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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Rudi Johnson: Re-establishing physique for a power running role

The Enquirer - Perry, Rudi together again: "Johnson, the team's featured back who smashed his way to more than 2,900 rushing yards and 24 rushing touchdowns in 2004 and 2005, missed five games last season and finished with just 497 yards because of a hamstring injury.
He had changed his diet and played, he said, at 212 pounds last season, and his running style changed, too.
Johnson, a between-the-tackles bruiser, tried to dance.
Now he's put on 12 to 13 pounds of muscle mass in his chest and shoulders and said he weighs in the neighborhood of 225 pounds - his desired playing weight.
'Last year when I got hurt, it was definitely frustrating for me,' said Johnson, who has worked with strength and conditioning coaches since the end of the 2007 season. 'I wanted to come back stronger, more powerful than I've ever been.'
The Bengals considered drafting a running back - they liked Rashard Mendenhall of Pittsburgh and Jonathan Stewart of Oregon - and they entertained free agent Shaun Alexander on a visit last week. But if Johnson and Perry are healthy, they form a dynamic duo and could help coach Marvin Lewis fulfill his wish of re-establishing a power run game."

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