Thursday, November 5, 2009
By Bill Williamson
Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson
These fans are not alone. There is a petition against Johnson making the rounds.
Kansas City Chiefs fans have spoken about running back Larry Johnson and they don’t have much good to say.
This week’s sound-off question asked if the Chiefs fans wanted the team to cut ties with Johnson or give him another chance. Johnson is serving a suspension this week after using gay slurs and questioning Kansas City coach Todd Haley’s credentials. Johnson has also had off-field issues in the past while with the Chiefs.
Nearly every Chiefs fan who responded wants him to be shipped out of town. Not only has Johnson been a distraction off the field, but Johnson, who’ll turn 30 this month, has slowed down on the field. These fans are not alone. There is a petition against Johnson making the rounds.
I understand why fans feel this way. The combination of Johnson’s off-field issues and on-field lack of production doesn’t make him very attractive in Kansas City.
Below are some of your responses. Thanks to everyone who responded:
Eric from Kansas City, MO: Larry Johnson has got to go. I cannot stand the thought of him becoming the Chiefs' all-time rushing leader this season. I have gone through my boys' closets and threw the two Johnson jerseys that were hanging there in the trash after his latest outburst/whine. This guy has been nothing but problem #1 in the clubhouse since he was drafted. If the Pioli/Haley regime is serious about 'character' of players then he should never play another game for this once-proud franchise.
Mike M from Omaha, NE: It is time to let go of the Larry Johnson era in K.C. this guy has been nothing but a problem for the Chiefs the past few seasons with all of his off the field issues. It is one thing if you are voicing your displeasure and putting up numbers but this guy is doing nothing of the sort. All that being said I do not think that we have a better option at RB but the ends doesn't meat the means at this point.
Eric Owens from Orange, TX: Pioli & Haley need to send this cancer packing! His off the field behavior has been appalling, and his on the field performance does not come anywhere near justifying the headache (or his paycheck). LJ still has a chance to be productive somewhere behind a significantly better O-line, but given the weakness of the Chiefs' line, they'd be better served by somebody like Charles who seems to have the capability to be more elusive rather than LJ's plodding style.
Rob from Union, NJ: Hi Bill. As a life-long Chiefs fan, I believe that they have to move on from Larry Johnson. Johnson gave the team some good years, but his time has passed, and his attitude doesn't help his case. I think the Chiefs owe it to the fans to move on, so that they can evaluate the young running backs already on the roster. Thanks.
John O from Dallas, TX: I hope LJ never plays another down KC. I'm sick of his antics, his attitude, and they way he falls down and plays dead in front of every defender like he's sliding into first base. He's been worthless since he got the big payday.
Clint from KCMO: If larry could run the ball as much as he runs his mouth maybe he could be more productive than 2.5 yards a carry and would at least have a touch down by now. I say dump him let see what Jamaal Charles can do given an adequate opportunity.
Drew from Iowa City, Iowa: I really think that Larry Johnson has had all the chances he deserves at Kansas City. To me, I think it would be best if the team said their goodbyes and went forward with Kolby Smith and Jamaal Charles. However, I could understand the team waiting through this weekend to see how Kolby Smith performs before letting Johnson go. I feel like Johnson is past his prime, and there is no real reason for the Chiefs to hang to a locker room distraction especially when their offensive line has played so poorly. I think that Kolby Smith and Jamaal Charles can easily match the dismal performance of Johnson this far through the season. Although the performance may not be entirely his fault, again, there's no reason to hang on to such a distraction and bad example for all the young players on this team.
David from Kansas City: I might be in the minority on this one, but I want LJ to stay a Chief. I like to watch football, I'm not friends with the players, and they are not in my life. What they do off the field is simply not a big priority to me. I like to see the product on the field. Of course there would be a line where a players off field actions would be so offensive that allowing them to continue would not be an option, but LJ is not there. I think many more would share my sentiment if LJ was producing, but since he has not been they want him gone. I believe that LJ is every bit as good as he once was, when there are holes he hits them, and he hits them hard. There simply more times than not are no holes, Jim brown and Barry Sanders combined would be relegated to pedestrian behind this line. He is almost 30 but he is in impeccable shape. Time will tell, but I think Todd Haley and Pioli realize the kind of back he can still be, and aren't going to run off a good player for no compensation. Get an o-line in KC and you will see a very talented, bruising tailback almost 30 or not.
Daniel from, Lawrence, KS: I have been the biggest LJ apologist in the Greater KC area. I believed him when he said he was excited about this season. I have finally reached my limits. Priest Holmes and Marcus Allen were great players and they were stand up citizens off the field. They both love KC and come back often. Holmes was just honored a few weeks ago. I can't bear the thought that LJ would break the rushing record set by Holmes. I honestly couldn't see LJ ever coming back after he retires and speaking to how he loves the fans. If LJ stays with the team, and breaks the rushing record, I hope it's met with a chorus of Boos.