Chris Johnson says old Titans play-callers were “predictable”

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Jets running back Chris Johnson’s obviously still confident he can be a great back.

In fact, he thinks he could have been even better his last few years with the Titans except for his play-callers.

“When I was in Tennessee, a lot of the plays when the offensive coordinator was calling them, they were predictable,” Johnson told ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini. “Everybody could tell what was coming. With Marty [Mornhinweg], the plays aren’t predictable.”

Specifically, he was talking about the Chris Palmer and Dowell Loggains years, as he had his best seasons under former Titans coordinator Mike Heimerdinger, who was fired after the 2010 season and died a few months later.

“That was sad, real sad,” Johnson said. “It’s crazy, because after that, I bounced around from all different types of offensive coordinators. It just didn’t work out. … I had three or four coordinators who just didn’t put me in the right position. They didn’t put me in the right situations.”

Of course, there might have been other issues at play, as former teammate Delanie Walker talked about locker room cancers (though he and Johnson hugged it out via Twitter the next day).

Johnson’s battled some knee injuries of late, but it hardly seems coincidental that he averaged 1,532 yards per season from 2008-10, but just 1,122 from 2011-13.

And while he’s loving Mornhinweg now, we’ll see if the relationship is still as good if he doesn’t revert to his old form.

26 responses to “Chris Johnson says old Titans play-callers were “predictable”

  1. Rule #1 … take no responsibility for your performance. Remember, it’s always the fault of someone else if you play poorly. Of course when you play great then it’s all you.

  2. Interesting when he was running for big numbers, Johnson had no problem with the offense the Titans were running despite the fact they didn’t have a very good receiving corp back then, so they had basically no passing game. Once teams figured out how to stop him, then it is throw someone under the bus time. Football is a team game.

  3. When the going gets tough, the tough gets to complain. What separates between great running backs and others is their performance in different circumstances. This guy obviously has talent, brain power is what he is lacking.

  4. I would defer this to hardcore Titans fans if true??? Could it have been play calling or a combination of both. Both meaning Johnson’s penchant to bounce every run.

  5. I mean the guy is right. Sure you hate him because he has dreads and gold teeth and thinks he’s a lot better than he really is. He is right.

  6. Good for him. He truly belongs with the Jets of this decade. Talking about the greatness to be without realizing the window closed five years ago.

    The All Mouth Hall of Fame.

  7. As a Titans fan who was happy to see CJ go, I must say that he has a point on this particular matter. Most fans in the stands were constantly joking about the next play that would be ran. And way more often than it should be, we would be right. I cant tell you how many times last year, I met random people who would say “If we know they are going to run that from the stands, then obviously the defense knows it too.”

    I am not defending CJ. He didnt run hard, he fell down alot, he danced way to much, he missed alot of holes, etc. and I was happy to move on to the next back.

  8. As a titans fan, watching the offensive the past 3-4 yrs has been dreadful.. But CJ ain’t lying, it was predicable. Run up the middle, run up the middle, pass, punt. That was it. But I’m sure the Vikings were the same way, and defenses stacked the box to prevent AP from going off. But guess what Chris…he still went off every wk.

  9. I guess the coordinators are to blame from you constantly dancing around behind the line of scrimmage so much instead of just hitting the hole.. To only get tackle for a loss. But hey he did have his longest run which was a 94 yd TD against the team he’s with now. The J E T S!

  10. Can’t run other plays when you have a RB who can’t make plays. LOL. How long before “Titans” becomes “Jets” in CJ’s limited vocabulary?

    Can’t wait to see the NY media’s response to”me me me” CJ.

  11. Yea man so check it the reason I am not in the NFL right now is because no offensive coordinators used me in the right situations either.

    I mean come on everyone knows I can only do something when the defense isnt on the field, the ball is on the one yard line, and I have my air jordans on. Then I’m money every time.

    This guy isn’t a top 10 running back, he just proved it with his own words. Guys like Sanders, Smith, Payton, Brown made their own plays. You take Barry Sanders for example; everyone was keying off him cause the lions had no one else yet he made plays. Today you have AP, who did exceptional when Farve was good, and almost broke the single season total when everyone was stacked against him.

    Good backs make the plays they are suppose to, GREAT backs make plays when they should have gotten a loss.

  12. Yes, the Blame Game. If I were a Titans Fan I would not even look back. Bishop Sankey is better than every Jets RB combined. He is a complete player with speed, instinct, blocking ability and decent hands. CJ is fast break away back with only speed and nothing else. The NFL Defenses, even bad ones give these plays up very rarely. Behind a Jets patchwork line it won’t matter if CJ still had 4.2 speed or not.

  13. And I thought Courtney Stodden’s version of “Don’t Put It On Me” was the worst thing I ever heard.
    This guy really needs to shut up.

  14. Lived in Nashville from 1997 to early 2014 and saw every game, attended probably about 1/3 of the home games after the stadium was finished. The play calling was terrible the past three years. No consistent attempt to get CJ in space and no legitimate passing threat. That’s why the only back to see more stacked fronts in 2013 was Frank Gore. Just running CJ off-tackle three downs in a row into an 8-man front is not going to get it done.

    The Titans’ problems are deeper than play calling. Management simply won’t effectively address critical positions like QB, and the absentee ownership doesn’t care. With the most favorable stadium deal in the league and revenue sharing that allocated $286 million per team last season, it isn’t necessary for ownership to be concerned about winning. And it shows.

  15. The guy rushes for over 2000 yds in a season and never at any time gives his offensive line credit or coaches credit, but instead it’s all “look at me!!” Then he has a bad yr or two and throws his offensive line under the bus many times throwing the blame on them. Then has said the Titans coaches didn’t give him enough touches a game, but yet was 3rd in the NFL that yr in touches per game. Then came the Titans didn’t use me like they should, now it’s the playing calling was too predicable. Oh and another thing he might pretend right now that’s he’s ok sharing carries with another RB but that was always an issue for him in TN, so just wait Jets fans the excuses will start up from him about the Jets players and coaches very soon. This guy is an excuse!! And CJ I was one of your biggest fans, I have at least 4 jerseys, I’ve meant you in person but you need to stop throwing excuses at everyone. The NFL is a team sport. Win as a team, lose as a team.

  16. Different world now for CJ – Rex and Marty truly don’t care what you’ve done in the past. Chris Ivory is a bruising RB and when healthy he was very effective in 2013. Powell is useful and a terrific pass blocker for a RB. If CJ is unable to carry the load he will be riding pine, period.

  17. Well guess what CJ…you are now living in one of the highest cost of living cities on the planet making half the money you would have made in Tennessee. Enjoy your 50 cents on the dollar paycheck

  18. Diehard Titans fan here. And I for one often say we have the stupidest fanbase in the NFL. Blast CJ for blaming others when they themselves to this day blame VY and CJ gor the pathetic state this franchise is in. Instead of worrying about CJ. Y’all need to be worried about how pathetic the defense has looked. Because from what I’ve seen. A motivated CJ is gonna come here in Dec and put up about two bills in front of y’all that hate him so much.

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