The League

Chris Richardson
National Blogger

Chris Richardson

The lead writer for IntentionalFoul.com.

LJ's revenge

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After finally being shown the door by the Kansas City Chiefs, the question is, will Larry Johnson be given a chance to continue his career? The answer is, provided you've been following along with the NFL, pretty obvious. A number of teams have already been linked to Johnson, making his "chance at redemption" seem highly likely, if not set in stone.

Considering the fact we support a league that showed Michael Vick -- perhaps the most infamous dog owner ever -- an immediate welcome mat when his prison sentence was fulfilled, Johnson getting a yet another opportunity to run the ball is a given.
Do not, for one second, think calling someone a homophobic slur will trump a perceived ability to put the ball in the end zone, whether or not said perception is even accurate. If a franchise thinks Johnson can help them win, his Twitter/coach-blasting outburst will be forgotten. Sure, a few fans might make a sign or two, protesting Johnson's presence -- well, as long as he's not a Washington Redskin -- but again, as soon as he crosses the goal line, memories will fade rather quickly.

However, the question isn't whether or not Johnson will be given the chance to play; instead, does Johnson bring enough as a player to even warrant a tryout, let alone a coveted roster spot?

A quick glance at Johnson's stats reveals a lot. Besides his two glory years of 2005/2006, Larry "The Roc" Johnson has not broken the thousand yard mark in any season. Sure, during his first few years, he was splitting time with Priest Holmes, but the numbers don't lie. Johnson is a shell of a player that rushed for over 3500 yards and 37 touchdowns over that two-season stretch, one that's been so pedestrian since, he's liable to fall over if an opposing tackler so much as breathes on him. But that won't stop various coaches and GMs seeing a player who might still be capable of improving a rushing attack. Conversely, knowing Johnson's pattern of behavior in Kansas City, it wouldn't be a bit surprising if he was signed by a contending team and decided to give maximum effort again.

If that does indeed happen -- Johnson morphing into a productive back again -- it will be the final slap in the face of a ravenous fanbase who supported him throughout his childish legal issues and petulant reactions to criticism. With that in mind, don't be surprised if Johnson makes a late run at the Pro Bowl, something I honestly think would be done to spite his previous employers and fans. His track record of pettiness stretches far longer than any apologies he's given.

By Chris Richardson  |  November 11, 2009; 12:08 PM ET  | Category:  Kansas City Chiefs , Washington Redskins Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: LJ's numbers don't lie | Next: Anything's Possible

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I agree entirely with your opinion of Larry Johnson. The Redskins already have Clinton Tortoise. Why would they want another worn out, unproductive, overpaid running back.

Now, if he was heathly and Washington had an offensive line that could open up truck-size holes, that might be a different story.

There are many homophobic players with lousy work habits and poor attitudes in this league. Good assistant coaches can handle these players. But Washingon doesn't have a good coaching staff and Johnson would only cause more problems there.

Bad teams are bad in part because they've lost their focus. Larry Johnson needs a special situation to extend his career. He would only add to the distractions for a struggling team.

He could contribute on teams like San Diego or New England. They each have a decent offensive line and good assistant coaches. They would also benefit from a healthy power back.

Posted by: dan_and_vinny_suck | November 11, 2009 8:42 PM

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