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Guru
10-05-2007, 01:14 AM
http://www.kansascity.com/sports/chiefs/story/304256.html

JOE POSNANSKI COMMENTARY
Posnanski: Itís time for LJ to take off his diapers


Every so often as a citizen, it is important to do some community service. Sometimes this means supporting a great fund-raiser like the Harvesterís Dan Quisenberry golf tournament or buying garbage bags from kids so they can buy uniforms for the high school band. Sometimes this means writing an annual column that will tick off Larry Johnson.

It really is for the better good.

Everybody understands that Chiefs running back Larry Johnson runs his best when angry. This has been the subject of about 394 newspaper and magazine stories ó the chip on LJís shoulder has its own press agent. Johnson, you know, made the superstar scene about three years ago, shortly after his coach, Dick Vermeil, said it was time for him to take off the diapers and play.

This made Johnson extremely mad. You would think Vermeil called him a baby or something. Oh wait, I guess you could read it that way. Anyway, Johnson hit the field like Clint Eastwood walking into the saloon at the end of ďUnforgiven.Ē

He was running behind a well-oiled offensive line then, sure, but he also smashed into holes. He scored two touchdowns in five straight games. He was fueled by his rage, hunger, and he powered through tackles, and he fought for every yard like the football field was his inheritance.

LJ became the starter in 2005 and rushed for 1,750-plus yards two straight seasons, scored 37 touchdowns those two years, looked liked a modern day Jim Brown.

Then he became famous. Hung out with rappers. Did soup commercials. Rung the bell at the stock market. Held out for a big contract. Got a big contract. Made a grand entrance for the HBO cameras.

And, all of a sudden, guess what: Itís time for LJ to take off the diapers again.

Sunday, the Chiefs had their most surprising victory in, what, 10 years? More? They were two-touchdown underdogs playing at San Diego against a Chargers team that was looking to put a hurting on somebody. The Chiefs fell behind 10-0, and the game was so over the stadium operations people sent out the cleaning crew. Then, as you know, the Chiefs pulled off some sort of $125-a-night Vegas magic act ó the defense got nasty, Dwayne Bowe and Tony Gonzalez got busy, and LJ finished off the stunning victory by gaining a few yards.

After the game, the Chiefsí locker room was about as joyous as Iíve ever seen.

And Larry Johnson stormed off and refused to talk to the news media.

Now, most of the time, I donít care when athletes refuse to talk to reporters after a game. Thatís their business. Some athletes donít feel comfortable talking to the press. Some feel like theyíve been burned by the media, and they want to burn back. Some players are usually accommodating, but every so often they have a bad day ó thatís understandable. Iíve started working out with a trainer this week, and Iím in so much pain I donít feel like talking to my own wife. So I can understand being a tad grumpy after getting hit by men roughly the size of Schwanís trucks.

This was different: The Chiefs had won. They had, for the time being, saved their season. They had even moved into first place in the AFC West. It was all good. And then Johnson pulled his grumpy J.D. Salinger act. Why? Well, his own teammates, (some on the record like Brian Waters, some off the record) suspected it was because Johnson was frustrated that he didnít put up big numbers.

This is bad. Very bad. The Chiefs win a huge game, Johnson rushes for 123 yards (most of them at the end of the game, but still) and heís stomping around? This is like Chapter 1 in the How to be a Bad Teammate book. It might even be the introduction.

Truth is, Johnson has been acting like this all season. He had that bizarre rap-song episode where he may or may not have said ďbleep Carl Peterson,Ē (if it wasnít him, there are only about 1.96 million suspects in the greater Kansas City area). Johnson threw the ball to the ground in Chicago because he didnít like the play calling. He publicly called out his coaches with his own version of the Nixon Checkers speech, (ďItís not a chess game,Ē he said. ďItís checkers. When theyíre looking for the run, you pass. When theyíre looking to pass, you run.Ē)

In other words, LJ has been a pain in the neck all season. And itís one thing to act the superstar when you are playing like a superstar. Johnson isnít. His numbers are way down (3.5 yards per carry says a lot), and while itís easy to say thatís entirely because of a struggling offensive line or play calling, it also seems to me that Johnson is not running the same. Heís dancing around, waiting around, looking around for the big run rather than just putting his head down and blasting through.

Things are different for LJ now. He signed a big-money contract in the offseason, and his status changed along with his tax bracket. Heís a star now. Heís a leader, like it or not. Heís a guy everyone on the team studies. Heís a top pick in all the fantasy leagues. Heís the jersey fans buy. Everybodyís watching. Heís hurting himself by pouting over his numbers or whining over play calls or storming out after huge victories.

As one Chiefs insider says: ďLarry needs to be very careful now. People donít want to hear him complaining. People want to see him performing.Ē

Personally, I think he will perform. He just needs a little help. People forget that Johnson started slow last year, too. He had back-to-back weeks against Pittsburgh and Arizona where he had 62 yards ó combined.

Thatís when I wrote the first annual, ďLetís get LJ angryĒ column. He ran for 132 yards that Sunday, 155 yards the next week, 172 yards the week after. Iím not saying that it was because of the column. No, Iím just saying, ďHey, LJ, take off the diapers, pal.Ē

hermhater
10-05-2007, 01:19 AM
Low blow.

I hope it works though.

Polleo Pit Man
10-05-2007, 01:22 AM
Nice! Good work.

Chiefster
10-05-2007, 02:05 AM
As one Chiefs insider says: ďLarry needs to be very careful now. People donít want to hear him complaining. People want to see him performing.Ē

For 45 million, he better perform.

tornadospotter
10-05-2007, 02:25 AM
Low blow.

I hope it works though.
May be a good spanking to get him and the O line going! Of course after we pass the dang ball.

Guru
10-05-2007, 02:54 AM
May be a good spanking to get him and the O line going! Of course after we pass the dang ball.
Are you volunteering for the job?

rbedgood
10-05-2007, 02:54 AM
Are you volunteering for the job?

Don't ask...Don't tell

Guru
10-05-2007, 03:04 AM
Don't ask...Don't tell

I didn't know you were Mr. Clinton in disguise.

anaeelbackwards
10-05-2007, 03:08 AM
larry johnson cant help that his o-line isn't the o-line it was when he first started or when they were blocking for priest... big will is not there and thats a big minus out of a that solid line that was last year. they just need to get off that mans back! :toast2:

rbedgood
10-05-2007, 03:14 AM
I didn't know you were Mr. Clinton in disguise.

Hey I'm 6'2"...no need for low blows...

hermhater
10-05-2007, 03:34 AM
larry johnson cant help that his o-line isn't the o-line it was when he first started or when they were blocking for priest... big will is not there and thats a big minus out of a that solid line that was last year. they just need to get off that mans back! :toast2:

Post of the month right there fellas!

Polleo Pit Man
10-05-2007, 03:59 AM
Post of the month right there fellas!
Which will ? Shields or Roaf? Good point!:bananen_smilies046:

Guru
10-05-2007, 04:00 AM
Hey I'm 6'2"...no need for low blows...

Smokem if you got em.

hermhater
10-05-2007, 04:01 AM
Smokem if you got em.

Not sure if this says it right, but AHEM!

tornadospotter
10-05-2007, 04:07 AM
Are you volunteering for the job?
I here by nominate Canada for that Job! We can pay him with :bananen_smilies046:

Guru
10-05-2007, 04:33 AM
Not sure if this says it right, but AHEM!

Cigars.

chief31
10-05-2007, 07:16 AM
larry johnson cant help that his o-line isn't the o-line it was when he first started or when they were blocking for priest... big will is not there and thats a big minus out of a that solid line that was last year. they just need to get off that mans back! :toast2:

I wouldn't blame it on him. But I also never wanted to give him all the credit he has claimed, for the previous seasons. I had wanted to see us trade him away, during the offseason, because of how high his percieved value was. I felt that his numbers would not compare this season, nor in future seasons.

I have no complaints about anything he has, or hasn't, done this season. But I thought it was innevitible, that we would over-pay for the guy. He is not so good a runningback, as to accomplish the same type of season, without the same talent-level, on the offensive line.

sling58
10-05-2007, 07:55 AM
I am glad someone is trying to light a fire again with Lj. It is completely his fault he has a 3.5 yard average. I will agree with him not running behind the greatest line also. But for $45 mil, he better aquire a few more bruises running into those holes.

m0ebr0
10-05-2007, 04:58 PM
LJ will breakout this game. Jax will need to defend the pass so LJ will do better. He will start running peeps over again now that he remembers what thats like.

m0ef0e
10-05-2007, 05:01 PM
I am glad someone is trying to light a fire again with Lj. It is completely his fault he has a 3.5 yard average. I will agree with him not running behind the greatest line also. But for $45 mil, he better aquire a few more bruises running into those holes.

Agreed. I want to see the same LJ all game that I saw on the last drive for the Chiefs in sandy eggo last week. He was throwing d-backs around like his old self. I agree with the article. Get him mad. I want to see that power-running style he came into the league with. Especailly since our line is not as good as it was. LJ will open it up again and people will once again be saying, "My God, look at that guy run. Wow! He just threw that guy out of the way like a rag-doll! LJ is the man!!!"

timsatt1
10-05-2007, 07:46 PM
what can i say? i mean i hate to actually say this, but I called it. Before it was ever in the media, I called it. Why was I able to call this? well first off i attend the school of Advanced Conservative Studies. Second of all, I just KNEW it,

Let's go back to the time where we just got our first win against The Vikes and we are now 1-2. This is about the time all the fighting occured, one of the main topics was about Larry Johnson. I was saying that he never was as good as people perceived, and that he got to where he was today because of the O line in the past. I said he is not mobile at all, can't make the first man miss...EVER cause he cannot make a cut. A straight runner only. Ok...that is nothing, that isnt what I called.

I also talked about the kind of player he was. He plays for himself, not for his team.

HERE IS WHAT I SAID. I SAID AFTER THE VIKINGS WIN, HE DIDNT EVEN CELEBRATE. It did not matter that he won, he was concerned with HIM, not with the team. He doesnt even [play for the Chiefs....he plays for LJ.

so you all that still want to ride his #$# can keep on doing so, but why root for a guy that doesn't even play for your team?

this stuff doesnt piss you off as a Chiefs fan???? WOW!

again, I called it before it even came out in the press, only thing is i called it a week before..when we beat the vikings, now it is coming out after the Chargers win, Chiefs are playing well and Larry is not happy.

...but he will have his "breakout game" coming up lol.

how? is he all the sudden going to be able to cut and juke ppl out? no. The offensive line is good. They just arent GREAT like they use to be. Larry is overrated. Chiefs are good. Larry is average. I called it...so far he hasnt done anything to prove otherwise....so ill keep this LJ topic going...yeah i know this message I am writing right now is going to get under some ppls skins here, but i called it the way it is still currently going, now the media is writing the words to the tee that I said almost 2 weeks ago.

I hope he proves me wrong, but until then, I am right.

NO, San Dieggo wasnt a breakout game...it was simply a good game for LJ...not a bad game, not a great game. A good game.

sling58
10-06-2007, 08:44 AM
what can i say? i mean i hate to actually say this, but I called it. Before it was ever in the media, I called it. Why was I able to call this? well first off i attend the school of Advanced Conservative Studies. Second of all, I just KNEW it,

Let's go back to the time where we just got our first win against The Vikes and we are now 1-2. This is about the time all the fighting occured, one of the main topics was about Larry Johnson. I was saying that he never was as good as people perceived, and that he got to where he was today because of the O line in the past. I said he is not mobile at all, can't make the first man miss...EVER cause he cannot make a cut. A straight runner only. Ok...that is nothing, that isnt what I called.

I also talked about the kind of player he was. He plays for himself, not for his team.

HERE IS WHAT I SAID. I SAID AFTER THE VIKINGS WIN, HE DIDNT EVEN CELEBRATE. It did not matter that he won, he was concerned with HIM, not with the team. He doesnt even [play for the Chiefs....he plays for LJ.

so you all that still want to ride his #$# can keep on doing so, but why root for a guy that doesn't even play for your team?

this stuff doesnt piss you off as a Chiefs fan???? WOW!

again, I called it before it even came out in the press, only thing is i called it a week before..when we beat the vikings, now it is coming out after the Chargers win, Chiefs are playing well and Larry is not happy.

...but he will have his "breakout game" coming up lol.

how? is he all the sudden going to be able to cut and juke ppl out? no. The offensive line is good. They just arent GREAT like they use to be. Larry is overrated. Chiefs are good. Larry is average. I called it...so far he hasnt done anything to prove otherwise....so ill keep this LJ topic going...yeah i know this message I am writing right now is going to get under some ppls skins here, but i called it the way it is still currently going, now the media is writing the words to the tee that I said almost 2 weeks ago.

I hope he proves me wrong, but until then, I am right.

NO, San Dieggo wasnt a breakout game...it was simply a good game for LJ...not a bad game, not a great game. A good game.

I don't give a crap if he plays for himself or not. Sure it sucks if he isn't a team player at times but if he gets mad and plays for himself then he will find the endzone and we (the team) will get the 6. As long as he is in the Red and Gold and has the Arrowhead with KC in it on his helmet I WILL ROOT FOR HIM no matter how straight on he runs.

m0ef0e
10-06-2007, 03:51 PM
Juke?? Cut?? LJ runs people over. The most awesome thing to watch when he runs is how he keeps running and holding onto the ball while throwing d-backs around with his free arm. LJ is a monster!

hermhater
10-06-2007, 05:14 PM
Juke?? Cut?? LJ runs people over. The most awesome thing to watch when he runs is how he keeps running and holding onto the ball while throwing d-backs around with his free arm. LJ is a monster!

He controls where the play ends.

None of that dancing around crap and losing yards. No one drives LJ back once he has gotten up to full steam!

chief31
10-06-2007, 06:19 PM
what can i say? i mean i hate to actually say this, but I called it. Before it was ever in the media, I called it. Why was I able to call this? well first off i attend the school of Advanced Conservative Studies. Second of all, I just KNEW it,

Let's go back to the time where we just got our first win against The Vikes and we are now 1-2. This is about the time all the fighting occured, one of the main topics was about Larry Johnson. I was saying that he never was as good as people perceived, and that he got to where he was today because of the O line in the past. I said he is not mobile at all, can't make the first man miss...EVER cause he cannot make a cut. A straight runner only. Ok...that is nothing, that isnt what I called.

I also talked about the kind of player he was. He plays for himself, not for his team.

HERE IS WHAT I SAID. I SAID AFTER THE VIKINGS WIN, HE DIDNT EVEN CELEBRATE. It did not matter that he won, he was concerned with HIM, not with the team. He doesnt even [play for the Chiefs....he plays for LJ.

so you all that still want to ride his #$# can keep on doing so, but why root for a guy that doesn't even play for your team?

this stuff doesnt piss you off as a Chiefs fan???? WOW!

again, I called it before it even came out in the press, only thing is i called it a week before..when we beat the vikings, now it is coming out after the Chargers win, Chiefs are playing well and Larry is not happy.

...but he will have his "breakout game" coming up lol.

how? is he all the sudden going to be able to cut and juke ppl out? no. The offensive line is good. They just arent GREAT like they use to be. Larry is overrated. Chiefs are good. Larry is average. I called it...so far he hasnt done anything to prove otherwise....so ill keep this LJ topic going...yeah i know this message I am writing right now is going to get under some ppls skins here, but i called it the way it is still currently going, now the media is writing the words to the tee that I said almost 2 weeks ago.

I hope he proves me wrong, but until then, I am right.

NO, San Dieggo wasnt a breakout game...it was simply a good game for LJ...not a bad game, not a great game. A good game.

If you're about done "patting yourself on the back"... Several people around here (Myself included) have been saying that since the end of last season. But, yeah, congrats on the late call. You just knew it all, after three bad games, where the rest of us only knew it several months before that.:trophy:



I don't give a crap if he plays for himself or not. Sure it sucks if he isn't a team player at times but if he gets mad and plays for himself then he will find the endzone and we (the team) will get the 6. As long as he is in the Red and Gold and has the Arrowhead with KC in it on his helmet I WILL ROOT FOR HIM no matter how straight on he runs.

I feel the same way, about rooting for LJ. But, I don't have to like him, and I feeel no regret about having wanted the Chiefs to trade him away during the offseason. He was so incredibly overrated that there was never a better time to trade a player away. The whole world seemed to believe that he was a monster, where I thought he was a guy who was running behind a monster of an O-line. Take away the monster, (O-line) and all that is left is a guy.


Juke?? Cut?? LJ runs people over. The most awesome thing to watch when he runs is how he keeps running and holding onto the ball while throwing d-backs around with his free arm. LJ is a monster!

I will give LJ some credit. He doesn't "run over" anyone, but he is exceptional at spinning, squirming and stretching for the extra yard.

m0ef0e
10-06-2007, 06:21 PM
I will give LJ some credit. He doesn't "run over" anyone, but he is exceptional at spinning, squirming and stretching for the extra yard.

I've seen him step in the center of a linebacker's chest on the way to the end zone after the guy tried to tackle LJ one on one. If that's not running somebody over, I don't know what is.

hermhater
10-06-2007, 06:23 PM
I've seen him step in the center of a linebacker's chest on the way to the end zone after the guy tried to tackle LJ one on one. If that's not running somebody over, I don't know what is.

He is just what I like to see in a RB, all power and no BS.

He wears his emotions on his sleeve and there is never any second guessing this guy.

Give him anything close to a hole and he will run over anyone stupid enough to get in his way.

And he can hair tackle!

m0ef0e
10-06-2007, 06:24 PM
He is just what I like to see in a RB, all power and no BS.

He wears his emotions on his sleeve and there is never any second guessing this guy.

Give him anything close to a hole and he will run over anyone stupid enough to get in his way.

And he can hair tackle!

:lol: :lol: I remember that!

m0ebr0
10-06-2007, 06:36 PM
Its better to have a back run straight forward then have a back run sideways. Intead of trying ot make a great ru nevery play and not getting anything LJ gets a little all the time.

He does run people over. I have seen so many dbacks square up to him and he just lays them out. Hes a power runner not a jukester. He doesnt need to run side to side.

timsatt1
10-06-2007, 07:02 PM
Its better to have a back run straight forward then have a back run sideways. Intead of trying ot make a great ru nevery play and not getting anything LJ gets a little all the time.

He does run people over. I have seen so many dbacks square up to him and he just lays them out. Hes a power runner not a jukester. He doesnt need to run side to side.


he does get a little all the time? if a little means -1 yards, then you are right! :sign0098:

he has been stopped in the backfield MANY MANY TIMES. Some ppl, LT for example, are able to juke out the first man that goes unblocked...in that case scenerio.

but im not going to get in a debate about LJ. LJ isnt worth the debate.

m0ebr0
10-06-2007, 07:05 PM
he does get a little all the time? if a little means -1 yards, then you are right! :sign0098:

he has been stopped in the backfield MANY MANY TIMES. Some ppl, LT for example, are able to juke out the first man that goes unblocked...in that case scenerio.

but im not going to get in a debate about LJ. LJ isnt worth the debate.

Is that why LT has less yards than LJ?

timsatt1
10-06-2007, 07:11 PM
Is that why LT has less yards than LJ?


...well if you want to play that game, we can.

LT is a different kind of RB than Johnson and more effective because of it.

LJ only has 1 more rushing yard this year than LT...but if you add total yards, since LT gets a lot of his yards from passes, IT ISNT EVEN CLOSE!!!

m0ebr0
10-06-2007, 07:20 PM
...well if you want to play that game, we can.

LT is a different kind of RB than Johnson and more effective because of it.

LJ only has 1 more rushing yard this year than LT...but if you add total yards, since LT gets a lot of his yards from passes, IT ISNT EVEN CLOSE!!!

This all about runs man. U said that LJ gets stopped and said that LT can juke out. 1 yard is 1 yard. Except for 1 TD LJ has been a more productive runner then LT so far this year.