Dick Vermeil predicts Larry Johnson will push Clinton Portis 'right out of a job'

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Sarge

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Interesting

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/16/AR2010031601742.html

While popular opinion might suggest that running back Larry Johnson was brought to town to back up the Washington Redskins' perennial starter Clinton Portis, one of Johnson's former coaches has a bold prediction.

"He will take over the running back position," said Dick Vermeil, who coached Johnson in Kansas City from 2003 to '05. "That's what I think. He'll push that guy right out of a job. Larry Johnson will work all week -- he'll work Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday -- and he'll make you start him on Sundays."
 

Henry

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When was the last time Larry Johnson started?
 

Sarge

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Not a fan of either one. Hopefully we'll still snag a RB in the draft somewhere. Just thought it was interesting that Vermeil thought so much of his abilities after Johnson dogged him out
 

Om

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Damn ... tough room.

When was the last time Larry Johnson started?
Not sure that's the point of the piece, but ... according to NFL.com, last season. Started the first 7 games of '09 for the butt-awful KC Chiefs before being packed off to Cincinnati (apparently being an asshole doesn't matter in some places :cool4: ) for off-the-field reasons. Hard to say w/o watching those game films what LJ had in the tank, but his numbers were pretty pedestrian (2.9 per carry).

In Cinci, he didn't start, but did play in 7 games, carrying 46 times for 204 yds (4.4 per).

Truth is ... Vermeil has nothing to gain by coming out so strongly in support of what LJ has left on the field to strongly. Can't see where he's selling anything. I'm not much of an LJ fan (I don't think much of assholes generally, and it would seem he's done his best to act like one), but I do think it would be a mistake to dismiss Vermeil's comments out of hand.

Betcha weren't expecting that, huh. ;)

Did he cry while he was saying it? and then say how amazing Larry Johnson is as a person?
he's just mad because he got pushed out of his job in STL after winning a super bowl. cried then too..
He got "pushed out of his job" in STL? Really? Funny, I always thought he retired. It's what he does.

You've heard differently?
 

Neophyte

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He got "pushed out of his job" in STL? Really? Funny, I always thought he retired. It's what he does.

You've heard differently?
As I recall, Martz had the clause in his contract about becoming HC when Vermeil left. Mike was itching for the big chair and people where looking at him pretty hard with the success of the Rams offense. In order to keep him I seem to recall Rams management nudging Vermeil to call it a career after the SB win. I am nearly certain that it wasn't all Dick's idea which led to him coming back at the other end of I-70 a year later.

My memory might be a bit faulty though. It ain't what it used to be.
 

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I think its possible one or both aren't even on the roster opening day. I think when training camp opens, you're going to see a lot of guys at RB who we never thought/heard of.
 

servumtuum

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I have a hunch this whole thing is about competition. CP vs. LJ vs. whatever other RB(s) might be around via draft/FA/trades, whatever-I think shanny just wants a selection to pick from.
 

kirbster

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Not so sure about that. Vermeil has publicly talked about the mistake of making a major decision like retiring in the wave of emotional events like the SB win, and said he realized the mistake of retiring then. Thus he came back a year later. I've never heard any hint of him being pressured at all.
 

Elephant

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Neo, not sure where you and Mike got that info, but I was living in St. Louis when they won the SB and it wasn't played up much. Everyone knew it was Martz's job once Vermeil was gone, but Vermeil could have done anything he wanted in St. Louis. He was an icon.

Any hint there was more to it didn't arise until he suddenly took the job in KC. I am not saying it wasn't there and it may have been swept under the rug in the celebration of the SB, I just don't remember hearing about any possible tensions until Vermeil ended up in KC. I chalked that up to media blitz.
 

Goaldeje

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Back to the original topic, I wonder if Vermeil's statement was based more on Portis's (lack of) production last year than it was on LJ's remaining skills? Let's face it, Portis didn't have a stellar year last year between the o-line and injuries, Vermeil might think he is done and LJ still has a little something left in the tank.
 

Om

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Back to the original topic, I wonder if Vermeil's statement was based more on Portis's (lack of) production last year than it was on LJ's remaining skills? Let's face it, Portis didn't have a stellar year last year between the o-line and injuries, Vermeil might think he is done and LJ still has a little something left in the tank.
Maybe in part ... if it was Adrian Petersen instead of CP, Vermeil might have been a little less effusive. Still, when a former SB winning coach---one who the player threw under the bus even---comes out with statements like this about a guy, you have to sit up and take notice.:

Quoth Dick:

"He will take over the running back position," said Dick Vermeil, who coached Johnson in Kansas City from 2003 to '05. "That's what I think. He'll push that guy right out of a job. Larry Johnson will work all week -- he'll work Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday -- and he'll make you start him on Sundays."


"I think they got a great steal in this guy," Vermeil said. "If they have any sort of offensive line, I really believe he'll be the starting running back there, and he'll do very well. If anyone thinks it's some union job and a guy gets to start just because he's the incumbent, nuh-uh. Larry will make him work. [Portis] will have to fight to even hope to keep his job."


"I've never seen a kid compete so hard to prove that he's as good as the starter," he said. "And if that starter isn't the Priest Holmes-type who will match the effort every single day, Larry Johnson will take his job. I don't know that much about Clinton Portis, but I know what Larry was like. He ran mean. In practices, he ran like he just plain didn't like his teammates."


"The truth is, he can run anything you give him to run," Vermeil said. "When he first came to us, he wasn't sure what type of runner he was. But within our running game, once he got going, he could really run anything."
 

kirbster

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much like your hatred of Sherman T Potter :p
As a huge M*A*S*H fan (I can identify the entire plot of virtually any episode within the first 10 seconds of seeing it), this comment has me intrigued...care to share the significance? :)
 

servumtuum

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As a huge M*A*S*H fan (I can identify the entire plot of virtually any episode within the first 10 seconds of seeing it), this comment has me intrigued...care to share the significance? :)
kirbster, check out the 20 Greatest War Movies thread and peruse it-you'll be able to trace the source of that little jibe to a fun-to-watch lil' tussle over M.A.S.H the movie vs. M.A.S.H the tv show.


"I've never seen a kid compete so hard to prove that he's as good as the starter," he said. "And if that starter isn't the Priest Holmes-type who will match the effort every single day, Larry Johnson will take his job. I don't know that much about Clinton Portis, but I know what Larry was like. He ran mean. In practices, he ran like he just plain didn't like his teammates."
Om, this part of the Vermeil quote makes me wonder if the allegedly "abrasive" component of LJ's personality may also be, as a potential if eyebrow-raising upside, that which makes him so effective as a RB? Sort of a "damn the torpedoes" full-speed-ahead, "look out I'm coming through" no-holds-barred approach to running with the football that has become so automatic that it spills over into other things. I've known a lot of highly competitive people who were highly successful and one thing they seem to share a lot of the time is getting so totally wrapped up in that mode-which is how they stayed on top of their game-also made it difficult for them to change gears, so to speak, when dealing with people in other circumstances.

Which also makes me wonder if Shanahan, who I've heard from various sources, seems to overlook "personality" problems might do so because the super-aggressiveness that causes them to have difficulty sometimes with getting along with others makes them intimidatingly fierce on the field.
 

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I don't think we sill see a bona fide starter in Washington this year, if both of these guys stay healthy. I think it will be a two headed attack kind of like Carolina. Both players will stay fresh and both will rejuvinate their careers, provided the o-line stays solid. I am really looking forward to our run game.
 

kirbster

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kirbster, check out the 20 Greatest War Movies thread and peruse it-you'll be able to trace the source of that little jibe to a fun-to-watch lil' tussle over M.A.S.H the movie vs. M.A.S.H the tv show.
It was also a movie? :shocked:
 

Henry

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Damn ... tough room.
With all due respect, this team has earned it.

Not sure that's the point of the piece, but ... according to NFL.com, last season. Started the first 7 games of '09 for the butt-awful KC Chiefs before being packed off to Cincinnati (apparently being an asshole doesn't matter in some places :cool4: ) for off-the-field reasons. Hard to say w/o watching those game films what LJ had in the tank, but his numbers were pretty pedestrian (2.9 per carry).

In Cinci, he didn't start, but did play in 7 games, carrying 46 times for 204 yds (4.4 per).
So, the last time he started he was so driven and hard-working that he averaged 2.7 yards a carry and got traded, to be replaced by Jamaal Charles who ran for 1100 yards in 9 starts while averaging 5.9 yards a carry? This is the guy that's going to push someone out of a job?

Truth is ... Vermeil has nothing to gain by coming out so strongly in support of what LJ has left on the field to strongly. Can't see where he's selling anything. I'm not much of an LJ fan (I don't think much of assholes generally, and it would seem he's done his best to act like one), but I do think it would be a mistake to dismiss Vermeil's comments out of hand.
I'm not dismissing his comments out of hand. I'm rejecting them based on my own observations. :)

Tell you what Om. I am so sure Johnson won't start that if he pushes a healthy Clinton Portis out of a job I'll buy you lunch. At Mikes. :)
 

Om

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With all due respect, this team has earned it.
With even more due respect, this team--Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen's Redskins team--has no track record upon which to be judged. :)

So, the last time he started he was so driven and hard-working that he averaged 2.7 yards a carry and got traded, to be replaced by Jamaal Charles who ran for 1100 yards in 9 starts while averaging 5.9 yards a carry? This is the guy that's going to push someone out of a job?
I watched only one KC Chiefs game last year, in week 6 when they played a semi-pro team and got their first win of the year (and only win in the first half of the season). In that game, LJ had 86 yards and looked, well, like an NFL RB on a horrible offense. Never saw his other games, or any of Charles' games, for that matter, so I can't really comment on what went into those numbers.

Perhaps someone who did can shed some light on that?

What I do know is LJ was starting for KC and let go for off-field reasons. When he landed in Cinci at midseason, the Bengals were I believe 7-2, and Cedric Benson was entrenched and playing well as the starter. A guy coming in midseason wasn't a threat to unseat Benson at that point even if his name was Petersen or Sayers.

Well, okay. Maybe Sayers.

I'm not dismissing his comments out of hand. I'm rejecting them based on my own observations. :)

Tell you what Om. I am so sure Johnson won't start that if he pushes a healthy Clinton Portis out of a job I'll buy you lunch. At Mikes. :)
It's a bet. Not because I'm an LJ fan or have strong feelings one way or the other about whether he unseats CP, but because I'm always up for lunch with ya no matter who's buying. Let's make it a Friday this time so we can have the second brew. :)
 

Goaldeje

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Maybe in part ... if it was Adrian Petersen instead of CP, Vermeil might have been a little less effusive. Still, when a former SB winning coach---one who the player threw under the bus even---comes out with statements like this about a guy, you have to sit up and take notice.:
That's fair. It's possible LJ could be named the official starter I suppose, and then have them both split time. I dunno though, Clinton did not look good last year at all. I like to see us draft a RB in the middle rounds to push both guys for time, and eventually take over.
 

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