Johnson says burst and speed aren't issues

October, 26, 2011
10/26/11
5:49
PM ET
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Chris Johnson says the Titans run game issues are not about his burst or speed, which he rates as the same as ever.

Johnson
“People shouldn’t worry about me losing burst once I get in the open field and somebody catching me, that I just won’t look the same once I get in the open field or anything like that,” he said. “I don’t feel I’ve been in the open field enough times for anybody to question my burst or anything like that.”

Mike Munchak agrees: “We have to get him in the open more. We have to find out, I’d love to find that out. My thing is we have to get him more than 10 carries a game.”

After practice Wednesday, Johnson declined to guess his current 40 time. He said he heard earlier in the day from Adrian Peterson, who called to check on him.

Johnson’s comments Sunday after the Titans lost 41-7 to Houston and he turned 10 carries into 18 yards were taken as finger pointing at the offensive line, when he said “I won’t say that I am the issue.”

He said he’s being accountable, but running the same as he always has with poor results.

“I’m not pointing a finger at nobody, it’s just not going our way right now,” he said.

During the holdout that got him four additional contact years worth $53.3 million with $30 million guaranteed, he sold himself as not just a running back but a playmaker.

I asked him if he understood people’s frustrations about not getting plays from the playmaker.

“I don’t see how they can have frustrations because they don’t know what’s really going on, they’re just looking at the game and if you don’t make a big play then it’s automatically your fault,” he said. “So I don’t see how they can be frustrated.”’

I sure do, and I sure see how a comment like that isn’t going to help the public feeling toward his struggles.

If it wasn’t the Colts this week -- a defense against which he absolutely must be able to run -- I would have advocated him working only as a third-down back on Sunday.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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