It doesn't seem that long ago Larry Johnson was signed, but man, it was way back on March 12. Like I always do, I pulled up my post up from that signing to review our comments back then. Oh man...there are some gems. A lot of fans were still under the impression Portis was done. I was more worried he wouldn't be able to put his helmet on without getting concussed. Either way...the majority of us liked the trade as an insurance - but were pretty far off. Well, kseandoyle predicted it all:
I still don't see the rationale behind this move. You've got an aging running back who has never been very good for locker room chemistry. So we shouldn't expect him to rack up many yards, and we shouldn't expect him to be a team leader. He seems like a cheaper, older version of Clinton Portis. His best days are behind him and the number of carries he's had in his career indicate neither a likelihood of durability nor effectiveness.
I was on 106.7 THE FAN tonight debating this with Danny Rouhier. He considered the LJ release as an embarrassment, which I did not. We tried a roster move out - it was wrong - so we're cutting our losses and bringing in someone new. All teams do this. It's not like the Redskins traded any draft picks or backed up the money truck. They took a chance on a former 2x Pro-Bowler, and it didn't work out. So, that begs the questions: why did he make the final 53 roster?
All of the beat writers bragged about Larry Johnson's amazing training camp. That obviously didn't translate in the games, and with Keiland Williams showing some spunk with his limited (4 receptions/0 rushes) regular season action, there's no point in keeping LJ who adds zero Special Teams service. Chad Simpson is an absolute speedster, and Bill Polian said as much an old interview:
"Chad Simpson in punt and kickoff coverage is a force. Coupled with that acceleration, he's valuable player"
If anyone would know this it's Shanahan since he got a first hand look at Chad Simpson the first pre-season game as beat-writer Rich Campbell pointed out. (7 carries on 9 yards per rush...all 2nd half action).
Here's Larry Johnson's statement upon being released:
I'm very upset, didn't see this coming, but most importantly, this is where I wanted to end my career, a place where I was born and raised most of my life," Johnson said in an emailed statement. "I understand it's a business and I have nothing but love for the Redskins. They gave me a home when I didn't know where I was going to end up, so all my eggs were in this basket, Washington Redskins. I wish them luck because they're a great team and organization."
Best of luck, Larry.