Around The Web: LJ Confuses, DJ Warming The Bench, Desperate Cowboys

Following the Chiefs 27-16 loss to the Giants yesterday at Arrowhead Stadium, Larry Johnson was asked what the difference was between the two teams in the game.  As Adam Teicher reports, LJ gave a curious response, to say the least.

“Ego.”

He repeated the word each of the five times he was asked to explain his answer.

Johnson also may have been irritated at the play-calling around the goal line.  The Chiefs took six snaps inside the New York 5 in the fourth quarter, and five were passes.  Only once did the Chiefs hand the ball to Johnson and try to make their way on the ground.

Johnson issued the standard player answer when asked about the play-calling.

“I’m not the coach,” he said evenly.  “I can only speak for myself. I try to get out there and do the best I can.”

He was quick to say he didn’t think the better team necessarily won, though the Giants are 4-0 and the Chiefs 0-4.

“I wouldn’t say that,” Johnson said.  “Their defense, they really hit it hard.  A couple of early mistakes we made kind of hurt us.  You take what Jarrad Page (unnecessary-roughness penalty) did and take that out, and you take (Jamaal Charles’) fumble out and it’s really an even-keel game.”

I was wondering if Johnson would continue beating the Haley/Pioli drum when the going got tough and it looks like we are starting to see that beat go dead.

His “ego” response still makes no sense.  He took to Twitter after the game with the same message.  Very odd.  Was ego the reason he gave up on a route late in the fourth quarter?

In another head scratching move, as the always positive Jason Whitlock notes, Todd Haley and Clancy Pendergast kept one of their healthy linebackers on the sidelines.

And please, someone tell me what linebacker Derrick Johnson did to the Chiefs’ coaching staff.  Is he simply a high-profile example of Haley’s and Pioli’s willingness to target any player for embarrassment?

Johnson spent most of Sunday afternoon warming up on the sideline, jogging, stretching, trying to keep circulation in his legs.  In terms of big plays this season, Johnson is responsible for the biggest — the long interception return against the Ravens.  A team in desperate need of playmakers could certainly be helped by Johnson’s athletic ability.

He’s a bench-warmer.  He’s a symbol in the my-way-or-the-highway army.

There are few things in this world that bothers me more than agreeing with Whitlock, but I continue to be baffled by the reduced role for Johnson.  The defense wasn’t terrible yesterday, but that doesn’t mean things wouldn’t have been even better with DJ on the field.

The only playmakers on defense this season have been Tamba Hali, Brandon Flowers and Derrick Johnson.  So why would you keep any of them off the field when they are healthy?

Next up for the Kansas City Chiefs are the Dallas Cowboys, fresh off a heart breaking loss to the Denver Broncos.  And according to Keith Brooking, the ‘Boys will be desperate when they come into Arrowhead Stadium.

“We’ve got to be desperate to win.  We’ve got to be desperate on Wednesday.  Actually, we’ve got to be desperate tomorrow when we watch film.  Be accountable, look ourselves in the mirror and not say, ‘If this guy would’ve done this,’ or, ‘If this guy would’ve done that,’ but look yourself in the mirror and figure out what you can do to make the team better.

“We’ve got to be desperate on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and win the ballgame on the practice field.  I’m a big believer in that.  We’ve got to practice better.”

The Broncos certainly didn’t do the Chiefs any favors.  If the Cowboys would have ridden into Kansas City with a record of 3-1 there would be a much better chance for Dallas to overlook the lowly Chiefs.  But now, with the Cowboys trying to keep up with the undefeated Giants, you know they will come in Sunday with their hair on fire.

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