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.