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Chris Johnson bulks up in hopes of a bigger role

Chris Johnson AP

No back has been better the last four years than Chris Johnson.

But because many were last year, he’s making changes to his game.

The Titans running back spent more time this offseason with teammates and coaches, and added eight pounds of muscle to his frame, according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennesseean.

“I think Chris has been great,” Titans coach Mike Munchak said. “He has done everything we asked him to do, and he’s looked good.”

Since entering the league in 2008, he has 5,645 rushing yards, more than Adrian Peterson (5,411 yards) and Michael Turner (5,281) over the same span.

That’s almost more impressive considering Johnson fell off the grid last year, with  just 1,047 yards.

He didn’t look as explosive, and the Titans expanded their offense under Chris Palmer to take advantage of multiple weapons in the passing game.

“We were more of a smash-mouth team when I got here,” Johnson said. “And now it is more of a passing offense.”

“I expect to have a big role,” he added. “Since I got here, a lot of seasons, everybody has been keying on me.

“So, having all the extra additions, I feel good that everybody is not going to be able to key on me. I feel like a lot of teams won’t be able to focus on me like they have in years past.”

The Titans better hope he’s back, especially if they make a change at quarterback. If they go with Jake Locker over Matt Hasselbeck, expect them to lean more heavily Johnson’s way, to take the pressure off the second-year player.

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5 Responses to “Chris Johnson bulks up in hopes of a bigger role”
  1. katolungile says: Jul 17, 2012 12:38 PM

    I need to decide if I’m going to keep him for my fantasy team… I get one guy… I bought him for a low price last season when he was struggling.. I need a bounce back season.

  2. bronco3nj7nation says: Jul 17, 2012 12:53 PM

    good for cj2k finally worrying about how the team needs him not just being his own number one fan… eight lbs is nice gain too watch out for him this year he has a chip on him from last year.

  3. tennesseeoilers says: Jul 17, 2012 1:01 PM

    That’s a drag. What he needed to do was get his speed back. Seeing him get caught from behind about 10 weeks in was heartbreaking. (That’s when he was supposedly already back in shape.)

  4. rascalmanny says: Jul 17, 2012 1:01 PM

    Hell, I just hope he can get by the first defensive player that puts a hand on him.

    He’s never been one to move the pile, he’s not a great catcher, and hardly blocks.

    But I think he realizes he needs a good year to keep his job so I expect he’ll actually run this year.

  5. beauregard says: Jul 17, 2012 2:47 PM

    C J is (or was) a very good running back. Unfortunately running backs have a short shelf life in the NFL due to the pounding. Once the downward slide begins it almost never is regained. That’s why NFL free agent running backs with 4+ years of wear don’t get big contracts.

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