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Fisher told team 2,000-yard mark was more important than win

Well, Chris Johnson found out he won the FedEx Ground Player of the Year award.

And despite the antiseptic atmosphere at these shindigs, he provided an interesting tidbit about his quest for 2,000 rushing yards in Week Seventeen against Seattle.

“I don’t know if [Jeff Fisher] wants me to say this, but the whole gameplan was me getting 2,000 yards,” Johnson said Wednesday, wearing a cardigan sweater and plaid shirt. 

“He had a meeting with the whole team and he told us that we don’t have a chance to make the playoffs, so us winning the game really don’t matter.  So if it causes us to lose the game to get 2,000 yards, then we’ll do that it. . . . So I give a lot of credit to Jeff Fisher.”

No, Fisher probably wouldn’t want Johnson saying that.   But it only confirms what anyone watching the game knew.  The Titans didn’t seem that concerned about winning. 

Tennessee gave Johnson the ball 36 times, including plenty of carries on fourth down and clear passing situations.  We like Johnson; we’re sure Fisher likes him more.  And we can’t kill the coach for wanting to keep his player happy.

It’s a strange message to send, but hardly a unique one.  We see teams go after individual marks every year.  It’s Week Seventeen, and the coaches know as well as the fans that it’s largely meaningless.

The news has to be especially depressing for the Seahawks.  They couldn’t even win when the opposition wasn’t trying their best.

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41 Responses to “Fisher told team 2,000-yard mark was more important than win”
  1. jecates says: Feb 3, 2010 4:04 PM

    I love that the coach is as excited about his players achievements as we, the fans, are.

  2. Jose Reyes says: Feb 3, 2010 4:04 PM

    A good coach will do what he can to make his team happy. That stuff pays off.

  3. bonafide says: Feb 3, 2010 4:05 PM

    If Goodell wants playoff teams to play for the win in meaningless games out of respect for the game, he should require the same thing out of teams who are eliminated for the playoffs. A win should be more important than a 2000 yard season.

  4. DontBeEMO says: Feb 3, 2010 4:07 PM

    That is why Jeff Fisher’s teams NEVER quit on him.
    He seems like a guy who cares more about the guys he is responsible for than himself. He can come coach the Giants anytime.

  5. Stinson says: Feb 3, 2010 4:08 PM

    When you’re playing Seattle, you don’t have to try to win. It just happens naturally.

  6. WarrenMoonGOAT says: Feb 3, 2010 4:10 PM

    not a big deal actually

  7. RayDaMayor says: Feb 3, 2010 4:13 PM

    Time for Fisher to go…..
    Calling Bud Adams now.

  8. Otis Taylor HOF says: Feb 3, 2010 4:13 PM

    Non competition…awesome.
    Allstar Wrasslin’ next.

  9. Citizen Strange says: Feb 3, 2010 4:14 PM

    Did Favre purposely whiff on some tackles?

  10. answer3 says: Feb 3, 2010 4:17 PM

    picked the right team to do it against

  11. GirthyOne says: Feb 3, 2010 4:21 PM

    While it was true, Johnson could have just simply said the whole team was working for him to get the 2,000. He shouldn’t be drawing attention and giving statements from his coach like that.
    Unless he is looking to get him fired.

  12. Ronald McDonald says: Feb 3, 2010 4:21 PM

    and they would have gotten away with too, if it weren’t for those meddling refs and their holding penalties!
    Signed- any one of the bungling criminals that were caught by Scooby and the Gang.

  13. Action Dan says: Feb 3, 2010 4:22 PM

    File this under D for “D’uh”

  14. CdnMike says: Feb 3, 2010 4:23 PM

    So what’s the problem with this? You think the fans wanted to see a meaningless win? I doubt it. They wanted to see their running back enter history. That is way more important than a crap win that lowers your draft status.

  15. SpartaChris says: Feb 3, 2010 4:30 PM

    Good for Fisher.

  16. Setobakura says: Feb 3, 2010 4:32 PM

    Jeff Fischer told the team “my gloves is off”

  17. JSpicoli says: Feb 3, 2010 4:34 PM

    If Johnson had gotten the record, they would have won most likely.

  18. Manbearpig says: Feb 3, 2010 4:36 PM

    Glad to see you admit your painfully obvious bias when it comes to this D-bag.
    But it doesn’t matter if you are biased, does it? Since this is just a blog anyway?

  19. HarrisonHits says: Feb 3, 2010 4:37 PM

    I think this is pretty outrageous behavior by Fisher and the team should fine him if true. Bud Adams does not pay him to lose games and place individual player achievement over the team even if they couldn’t get in the playoffs.
    What a horrible horrible message to send to his players that the team comes second.

  20. benjua says: Feb 3, 2010 4:40 PM

    as i recall, they won the game anyway didn’t they? i’m sure he never told them to lose, probably just that getting him to 2000 in a loss was still acceptable since it was the last game of the season anyway.

  21. tombrookshire says: Feb 3, 2010 4:44 PM

    Why should the win and the yards goal be mutually exclusive. A good coach never throws in the towel. Sends a poor message to the players that winning isn’t why they play the game.

  22. jkorn1818 says: Feb 3, 2010 4:45 PM

    Johnson said Wednesday, wearing a cardigan sweater and plaid shirt.
    what does that mean? thats like you mentioning florio in an article and writing wearing a cheap suit, outdated tie and tons of hair gel.

  23. jzimmpa says: Feb 3, 2010 4:51 PM

    I’m watching NFLN.
    It’s around 4:45 est.
    Jeff Fisher and Chris Johnson are on talking about different things regarding football. I realized something, Chris Johnson has accomplished some amazing things while having teret syndrome. I cant be 100% sure but from watching the interview you can tell he has been coached up well to try to play his “ticks” off as head nods in agreeance. My son suffers from something similiar, CJ is even more a success story then some might have thought.
    Keep rolling CJ.

  24. The Notorious V.I.C. says: Feb 3, 2010 4:52 PM

    That’s why this obsession with stats is one of the worst things that has happened to the game.
    Nevermind the fact that whoever goes 2nd has the advantage of knowing how many yards he needs for that individual statistical record.
    You think Eric Dickerson couldn’t have racked up more yards that season?
    If someone told him “Hey Eric, in the year 2013 there’s gonna be a guy who will rush for 2250 yards, so you might want to shoot for that figure.”
    You really think he and the Rams wouldn’t have been able to reach that figure and possibly more?

  25. The 4th Manning Brother says: Feb 3, 2010 4:57 PM

    I wonder what part of Jeff Fisher’s “caring” about his guys makes him a good coach. “Caring” doesn’t make someone a good coach in this league, winning does.

  26. Manbearpig says: Feb 3, 2010 4:58 PM

    Tennessee gave Johnson the ball 36 times, including plenty of carries on fourth down and clear passing situations. We like Johnson; we’re sure Fisher likes him more. And we can’t kill the coach for wanting to keep his player happy.
    I can guarantee that if this were a Chilly/AP situation you would have massacred both on here.

  27. Hap says: Feb 3, 2010 5:11 PM

    Let’s start a little 2009 season controversy.
    Oh, wait. It’s 2010.

  28. peskys_pole says: Feb 3, 2010 5:22 PM

    Fisher had Johnson on his fantasy team and needed a big week for his league’s super bowl

  29. .VoxVeritas says: Feb 3, 2010 5:42 PM

    That falls right in line with him telling that JAG punter to hit the screens at Cowboys Stadium. Jeff Fissure’s a joke.

  30. purpleguy says: Feb 3, 2010 5:50 PM

    So padding one player’s stats to the detriment of the team makes Fischer a good coach? How does padding one player’s stats without regard to winning the game win over the the other players in the locker room when one player is placed above team goals?

  31. spliffbunker says: Feb 3, 2010 6:01 PM

    2000 Yard Rushers in final game
    J Lewis : 27-114 W
    Terrel Davis : 29-178 W
    Barry Sanders : 23-184 W
    Eric Dickerson : 26-98 L
    OJ Simpson : 34- 200 L
    doubt Fischer said it was ok to lose the game…maybe he did but sometimes I think CJ is not the most articulate guy on the planet
    more likely he put a point of emphasis on getting Chris his yards
    its not unusual for teams to try to go for individual records when the final game has no bearing on the playoffs
    & besides…I can think of worse strategies than getting the ball to your best player
    LOL @ Vox…that punting at the scoreboard still has you pissed off ? fair enough…you did spend a lot of energy explaining why the controversy was stupid & I for one appreciated it…

  32. Dead Coach says: Feb 3, 2010 6:10 PM

    How could they possibly win by constantly giving their best player the ball? It’s mind boggling! Who would try such a thing? And they had to scale back their passing attack from slim to none after the QB had such a fantastic game the week before (rating: 11.9). What a crazy coaching decision.
    Actually, Young passed 28 times in that game – he only passed more in two games all season. Johnson’s 36 carries was his only time over 30, but he was often in the high 20s. Only once after the bye week did he carry less than 20 times. Only once during the 0-6 start did he carry more than 20. Giving the ball to Johnson does not equal not trying to win.

  33. shaggeez says: Feb 3, 2010 6:13 PM

    for those of you who are bashing fisher, get a hold of yourselves. a win did absolutely zero for them short of getting higher draft pick and getting to pat themselves on the back as the first team to get to .500 after starting 0-6. given that previously, only 5 backs had broken 2000, it would be cold as ice to have vince throw pass after pass and chris johnson finish the reason with 1990 yards. that’d be f’ed up
    great player’s coach. he lives up to that reputation with stories like this

  34. packfan4ever says: Feb 3, 2010 6:15 PM

    i feel cheated that i lost $100 on this game now. shame on you jeff fisher… shame on you.

  35. tacious says: Feb 3, 2010 6:27 PM

    WOW… as an ex-athlete and coach, it was always preached, and I always preached that personal achievement should never be held before team achievement!
    I love Jeff Fisher, always have, but if CJ is telling the truth, maybe it’s time for Fisher to go.

  36. PatricktheDookie says: Feb 3, 2010 6:33 PM

    Jess Fisher probably likes Johnson a little less, now.

  37. ParkerFly says: Feb 3, 2010 6:36 PM

    packfan4ever, wtf were you doing betting on the Seahawks winning? Can you imagine if Fisher had tried to win the game?

  38. nietzescher says: Feb 3, 2010 6:44 PM

    “i feel cheated that i lost $100 on this game now. shame on you jeff fisher… shame on you.”
    Anyone dumb enough to bet $100 on the outcome of a meaningless Week 17 game in which you knew going in that one of the teams was gunning for a particular milestone for one of their players deserves to lose.

  39. favre uses allens mullet as handlebars says: Feb 3, 2010 9:35 PM

    packfan4ever says:
    February 3, 2010 6:15 PM
    i feel cheated that i lost $100 on this game now. shame on you jeff fisher… shame on you.
    ——————————————-
    Your not that stupid. Nobody is. Not even a Seahawks fan.

  40. dwatkins says: Feb 4, 2010 12:05 PM

    Gregg, didn’t the Titans win, So what is the Problem?

  41. kenyatta says: Feb 4, 2010 3:07 PM

    johnson didnt need to say this

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