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Rudi Johnson: Lions 'years' from being competitive

Rudi Johnson did two things last year I still find hard to believe: He had his bags stolen by Tatum Bell and he got paid for 16 weeks of NFL football.

On Wednesday, the free-agent running back dropped by Sirius NFL Radio's “The Sirius Blitz” show. Host Adam Schein asked him how close the Lions are to turning things around.

“Years away,” said Johnson, who ran for 237 yards in 14 games last season. “Definitely. I would say years away from being a competitive team in the NFL. So I wish them the best of luck.”

Asked to elaborate, if it was the players, the mindset or the mess Matt Millen created that has the Lions in such a hole, Johnson said, “Everything you just said.”

“When you get that far off there's not just one thing that plays a part in it,” Johnson said. “If you go 0-16 it's not just the players, it's not just the coaches, it's not just the organization. It's everything from top to bottom. It's not just one thing, it's everything.

“Everything you just named are all the things that are wrong with the team, with the organization. So you know there are a lot of things that need to be fixed for them to be successful and get to winning football games. Like I said, I wish them the best of luck but sometimes people got to move on and that's what the situation is, but they're definitely a long shot away from being competitive and winning football games.”

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sour Grapes??? And he is years past being a good RB. He is just mad at the Lions for benching him in favor of Kevin, who played just fine.

1:18 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He was probably the worst player that we had that actually got some playing time. He was slow, couldn't break tackles, and couldn't follow the few blocks he got. SEE YA Rudy.

1:22 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave, do you agree with him?

He's not the first to say it. Someone on NFLN said the Lions are 5 years away from being competitive.

1:45 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's def gonna take some time, but if all goes well and right for us, we'll be in the playoffs by 2010.

i reserve the right to retract my slappy statement at anytime.

1:48 PM 
Anonymous freebird22 said...

Olandis Gary was a slower RB.

2:11 PM 
Blogger Dave Birkett said...

Yeah, I do agree with him in general terms. I don't expect any Dolphins- or Falcons-like turnaround next year. I think you're looking 4-6 wins, with things gradually improving in 2010 depending on the draft picks and stabilizing the QB situation. The NFC North is aging, but I think it's 2011 before the Lions are a legitimate playoff contender.

2:29 PM 
Blogger Dave Birkett said...

I should add, saying 'years' makes it seem like a long-, long-term proposition. In the NFL, you're never that far away (unless you're drafting WRs in the first round all the time).

2:30 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Johnson is still mad about Tatum Bell stealing his underwear.

4:46 PM 
Blogger Matthew said...

"Rudi Johnson did two things last year I still find hard to believe: He had his bags stolen by Tatum Bell and he got paid for 16 weeks of NFL football."

Doesn't sound like your a big fan of Rudi there Dave.

4:53 PM 
Blogger Bret said...

So, the consensus is that 4-5 wins at most in 09? I have to agree with that. IF the Lions can do that, then they have become a much more dependable and consistent team. Meaning they should win the games they are supposed to, loose the games their supposed to and play close in a few.

During the Millen era ther was no rhyme or reason for some of the wins and losses. How can you have a legit excuse to go 6-2 and then drop all but one game in the next 24? Please, don't even mention the preseason. As Lions fans we now have proof that it doesn't mean anything.

I'm still caustiously optimistic, but taking a wait and see approach.

4:54 PM 
Blogger Dave Birkett said...

I thought Kevin Smith should have been playing from the start last year and I never felt Rudi brought much to the table as a runner.

And yeah, you'll see some improvement next year (not that things could get worse). I like the Jackson signing, but they've still got some work to do in the back seven and on the o-line and at quarterback. You knew they couldn't hit everything in free agency, though. The draft, as it always is, is the biggest key.

8:59 PM 
Blogger Bret said...

Dave- Any talk about Shaun Rogers return?

10:27 PM 
Anonymous Michael Schottey said...

Rudi Johnson is years past being competitive

2:50 PM 

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