Friday, June 8, 2012
CJ doesn't need to be NFL's best back
By Paul Kuharsky
More muscle suggests Chris Johnson will be able to run more physically in 2013 than he did in a poor 2012.
That’s great, but his game’s never going to be about muscle, it’s always going to be about speed. He said the added weight is about staying healthy and fresh, not breaking tackles.
Still, I hope being stronger means he’s less prone to curl up and go down when he’s hit early in the backfield, something that happened too often last season and that he still hasn’t confessed or addressed.
He also said this week that he’s the NFL’s top runner.
"I just know when I have been through the same things as everyone as far as camp and being on the same page as my offensive line, I feel like I am the best back in the league.”
Look, CJ spends too much time predicting his numbers and ranking himself. But he was doubtlessly answering a question and fans should want their players believing and saying such things.
That “I-am-the-best” mentality is a big ingredient in fueling players, and while I can find it difficult to swallow I understand the psychology of it to some degree.
Johnson doesn’t need to be the league’s best back.
He needs to be productive in the Titans’ offensive scheme, gaining good yards when the box isn’t stacked to bring defenses forward so that Matt Hasselbeck or Jake Locker have increased chances to make big plays over the top to Kenny Britt, Nate Washington and Kendall Wright.
Let’s start there and leave the best-back conversation for later.