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Chris Johnson says he’s still the same guy

Indianapolis Colts v Tennessee Titans Getty Images

Though his first three NFL seasons, Titans running back Chris Johnson generated 4,598 yards rushing, at an average of five yards per attempt and more than 1,500 yards per year.  Through seven games of his fourth season, Johnson has 302 yards.  He’s averaging a measly 2.8 yards per carry.

Several possible reasons for his slide have been identified.  The Titans have a new offense, a new offensive coordinator, and a new quarterback.  Also, Johnson has a new contract, which for many veteran tailbacks extinguishes the fire that drove a guy to take a pounding in order to get paid.  Then there’s the fact that Johnson held out until the days before the start of the regular season.

Nearly two months after getting paid, Johnson discussed the change in his production with Jim Rome on his radio show.  Johnson insists that the money hasn’t changed him.

“I’m still the same,” Johnson told Rome.  “I’m still hungry because like honestly I feel like I just got this big contract but if God is willing to let me continue playing all these years and things like that I still want another contract. . . .  I feel like if I wasn’t playing hard and laying down, the coaches and the players they would have had something to say about it.  They can see I’m practicing as hard as I can practice and I’m playing very hard.

“I know for a fact I’m the same guy.  Throughout workouts and things like that, same speed.  When things are not working out how they had been working out a lot of people like to point to I’m not the same guy, not as explosive, lost a step, things like that.  I can assure you that’s not what’s going on right now.”

So what’s going on?  Johnson acknowledged that he struggled early in the season because he wasn’t ready to hit the ground sprinting when his holdout ended.

“I feel I came in not in football shape,” Johnson said.  “Like I was in shape but not in football shape.  So I feel like I’ve been in football shape for a couple weeks now, so I don’t feel like that’s the reason why the running game’s not where it’s supposed to be at right now.”

Still, Johnson offered no explanation for his lingering inability to perform like he has in the past, even though he’s now supposedly in football shape.  Watching him play, he seems to not have that same ability to blast through a hole and rocket to the end zone, outrunning even any defensive backs who initially appeared to have an angle on him.

Johnson likely hasn’t gotten complacent, in large part because he hadn’t really taken much of a pounding.  His game is premised on speed, not power.  Right now, he seems to have neither.  As a result, he’ll have fewer chances to turn things around, since Javon Ringer is earning the ability to take touches away from Johnson.

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57 Responses to “Chris Johnson says he’s still the same guy”
  1. snarkzilla says: Nov 3, 2011 7:41 PM

    He heard about “Suck for Luck” and he’s trying really hard. That, and trying to avoid contact.

  2. drewj7 says: Nov 3, 2011 7:44 PM

    Ugh, Dude… Just figure it out and get it together man we need you!!!

    And by “we” I don’t mean Titan Fans I mean your Fantasy Owners.

  3. joetoronto says: Nov 3, 2011 7:45 PM

    Oh no you’re not.

    I knew this guy would fizzle out as soon as he got his money, it was just too obvious.

  4. psdaleno says: Nov 3, 2011 7:45 PM

    You’re the same guy the way Chaz Bono is the same girl.

  5. hrtbrokeskinzfan says: Nov 3, 2011 7:47 PM

    We sure this guy doesnt play for the redskins? Exactly our type. This would be a bigger story if he was in a bigger market.

  6. wheresmyjuice says: Nov 3, 2011 7:48 PM

    I hope he figures it out. When he’s got it going he’s one of the most enjoyable players to watch on the field.

  7. beaushunter says: Nov 3, 2011 7:48 PM

    ‘I’m still hungry because like honestly I feel like I just got this big contract but if God is willing to let me continue playing all these years and things like that I still want another contract’ – WHAT?!?!? English PLZ.

  8. nineroutsider says: Nov 3, 2011 7:48 PM

    I honestly feel like he is going through one of those patches that athletes, especially baseball players, go through and that he will turn it around.

    It’s like watching Pujols or Rodriguez bat .240 for a month or 2. Eventually they snap out of it. I don’t think this is the new Chris Johnson. He needs to stop pressing and just have fun. That is when athletes are at their best.

  9. drewj7 says: Nov 3, 2011 7:49 PM

    Call me crazy but hearing him talk makes me a little more confident in him.

  10. jayniner says: Nov 3, 2011 7:49 PM

    Hey Chris, with this new found wealth, is there any way you can reimburse me the $180.00 I spent drafting you in the first round of 2 fantasy leagues?

  11. nineroutsider says: Nov 3, 2011 7:51 PM

    hrtbrokeskinzfan says: Nov 3, 2011 7:47 PM

    We sure this guy doesnt play for the redskins? Exactly our type. This would be a bigger story if he was in a bigger market.
    —————————————————–
    Now that is a true fan. So many fans of the Skins, at least on this site, seem delusional but that is the “straight up dope”. Good luck this Sunday and hope that ownership does something right for you guys sometime soon.

  12. onthewagonsince90 says: Nov 3, 2011 7:54 PM

    Tennessee ask for a refund

  13. shaggytoodle says: Nov 3, 2011 7:54 PM

    Except for that notion about money changing people, right?

  14. nineroutsider says: Nov 3, 2011 7:56 PM

    CJ.25k…still the best line I have heard yet.

  15. gosuhgo says: Nov 3, 2011 7:56 PM

    Wait, did he just say the only reason he’s not quitting on this big contract is so that he might get another big contract later?

  16. gdeli says: Nov 3, 2011 7:57 PM

    just richer!

  17. peester15 says: Nov 3, 2011 7:57 PM

    So, you are saying all the sudden this O-line is the worst in the NFL?

  18. thetooloftools says: Nov 3, 2011 8:00 PM

    I heard the Jim Rome interview and you could hardly understand him.
    It was what it was.

  19. red513 says: Nov 3, 2011 8:04 PM

    drewj7, you’re crazy. If CJ couldn’t get it done against the COLTS, there is no hope. If the Titans didn’t still have a chance at the division, I bet they’d be running the legs off of him, just to prove a point. As it is, they still have a shot, so guess how many touches CJ got in the 4th quarter last week? Exactly 2. That shows how much his coaches believe in CJ, no matter what Munchak says at his pressers. CJ is done. Also, look at his career path compared to Larry Johnson’s, they are almost mirror images over the first three years. Remember what happened to LJ after he got paid? Nada. CJ=LJ (2011 version).

  20. obie09 says: Nov 3, 2011 8:04 PM

    @Peester15, no not all of a sudden. The o-line was ranked 31st last year but CJ made them look good still. This year they’re 32nd and hes not doing his job either but the o-line sure isn’t helping.

  21. mankato98 says: Nov 3, 2011 8:05 PM

    Can you imagine Adrian Peterson sucking this badly? Me neither.

  22. mrbigass says: Nov 3, 2011 8:06 PM

    He got paid. He quit. End of story.

  23. touchdownroddywhite says: Nov 3, 2011 8:17 PM

    Is it just me, or is it hard to like this guy?

  24. macker1283 says: Nov 3, 2011 8:17 PM

    “I’m still hungry because like honestly I feel like I just got this big contract but if God is willing to let me continue playing all these years and things like that I still want another contract. . . .”
    ——–

    I guess he just plays for contracts, and not you know, championships…

  25. sfgamblers says: Nov 3, 2011 8:21 PM

    HAHAHAHA CJ!!!!!

  26. hendeeze says: Nov 3, 2011 8:21 PM

    Same guy, but plays like Tiki Barber now

  27. sbxxix says: Nov 3, 2011 8:36 PM

    Is he related to Antoine Dodson?

  28. oldhamletman says: Nov 3, 2011 8:45 PM

    he demanded huge bucks, and got it

    now he’s not performing and his first excuse is – I wasn’t in shape and ready to play when they gave in to my hissy fit and gave me what I wanted.

    they should fire his ass….

  29. red513 says: Nov 3, 2011 8:45 PM

    Okay, so I get my link deleted but you let soem racist call him a dumb African? Nice.

  30. ottawabrave91 says: Nov 3, 2011 8:47 PM

    jammal charles is better!!!!!! except he is hurt. damn.

  31. winnersagain says: Nov 3, 2011 8:50 PM

    Overrated!

  32. test2402 says: Nov 3, 2011 8:59 PM

    This guy does not deserve the contract he got. He is stealing money now. It’s too obvious. Something has to be done about this clown. The guys who paid him have to do something. This guy laying down is a smack in the front offices face.

  33. nflfan877 says: Nov 3, 2011 9:00 PM

    My god, what would this team’s record be had they not signed Hasselbeck??

  34. test2402 says: Nov 3, 2011 9:01 PM

    If this guy is getting paid some sucker should pay Tony romo……….oh nevermind.

  35. goblue714 says: Nov 3, 2011 9:03 PM

    I love when these RBs holdout for huge contracts, the offensive line never has anything to do with their success. Maybe if he acknowledged them they would block better.

  36. siouxyaya17 says: Nov 3, 2011 9:11 PM

    #soft #bitchmade #CJ300

  37. paleandpasty says: Nov 3, 2011 9:11 PM

    And j. Lo is still jenny from the block.

  38. amanitoomerisgod says: Nov 3, 2011 9:19 PM

    I watched and re-watched every play of Johnson’s in the Texans game. It’s true what they say. Nowadays he is seeking out contact as if he were a power back. He makes terrible decisions in terms of down the field vision and almost seems to be attempting to end plays sooner rather than later.

    His quotes above smack of delusion, or dishonesty. Check it out the article “On WTF, Chris Johnson?” at onthingz-dot-com.

  39. leque4 says: Nov 3, 2011 9:26 PM

    If he’s the same guy that he say that he is, then Im Superman! C’Mon C.J. Admit it… You have an injury that you are trying to hide and you are doing a HORRIBLE job of it.

  40. mnajb says: Nov 3, 2011 9:33 PM

    Bahahaha! Doesn’t that mean he’s blaming the offensive line for his lack of skill and preparation?

    Remember when people were comparing this little flash in the pan to Adrian Peterson? Remember??? AP may never have the OL to make him AP2K(fine fine, it doesn’t have the same ring), but he is easily the most impressive physical specimen carrying the ball right now, and with the vikings record he is clearly self-motivated to be the greatest running back of all time.

  41. stevincinci says: Nov 3, 2011 9:33 PM

    Hopefully, this isn’t the week he remembers how to do his job. Wait until next week Chris CJ2, or whatever you Johnson guys want to call yourselves.

  42. crip2nite says: Nov 3, 2011 9:45 PM

    Go Bengals!!

  43. snarkzilla says: Nov 3, 2011 10:01 PM

    >The guys who paid him have to do something.

    The guys who paid him crafted the deal to pay him. Maybe something should be done about them.

  44. staffordsyear says: Nov 3, 2011 10:05 PM

    Cut him swallow your pride and start over.

  45. richm2256 says: Nov 3, 2011 10:27 PM

    Several possible reasons for his slide have been identified. The Titans have a new offense, a new offensive coordinator, and a new quarterback.
    ———————————————————
    Apparently they’ve also completely changed the concept of running with a football too?

  46. hamcamnewton says: Nov 3, 2011 11:04 PM

    man I miss the old Chris.. he has some insane run highlights and I was hoping for more this year.. I’m sure he’ll come out this slump. It happens to the best of us…

  47. goblue714 says: Nov 3, 2011 11:18 PM

    I’ve heard stories about backs taking care of their linemen, like dinners and gifts. As for johnson he threw his line under the bus a couple weeks ago because of his struggles. So laugh all you want but clearly you have to read between the lines.

  48. obie09 says: Nov 3, 2011 11:41 PM

    @goblue714

    like when he bought his whole offensive line expensive rings when he had 2000 yards, showing it wasn’t him as an individual but he knew it was a group effort..his o-line still supports him, he didn’t throw them under the bus like everyone picked at his words and pretended he did.

  49. drewbo22 says: Nov 3, 2011 11:51 PM

    Why is everyone down on CJ, as I re-call there is another player who had done basically nothing as a pro player, yet he received a $65 mil contract ($21 mil guaranteed) and cost the team that acquired him a star DB and future 2nd rd pick……And has played like crap for this team since day one. Yet no-one on any of these sites, news mediums are making a big deal about it. The player in question is Kevin Kolb. Kolb never did any thing to deserve his contract, at least CJ earned his contract with his prior play.

    But I guess since CJ is black, he is a bum for not living up to his expectations after getting his contract. And I guess since Kolb is white, it is ok for him to steal money and no big fuss be made about it. He did nothing prior to prove his worth and certainly has done nothing to date to prove he was worth the money. Yet this goes hidden and swept under the rug. But this crap with CJ has turned into front cover fodder on a daily basis. And that is not just locally, but everywhere. Why are these same people not all over Kolb, for basically the same thing?

  50. sportsguybayarea says: Nov 4, 2011 2:27 AM

    AP is AP. He has heart, dedication and all the passion for the game. Thats why he IS the best in the game. Frank Gore, he has all of the above and more. Probably as tough if not tougher than AP. Not to mention a new offensive coordinator almost every year hes been in the league which means new playbook as well, also playing behind a pretty bad o line year in and year out and STILL getting it done. So dont give any of the crap excuses of why CJ isnt play well. Hes lost his passion for the game (he probably never had it to begin with). AP and Gore are the type of players i root for. They make me have my passion for the NFL. Hopefully CJ will figure it out sooner rather than later. C’mon CJ, prove me wrong please. If not, take your money and dissappear from this league

  51. kahanapaniolo says: Nov 4, 2011 2:45 AM

    He is screwing it for all the other running backs. (see Matt Forte) What team is going to pay that kind of money for a running back and get that kind of a return?

  52. cup1981 says: Nov 4, 2011 5:37 AM

    What other RB that was all speed and had three good years, then just faded into oblivion? I’ll give you a sec to think [Jeopardy music].

    Give up? The same guy that so many people compared CJ to, good ol’ Willie Parker. Fast RBs never really make it in the NFL, unless you have something to complement it… CJ doesn’t have the best of moves, typically is a one-hit-tackle guy, and is is the same size or smaller than most DBs in the league.

  53. z0inks says: Nov 4, 2011 5:53 AM

    Well, of COURSE he’s the same guy who ran for 2K+ a couple years ago.

    He’s just not the same football player.

  54. londonfletcher says: Nov 4, 2011 7:26 AM

    I’ve said it before, running backs contracts should have stipulations that state if they don’t run or average “X” amount of yards, then their pay gets cut. Make them earn it, because in the case of guys like this, he’s got what he wants and quits. In a few years, nobody is going to know who this guy is anymore.

  55. voiceofrealism says: Nov 4, 2011 8:09 AM

    Chris Johnson is the same illiterate turd he’s always been. Now he’s just a wealthier illiterate turd.

  56. hateithere says: Nov 4, 2011 9:01 AM

    Shaun Alexander syndrome. signed the largest running back contract at the time in 06 and then wasn’t even on the team in 08, and out of the NFL by 09.

  57. MossMoon2Packers says: Nov 4, 2011 1:29 PM

    Remember all that silly talk about CJ2.8 being better than Peterson? It made me laugh. No RB has the heart and will to excel that Peterson has, least of all CJ2.8. If Peterson merely had an average (instead of a mediocre) OL blocking for him, he’d be gaining 2,000 yards every year. Can you imagine how many yards Peterson would amass if he had an OL like the one that blocked for Emmitt Smith in Dallas? The career rushing record would be Peterson’s for all eternity.

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