Former Chiefs RB Larry Johnson spoke to Dan Patrick of ESPN Radio yesterday, and had some interesting thoughts on the problems in Kansas City, his own shortcomings, and his future. Sports Radio Interviews provides a full transcript, and below, we give you some excerpts:
On if and why he was unhappy in Kansas City:
“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.”
There are plenty of things about the Larry Johnson situation that are depressing, but this might be worst of all: here’s Johnson, formerly considered one of the two or three best running backs in the game, bragging about his pass blocking skills in hopes of catching on with a contender. Really? It’s come to that? Apparently so.