Larry Johnson…Yes, No, Maybe?

I must say that when I wrote last week about the Redskins having a slow developing plan and how I couldn’t wait to see how it played out, I never imagined the scenario of the Skins signing another 30+ running back. I mean, I’m still surprised we didn’t get rid of the one we had! 30+ running backs are supposed to be over the hill, so why are we collecting them?

On paper, I don’t like this signing at all… but the games are not played on paper, they are played by little men inside our TV’s…thanks for that line Kenny Mayne. Something tells me in my gut that LJ may have something left in the tank and maybe that’s what the Skins game plan is, gut decisions. Hey, 40 GUT was a zone blocking play, right?

Anyway, the signing of LJ is curious. Again, I didn’t think a 30+ running back was an option, and if it is/was, I’m not sure LJ was the right choice. I’ve heard arguments made that although LJ is going to be 31, he still hasn’t had a ton of carries in his career. To that I would respond that he’s had 3 straight years of declining productivity and he hasn’t had a lot of carries because he’s gotten himself in a lot of trouble over the years. I’ve also heard the argument that LJ didn’t have a good offensive line with KC last season and when given the chance in Cincy he played well. To that I would respond that Jamaal Charles rushed for nearly 1,000 yards and 6 yards per carry in the 8 games after LJ left. LJ averaged 2.9 ypc and had only 377 yards in 7 games with the same line.

Of the 5 30ish RB’s in the free agent market (Taylor, Parker, Tomlinson & Jones,) LJ has had the fewest yards per carry (3.8) and appeared in the fewest games over the past 3 seasons. In fact, LJ’s statistics pale in comparison to these guys…especially Thomas Jones. Thomas Jones has averaged nearly 1,400 yards and 10 TD’s over the last 3 seasons while showing no signs of slowing down. Why not Thomas Jones?

I’m not ready to call this signing a disaster, it may turn out well? LJ has tried to find common ground with Skins fans by announcing that he is a lifelong fan. Evidently he grew up rooting for the Redskins and hating the Cowboys. That’s cool, but in the process of describing his Skins loyalty, he ran the bus over one of the most beloved Skins of all-time. Tomorrow, I will post my Gary Clark autograph story.

Cheers and Hail

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