Under the tutelage of another great Giants running back, Ron Johnson excelled under Giants’ head coach and former NY running back Alex Webster. Johnson holds the dubious honor of being the first Giant to rush for 1,000 yards in a season in 1970 with 1,027. In 1972, he bested that with 1,182. And remember, this is back when the NFL played a 14-game season as opposed to the 16 games played today.
An All-American coming out of Michigan, Johnson continues to hold the school record for most rushing yards in a single game with 347. He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the 1969 NFL Draft, but by 1970 he was wearing blue for the New York Giants. Johnson’s rushing talents helped spark a Giants squad that didn’t have a winning season since 1963.
Apart from accomplishing his two 1,000 yard seasons, the Giants had winning records in both those seasons. They were also the only two winning seasons the team would have from 1964 to 1980.
With 3,836 rushing yards as a Giant, Johnson left the game after the 1975 season, just before the Giants made their homey transition to Giants Stadium. He would be replaced at the position by former Miami Dolphin and future Hall-of-Famer Larry Csonka, which just goes to show that the Giants knew they had some big shoes to fill without good ol’ Ron.