Just two days after being released by the Kansas City Chiefs, embattled running back Larry Johnson has yet to be picked up by any team in the National Football League. Rather than reinstating Johnson following his recent suspension for belittling head coach Todd Haley on LJ’s Twitter account, the Chiefs decided to part ways with the former Pro Bowler out of Penn State.
Johnson joined The Dan Patrick Show on Tuesday to talk about what he’s learned from the situation in Kansas City, what aspects of being in K.C. he enjoyed, why he doesn’t think he has anger issues, why he commends Todd Haley for shaking things up in Kansas City, and why he thinks some team should take a chance on him.
On what he learned from this whole ordeal in Kansas City:
“I just learned as being in a remaking process and a remolding process, what Todd and Scott apparently wanted to do with this team, I commend them as far as what they wanted to do with this team this year. It’s just for me personally, it just felt like it was just time. I just felt like I gave Kansas City all that I had as far as being on the field and being upbeat. It was just, like I said, it was just time. Sometimes you just feel when a relationship is done, it’s just time to step away and sit back and watch those guys really take over and do the things they need to do with that organization to turn it around.”
On if it’s fair to say he was happy to be out of Kansas City:
“I didn’t necessarily want out of Kansas City. I loved it as far as my teammates, coming into the locker room, those guys, I think the most funniest, humorous guys I’ve ever been around. It was just great for me to come in the locker room and being with those teammates and being with those players, especially knowing that me and Brian Waters were basically the only guys there long enough to be there since Dick Vermeil was there. So for me, I took some type of pride of walking in there and knowing that. And it was just great to try to be the older guy in the locker room that’s there for the younger guy.”
On if and why he was unhappy in Kansas City, which most everybody in their right mind would believe he was:
“No I don’t think that was the accurate description. I think it was perception more than it was reality. I wasn’t upset. If anybody likes losing, they shouldn’t be playing this game or any game in matter of fact. It’s just for me, it left a bad taste in my mouth every game we were losing. Every game, and every situation was different, but it just felt like you were useless, it felt like you weren’t doing enough for the team to put them in a position to win. And if I was frustrated and upset, it was mainly with myself. Because you feel like for every carry you have to go 60, 70, 80 yards because that’s what it was going to take for us to have a chance, a great chance of winning. And that’s why I think the perception of I was always upset, I was mad, it was mostly that people who do know me, it was more I was putting all that stress on myself because I wanted to put the team on my back and try to take them the whole distance. But it was just wasn’t working out that way this season.”
On if he thinks he has anger issues:
“Nah, it’s not anger issues. I have a competitive issue. I like to win and I like to put myself in situations where I always want to win, no matter what it is. And you know, I think sometimes that gets the best of me. And you know, I think sometimes that gets the best of me and I become overly competitive and try to control every little thing I can to make sure I’m winning or everybody around me is going to win. So, sometimes you know, I lose myself and that, and understanding that I don’t have to try to win every battle.”
On why a team should give him a chance:
“I mean, I still feel I got a lot of tread left on my tires. I still feel I can play this game at a high level. If anybody’s ever looked at me block, well they used to say I couldn’t pass block. I think I pass blocked a lot better than I have in previous seasons. There’s certain things that weren’t working, like we had offensive linemen that were hurt, we had a new offense that was coming in. So there were a lot of adjustments that were made, but the one thing that is still true is I’m still going to try to run hard every play, and I’m still going to try to pick up blitzes no matter who they are or where they’re coming from. And I think that’s the bottom line when it comes to me. The biggest thing is you know you got $20, $30, $40 million dollar quarterbacks, and they’re not going to just put back there anybody who can’t pass protect. So I took a lot of pride in that trying to get that better as if I was going to get released – would somebody hang their hat on something, they’d hang their hat on me being a better pass blocker.”
On if he thinks him being just 75 yards shy of Priest Holmes’s franchise rushing record factored in to Kansas City’s decision to cut Johnson:
“I think it did. Like I said, I think the media and the attention of me, that was the first I’ve ever heard of somebody starting a petition of me not to ever get a record. So I think it was definitely in their decision to really try to let me go, because you know, they had to try to save the organization from having me be at the top of that list, and me being the example of alright, this is who’s at the top of our rushing list as far as the history of Kansas City. But I think they did the right thing you know to protect that, to have a great guy like Priest Holmes still be that guy that you hang your hat on or you shine the light to and say this guy came in and made these accomplishments. And you know, it is what it is. Hopefully, maybe someday when I’m 33, 34, and I still got a little bit of burn left, they’ll allow me to come back and get those yards. But there will still be other records there that are memorable for me…”