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Larry Johnson on leaving Kansas City

(By John McDonnell - TWP)

New Redskins running back Larry Johnson hasn't been shy about expressing his opinions about the lovely city of Kansas City. Even before he left the Chiefs, he talked about the "jealousy and the envy" in that city, and how he felt trapped in his house.

Of course, he left Kansas City for a brief stint in Cincinnati before landing with his hometown Redskins, where he's already made several appearances in the local social scene. Sans jealousy and envy, with any luck. Johnson was on WPGC's Lil' Mo Show this week, and the host asked him whether it feels odd to have been on so many franchises in such a short period of time.

"I just felt it's part of the territory, but I did feel kind of weird about it, because I thought that Kansas City was gonna be the team that I was gonna stay with for the rest of my life and for the rest of my career, and kind of retire on that," Johnson said. "But I think change is good for every situation, and change is definitely good for me.

Going to Cincinnati and being a part of that organization for a while was really good, and then coming to the Redskins, I think it was a great transition, because I kept moving myself out East. And being in the place where I'm born at, it just felt good. And being able to experience different teams and organizations is definitely usually a good thing for most players."

Um, maybe. Johnson, of course, came with what sportswriters call "baggage." The Post detailed some of those issues after he signed:

In Kansas City, Johnson clashed with former coach Dick Vermeil, complained about not getting to carry the ball enough, twice faced suspensions, threatened to miss training camp over a contract dispute and ultimately was released midway through the 2009 season after calling out his coaches via Twitter and hurling gay slurs at members of the media.

Johnson has been arrested four times for domestic violence-related incidents, and in March 2009 he pleaded guilty to two counts of disturbing the peace, which stemmed from separate incidents. He was sentenced to two years' probation and ordered to complete both anger control counseling and 40 hours of community service.

So Lil' Mo also asked him about this, riffing off the name of the Alicia Keys song she had just played on PGC. Listen to the audio here.

"I have to ask you the Unthinkable," she said. "With us both being Scorpios, I can attest to say that sometimes our passion is misconstrued for being angry, which will ultimately have people say, 'Well, you need anger management.' You caught a couple of cases, and what was the deal with that?"

"You know us Scorpios, we always have that passion for something," Johnson replied. "And usually if we've got that passion, we're kind of like outspoken, and we like to do our own thing, and we kind of stick out from the rest of the crowd. And me being in Kansas City, being that it's real small, I became targeted with certain things.

"You know, the first couple of incidents, I would say with me, Scorpios, when you love two or three different people, they really get a stronghold on [you], because you give so much passion out, and they seem to cross the line on that tip. But after that, it was just being in the club and all that in Kansas City, it was just a small environment.

"And me being that person, that guy at that time point, people looking at me like I was Mr. Big Stuff and thought I was the best thing in Kansas City since barbeque. You know, I had a target on my back, so after that situations, everything else kind of died down. It was great for me to get out of that city, because it was just a lot of jealousy, envy and hate that came with being a part of that city."

Well jeez, that sounds like an awful place, doesn't it? Moving on, the Lil' person asked him about his friendship with Jay Z.

"Yeah, yeah, I all him the big homie," Johnson said. "That's the big homie right there, you know what I'm saying? He even made a joke when I seen him in Vegas for his concert, he kind of made a joke. He said, 'Make sure you're on your ones and twos, because I'm gonna come down with my boy.' And I was like, 'Who's your boy?' And he was like, 'I'm gonna come down there with Barack to come check on you.' I was like, 'All right,' I was laughing about that. But yeah, that's the big brother right there."

So to recap, changing teams is a good thing, Scorpios have got that passion, and Jay Z and Barack Obama are going to come check on Larry Johnson. Awesome.

(Via @chasehughes)

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 26, 2010; 12:12 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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Man, that was some serious gibberish. Andy Kaufman would be proud

Posted by: jpfterps | May 26, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Shades of Dexter Manley. Hello!
On Dallas Week, December, 1987: "'It just doesn't feel the same. It seems like the town's in an uproar, I guess, because Mikhail Gorbachev is here. It's kind of slowing things down. I wish he'd get the hell out of town. The Redskins-Cowboys game is bigger than what's happening with the summit.''

On accusations he spit on Saints tackle Jim Dombrowski, November, 1988: "I'm allergic to holding, so I sneezed . . . If he thought I spit, I really want to apologize. I was sneezing; perhaps I sneezed in his face. We were talking. He'd been grabbling me all day, and it was just one of those things. Why should I get fined? This guy hit me. If I sneezed, I sneezed. It's his word against mine . . . Besides, I don't know if there's a spitting rule. If there was, I'd have known about it. I don't think there's a no-sneeze rule. Anyway, I wouldn't flagrantly spit on someone. I'm a mortgage banker, and do bankers spit? No."

Posted by: trezmartin | May 26, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Players ought to be banned from the league if they have repeat domestic violence convictions. I don't think I could keep my job if I had repeated offenses like that, so neither should a professional athlete. Especially given that these folks are held up as role models.

Posted by: chitownskinsfan | May 26, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

L.J. A legend in his own mind!!!! A one and 1/2 year wonder. Besides that, repeat convictions against women. No one misses you in K.C. Washington must be really hard up for backs since you signed him. Nobody in the NFL wanted him. K.C. averaged over 1 more yard a carry once he left, with the same offensive line he blamed on his bad season. Good luck washington. I like the redskins, but you have signed another trouble maker. It's only time before he starts acting up and complaining about how much he is carrying the ball.

Posted by: wseitzjr | May 26, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Some of what LJ said about KC is probable true. LJ being a young african american in KC with a basic education and a lot money could be overwhelming. LJ should fit in quite well in Washington DC because it a large city with a lot of diversity. Let just hope that he can play ball.

Posted by: jjack1 | May 26, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Maybe LJ can advise AH with his problems with women.

Posted by: 4merskinsfan | May 26, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

We have issues with 2 of our 3 running backs. In next years draft we should think about drafting a solid running back that will serve us for years to come. Our current situation is very bleak despite all the new signings at running back. Consider...

Clinton Portis: Clinton proved to me just about every Sunday last year that he is no longer a useable running back in the NFL. Even before his head injury all he was doing was running undetermined and usually just picking up 2 yards on each run.

Larry Johnson: As detailed in this post Larry has too many issues. His constant habit of running into the law makes this deal not worth it. Even when he finally gets on the field his production is very limited.

Willie Parker: He is the ray of sunshine for me in this trio. He was explosive up to his injury and hopefully he can recover full circle and be back to his normal explosive self.

Hopefullly all 3 running backs can have a great season. But with these factors in mind it's hard to see.

Posted by: Dlewis10 | May 26, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Steinberg really wants to try to slant some innocent general remarks in this highly negative way to try to make Larry Johnson look bad. The only one who looks bad is Steinberg though. Is this what the Post is paying Steinberg for?

Posted by: shane2229 | May 27, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I wonder what his spin will be once he's bounced out of THIS town...Leopards don't change their spots

Posted by: kahlua87 | May 27, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who thinks the Scorpio talk is normal??? jeez...that whole thing made me wanna vomit.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | May 27, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Steinberg really wants to try to slant some innocent general remarks in this highly negative way to try to make Larry Johnson look bad. The only one who looks bad is Steinberg though. Is this what the Post is paying Steinberg for?

Posted by: shane2229 | May 27, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse


Quoting gibberish that someone said on the air is "trying to make Larry Johnson look bad..." Larry makes Larry look bad,Larry's record of behavior makes Larry look bad...NOT Mr. Steinberg.

Posted by: petebowling1 | May 27, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

LJ wore out his welcome here in KC and he did it himself. Wish him well with the skins but he sure has slowed down these last 3 years.

Posted by: EdRowe | May 27, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

"...definitely usually a good thing for most players." - What is he, Yogi Berra now?

And what exactly was KC jealous of? His ability to insult a GREAT football town every year he was here? Or just the flat out ability to throw his teammates under the bus after every loss - and there were a lot of them.

You were the leader of a LOSING team, LJ. Be proud.

Redskins fans - you'll either hate his below two yards a carry average or you'll hate his cry-baby antics after every game he doesn't get the ball in. He's a two-year old, really.

Oh, and DC area females beware, he loves to spit in faces and threaten lives while intoxicated.

Posted by: theKCeye | May 27, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

There's no Q in barbecue.

Posted by: edwcorey | May 28, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

One thing's for sure, this is going to be an interesting preseason at the RB spot. I'm not sure where the talk about LJ's terrible average yards per carry comes from -- must be that last 7 game stint in KC (2.9 yds). But KC's offensive line made at that point was nothing to write home about -- unless you were comparing them to last season's Washington Redskins.

Johnson was signed by Cincinnati as a 4th RB and special teams player. He still managed to gain 4.4 yards per carry in limited attempts behind a decent line, and ripped off several runs of 20+ yards against the likes of San Diego and the Jets. He may not be the runner he was in '05 and '06, but he didn't look finished to me.

The guy I wonder about is Ryan Torain. He has the injury history but is exactly the sort of younger no-name talent that winds up succeeding in a Shanahan offense.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 29, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

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