Last year at this time, Titans running back Chris Johnson wasn’t learning the team’s new offense, because Chris Johnson wasn’t around. When his holdout ended only days before the start of the regular season, Johnson was too far behind to make much of an impact.
Yes, he still had 1,047 yards rushing. But that doesn’t do his CJ2K nickname the proper justice.
This year, Johnson knows the offense. And he’s not troubled by the reality that, under offensive coordinator Chris Palmer, the plan will be to pass first.
“If they throw the ball well, it can help me because it will back some of those guys out of the box,” Johnson said, via the Associated Press. “I feel like that’s not a bad thing for me. I feel like it’s a good thing.”
Pass first or otherwise, Johnson will get his opportunities. They didn’t give him all that money to not use him.
And they’ll actually be using him a bit more in the preseason, according to coach Mike Munchak.
Perhaps the best news for Titans fans is that Johnson seems to be out of the boasting business. “Basically [my goal is] just to win,” he said. “I want to be the first guy to run for 2,000 yards twice, but I just want to come in here and win and have a good year.”
At a time when many are ready to hand the AFC South to the Texans, it’s easy to forget that the Titans finished only one game behind Houston in the standings. If Johnson can be even CJ1.5K, the Titans could kick the Texans back to the curb.