Chris Johnson feels he’ll prove 2011 was just a bad year


Titans running back Chris Johnson might have spent some time bragging about his speed on the track during the debut episode of Pro Football Talk, not the first time he’s let his thoughts drift to sprinting this year, but he hasn’t stopped thinking about football.

Johnson has faced scrutiny all offseason after turning in a disappointing 2011 season that led some to wonder if we would ever see the Johnson of old in the NFL again. There have been plenty of optimistic reports out of Tennessee about Johnson’s condition since the end of last season, which provide a counterpoint to those suggestions. Johnson, as you’d probably imagine, aligns himself with the optimists.

Johnson says that he’s in better shape than he was last season and he’s been able to spend more time preparing for the season without a lockout or contract dispute to iron out. And that’s enough to give him faith that he’ll make people forget 2011 soon enough.

“I feel like I had a bad year last year. I wasn’t myself,” Johnson said, via Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. “But at the end of the day, I don’t think I took a step back just because of one year. I don’t think the old C.J. ever left; he has always been here. I just had to handle my business. I am glad that is behind me, and I’m ready to play football.”

Getting off to a good start would be a fine way to start proving that the old C.J. still lurks inside the No. 28 Titans uniform. He averaged under 50 yards a game in his first four outings, a number that bounced up a little more than 20 yards in the final 12 games. That’s not the old C.J., but if he can post stronger numbers out of the gate this season it would bode well for increased numbers in the weeks to follow as well.

12 responses to “Chris Johnson feels he’ll prove 2011 was just a bad year

  1. Even if it is the old CJ, it’s not the old interior OL. Or the old OC.

    Still skeptical, going by an up-and-down preseason by the offense overall. But I do think Locker and his wheels can be as beneficial to CJ as Young ever was. CJ will help himself a lot if he can be a more consistent pass-catcher, too.

  2. Belichick takes away the opponent’s #1 threat. Look for Patriots to put this game in the hands of teh Rookie QB – Locker… and take CJ2K out of the game.

  3. But it wasn’t just a poor 2011 season. His performance during the 2nd half of the 2010 season was depressing as well. Don’t get me wrong–I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the original Chris Johnson hasn’t been lost forever. I remember like it was yesterday the 4.24 speed … the smaller guy breaking arm tackles and bouncing off bigger defenders delivering hits … the evasive jukes followed immediately by explosions of speed … Wow, I mean, we’d never seen anything like it. Will we ever again?

  4. Definitely need some OLine help and some receivers to step up in order for CJ2K to live up to his nickname. As another poster mentioned, it is always a good idea to take away the #1 threat… having multiple playmakers makes this much harder.

    Kenny Britt’s presence, or lack there of (maybe), will have a significant effect on CJ’s production.

  5. CJ, wouldn’t you have “handled your business” when you finally signed your new, ultra-lucrative contract last year? So why did you suck throughout the entire season after having “handled your business?” Oh yeah, because you finally got paid, and now you don’t care or feel like you should have to play hard, just like Marshawn Lynch.

  6. jpb12 says:Sep 5, 2012 11:47 AM

    Belichick takes away the opponent’s #1 threat. Look for Patriots to put this game in the hands of teh Rookie QB – Locker… and take CJ2K out of the game.

    Not exactly rocket science. Defenses have been doing that since 2009 against the Titans, regardless of who was playing QB.

    The Titans keep saying (though not as loudly as the Jets) that they have a few more things up their sleeve than what they showed in preseason, that with a full offseason (and no CJ holdout) to learn Palmer’s offense, they have more looks they will use to counter the “load the box against CJ” tendencies of defenses. And that they will take advantage of Locker’s mobility, too.

    Won’t be long now until we see if they can walk the walk. If they can’t, it’s gonna be a loooong September with the generally high-scoring opponents they face.

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