it the playoffs. That's all i care about.
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Old 07-03-2006, 09:09 AM   #5
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LJ will probably break his leg first game.
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Old 07-03-2006, 09:19 AM   #6
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OHS no, not a positive LJ article. Are his homies going to question his street cred?
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Old 07-03-2006, 09:19 AM   #7
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Old 07-03-2006, 09:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOhillbilly
LJ will probably break his leg first game.
Opening the door for Dee Brown to rush for 2,000 yards.
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Old 07-03-2006, 09:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOhillbilly
LJ will probably break his leg first game.
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Old 07-03-2006, 09:24 AM   #10
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all this 2000 yrd talk is some seriously bad mojo
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Old 07-03-2006, 09:53 AM   #11
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I agree with Mr. Laz. This is a jinxmobile looking for a place to crash.

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Old 07-03-2006, 10:23 PM   #12
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LJ will rack up 3200 yards and 56 TD's, thats my guess.
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Old 07-03-2006, 10:31 PM   #13
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I like that he seems to be keeping it within the team perspective of winning the Super Bowl. I think his success and the team's will be inextricably linked this season, but 2,000 yards isn't a must for the team to be successful, IMO. It might even become an unnecessary distraction
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Old 07-03-2006, 10:46 PM   #14
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I'm not sure I want him to rush for 2000 yards unless he averages at least 6 yards a carry. Going for 2000 generally doesn't bold well for the long term productivity of a running back. I mean, obviously you aren't going to repeat that, but you look at guys like Terrell Davis and Jamal Lewis that did it, and they crashed hard after the 2000 yard season. Barry Sanders did it, but he was a different kind of RB, and averaged over 6 yards a carry.

Dickerson and OJ Simpson both faired better, although both of them took a dip the season after 2000. The season is probably longer and more physical now. Plus OJ averaged 6 yards a carry.

As great as he was, LJ only averaged 5.2 ypc.... he'd need exactly 384 carries at that pace to get 2000. That'd be the 13th most all time, which would put him in the company of a lot of guys who went downhill fast after a big-carry season... Jamal Anderson, T. Davis, Eddie George, Jamal Lewis, Barry Foster. Of course Eric Dickerson is up there about 3 times too, he handled it a lot better.

Hopefully Gretz' Dickerson comparison ends up being right on. They did average similiar yards per game... but LJ had a ton of carries. Even though he only started half the season, LJ ended up with about 30 less carries and over 350 yards less than Dickerson's record season. Not quite as similiar as the article makes it out to be.
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Old 07-03-2006, 10:51 PM   #15
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I could care less if he rushes for 2K as long as we do well in the playoffs.

Personally, I think Gretz should be shot for this article. Talk about jinxing it early.

Of course, I think Carl's hentchman reporter should always be shot.
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