[KC Chiefs.com] Chiefs President Carl Peterson announced on Thursday that RB Larry Johnson has been named the club’s 2006 Derrick Thomas Award winner. The award is voted on by Chiefs players and will be presented at the 37th annual 101 Banquet on March 3rd.
As a tribute to the late Derrick Thomas, the Chiefs annual Most Valuable Player Award was renamed in his honor following his tragic death in February of 2000.
Following a breakout season a year ago, Larry Johnson’s encore performance in 2006 was just as impressive as he has established himself as one of the premier running backs in the league. The 27-year old Johnson became just the third player in team history to win the Derrick Thomas Award in back-to-back seasons, joining RB Priest Holmes (2001-02) and QB Trent Green (2003-04).
For the first time in his four-year career Johnson started all 16 games for the Chiefs, rewriting the franchise record books in the process. En route to his second consecutive Pro Bowl invitation Johnson set an NFL single-season record with 416 carries, eclipsing the previous mark of 410 that Jamal Anderson set with Atlanta in ’98. Johnson also broke his own franchise record for rushing yards in a season with 1,789 and added 17 TDs. He finished second in the NFL in rushing yards and scoring by non-kickers with 114 total points. The fourth-year veteran also tallied 41 catches for 410 yards and two TDs.
Johnson’s 2006 rushing rampage included 11 100-yards games, breaking his own record for the most such games in one season. En route to claiming the Chiefs MVP award Johnson also earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week accolades when he set a club record with 39 carries for 155 yards and three TDs vs. Seattle (10/29). Perhaps his greatest feat may have been a five-day stretch in late November during which he pounded out back-to-back games with more than 30 carries and 150 yards on just three days of rest in wins over Oakland (11/19) and Denver (11/23).