CJ should have met Whiz by now

March, 6, 2014
Mar 6
12:30
PM ET
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Running Chris Johnson hasn’t met Tennessee Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt.

That’s part of what he told Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean in a recent conversation.

I won’t pretend to understand negotiations and posturing and all the things that go on between a player and a team when they reach a point like Johnson has with the Titans.

Johnson
Whisenhunt
He’s proud to be coming off a sixth consecutive season of more than 1,000 yards, and that he has been exceptionally durable through his career.

The team is looking at his 3.9-yard average per carry and the scheduled $8 million salary. Understandably, those numbers don’t merge from the team’s perspective.

Whatever the posturing plan is, if Johnson really wanted to give himself the best chance to remain with the Titans under his current deal, he should have been to the facility to introduce himself to Whisenhunt by now.

He can talk of how the blocking and the coaching have been insufficient over the past several years. Those things have been a big factor in him not being the playmaker he sold himself as when he got his big contract after three years. But he’s been a factor, too.

If I’m the new coach of a franchise and have a role in deciding the fate of a player who has been a pivotal piece of the roster I inherit, the resume on tape is a huge factor for me, but so is a first impression.

Whisenhunt, like any coach taking over, wants guys who are all-in.

I don’t know how much CJ has been in Nashville since the season ended and the coaching change was made. Even if it required a plane ride, he should have found time by now to get out to the team headquarters and say hello to Whisenhunt and offensive coordinator Jason Michael.

How would they feel as if CJ is all-in when he hasn't so much as stopped by?

I tweeted Johnson and emailed his agent, Joel Segal, to ask why Johnson wouldn’t have introduced himself yet. Neither has replied to this point. If either does, I’ll certainly share what he says.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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