Running back Chris Johnson says the Titans' backfield looks good on paper, but it has to go out and prove its worth on gamedays.
His rationale, per Pete Prisco of CBS Sports:
"I did it first," Johnson said of running for 2,000 yards. "Not one time did I sit back and say he did something that I can't do. I did it first. He's a great back. But I can't sit here and say out of my own mouth that Adrian Peterson is better than me. All the things he's done, I've done the same things. I did them first."
CJ thinks 22 carries a game will be enough to get to 2,000 yards. That would require an average of nearly 5.8 yards, which sounds impossible. And I’m not sure he’ll get 352 carries.
I think he’ll get more like 254 carries and would need a 7.8-yard average.
That’s simply not happening.
Johnson tweeted “THANK GOD” when the Titans used the 10th pick in the draft on guard Chance Warmack. They also added guard Andy Levitre as their most expensive free agent in a spring of shopping, which makes their depth substantially better.
Excuses about blocking should disappear, as the system will be friendlier to Johnson under Dowell Loggains than it was under Chris Palmer.
But a lot more is on Johnson now. And he’s not saying everything is cured.
“Yeah, we look good on paper, but we’ve got to go out here every day and work hard and try to jell together and see how it is once we put it out there on the field,” he said. "Once we do that and if everybody can jell together, we should be OK."
I asked him how much is on him now that the line issue has been addressed?
“Just because we got all those good guys there’s not always going to be just great big holes,” he said. “I’ve still got to do my job. Hopefully it will eliminate some of the getting hit in the backfield as soon as I get the ball and those type of things and just get me a fair chance.”
No, even a great line isn’t plowing big holes on every snap. But barring something unforeseen, if the Titans don’t run well this year it’ll be much more about Johnson and the backs than about the line.