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Old 12-23-2010, 03:56 AM  
Tribal Warfare Tribal Warfare is offline
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Teicher: Chiefs’ Charles joins Titans’ Johnson among elites

Chiefs’ Charles joins Titans’ Johnson among elites
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star

Tennessee running back Chris Johnson was disappointed to learn the bongo drums he used as a prop after scoring a touchdown against the Chiefs two years ago have since been removed from Arrowhead Stadium.

“But I can’t be too disappointed,” said Johnson, who was fined by the league for his impromptu celebration that day. “That’s $15,000 more I get to keep in my pocket.

“I could say it was worth it. Any time you’re fined $15,000, it’s always a hard thing. At the end of the day, I’d have to say if I had the chance to do it again or if I could take that back, I wouldn’t take it back. I would still do it.”

Johnson will find a more formidable rush defense waiting for him Sunday when the Titans are at Arrowhead to play against the Chiefs. He will also find a Chiefs counterpart in Jamaal Charles who is threatening to take away Johnson’s unofficial title as the NFL’s most spectacular running back.

Charles is third in the NFL with 1,303 rushing yards or 36 more than Johnson, who is fourth. But Charles has 79 fewer carries than Johnson and a stunning 6.4-yards per carry average.

Both players are also heavily used by their respective teams as pass receivers. And they’re so close in their size (under 200 pounds) and abilities that the only thing separating them Sunday is the color of their uniforms.

“There are some similarities between the two,” Chiefs coach Todd Haley said. “They both came out the same year. We were out in Arizona and we were real interested in trying to find a back.

“They’re both obviously really fast. They’re built similarly. They’re explosive and quick. They’ve both got good hands. They both can do a lot of things for you.”

Charles is fast, but not as fast as Johnson, who ran a 4.24 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL’s scouting combine, an unofficial record.

“Man, that will be a good race,” Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson said. “Jamaal is a Texas guy, I want to say Jamaal, but I’ve got to give it to Chris Johnson, just a little bit. They’re both great backs. We’re going against Chris this week. It’s going to be a hard task to stop him, but hopefully, Jamaal has a better game.”

Chris Johnson saw the highlight of Charles getting caught from behind by St. Louis defensive back Ron Bartell on his 80-yard run last week. Johnson appeared to take delight in that event, chuckling as he was asked about it and saying Bartell never would have caught him.

But Charles may have caught Johnson as the league’s best big-play runner. Johnson rushed for 2,006 yards last season and talked openly of going over 2,500 this year.

In that light, his season has been disappointing.

“Every defensive coordinator is trying to stop me,” Johnson said. “Of course it’s going to be hard to do what I did last year.

“I wouldn’t say I’m having a bad year at all. If you look at me, I’m still up there (near) the top.”

Johnson had a midseason stretch where he rushed for more than 100 yards in just two of five games. He was the victim of Tennessee’s offensive collapse around him.

But Johnson is starting to come around just as the Titans’ offense is improving. With star wide receiver Kenny Britt returning from an injury and veteran Kerry Collins stabilizing the quarterback position, Johnson went over 100 yards in each of the last two games while the Titans scored 59 points.

Collins missed practice Wednesday because of a finger injury on his passing hand, jeopardizing his ability in Sunday’s game.

“He’s still the same back,” Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher said. “Our difficulties stem from the uncertainty at the quarterback position with the injuries and such. Teams are going to do whatever they can to shut down the running game. We were unable to effectively put the ball down the field for a number of weeks.

“We’re getting back to that now. His numbers are starting to improve. He’s still been effective. We’ve had a number of games where his carries were down because we got behind. We started a rookie quarterback at Houston and he got six or seven carries.

“It’s been a team situation as opposed to an individual situation.”

Johnson outplayed Charles in the Titans’ 34-10 victory two years ago at Arrowhead. Charles, who played little as a rookie, rushed for 17 yards and caught four passes for 26 more.

Johnson shared the featured back spot with LenDale White and ran for 168 yards, including the 66-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter that led to his drum-playing celebration.

The 2008 season produced a lot of painful memories for the Chiefs, who finished 2-14 and wound up losing their coach when Herm Edwards was fired.

Few memories were more bitter than the one of Johnson playing the bongos.

“I remember a lot of things,” Derrick Johnson said. “That part I tried to forget.”
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Old 12-23-2010, 04:06 AM   #2
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“I remember a lot of things,” Derrick Johnson said. “That part I tried to forget.”
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Old 12-23-2010, 04:08 AM   #3
Tylerthigpen!1! Tylerthigpen!1! is offline
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I wonder what made Jamaal go in the third round?
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Old 12-23-2010, 04:12 AM   #4
Tribal Warfare Tribal Warfare is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tylerthigpen!1! View Post
I wonder what made Jamaal go in the third round?
It seems like Charles may not be the brightest light bulb in the fair.
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Old 12-23-2010, 04:17 AM   #5
Thig Lyfe Thig Lyfe is offline
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I was at that game. Thiggy ran for a touchdown. I apologize to anybody who may have been in my "splash zone" after that one.
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Old 12-23-2010, 05:34 AM   #6
Sweet Daddy Hate Sweet Daddy Hate is offline
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I can't believe Bartell caught up to him. ****er.
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Old 12-23-2010, 07:06 AM   #7
beach tribe beach tribe is offline
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When Johnson is no longer effective, Charles will still be hitting Homeruns, AND the Chiefs will probably win more PO games than CJ.

When i tried to say this earlier in the season, people called me stupid, and said, If you have a great player, you use him, and give him the ball more. So when you a GREAT home run hitter like JC or CJ do you think it's better to run him into the ground, or keep him explosive for as long as you can? Don't Know? Todd Haley does.
The argument I got was "RB grow on trees, you run them into the ground, and then find another one." Guess what people JCs & CJs don't grow on trees. If you get one, use it wisely.
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Old 12-23-2010, 07:28 AM   #8
KC_Lee KC_Lee is offline
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One item that nobody seems to see down here in Nashvagas is the there is no change of pace back to compliment CJ. The Titans don't have that big back that will bang it up the middle to get the tough yards. Johnson is a home run hitter back but unless you have a hole for him he won't break through a line.
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Old 12-23-2010, 08:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROR View Post
I can't believe Bartell caught up to him. ****er.
Charles was clearly cramping up by the end of that run. He had been having problems all game and you could see him start to slow around the 10 yard line.
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Old 12-23-2010, 09:31 AM   #10
InChiefsHell InChiefsHell is offline
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Charles was clearly cramping up by the end of that run. He had been having problems all game and you could see him start to slow around the 10 yard line.
Yep. And he laid there for a few minutes after the run. It was the second time in the game he cramped up, so I'm convinced that was the reason he got caught. A normal run like that for Charles is 6 points easy.
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Old 12-23-2010, 09:48 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by ROR View Post
I can't believe Bartell caught up to him. ****er.
The only reason he caught him is because he was cramping up. If you watched Charles right after the tackle you could see him trying to move his legs for a few seconds and couldn't.
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Old 12-23-2010, 09:49 AM   #12
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The only reason he caught him is because he was cramping up. If you watched Charles right after the tackle you could see him trying to move his legs for a few seconds and couldn't.
**** , I reposted !
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:02 AM   #13
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Quote:
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I can't believe Bartell caught up to him. ****er.
JC started cramping towards the end of the run. You could see him slow down significantly. Under normal circumstances, nobody is getting Charles from behind.
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:09 AM   #14
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They shouldve kept lendale.
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:09 AM   #15
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I can't believe Bartell caught up to him. ****er.
I'm pretty sure he was cramping up. Just in case no one has said that yet.
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