- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Titans’ second-year running back joked Wednesday after practice that he intends to launch an MVP campaign soon.
“Of course I should be in the conversation,” he said. “And I’m about to start a campaign, an MVP campaign. Everything. When is the voting?”
And while he expects the Titans to fulfill the prophecy he offered after the Titans' first win that they would win 10 in a row and make the playoffs, he said it shouldn’t have to come true for him to win the honor.
“I don’t understand that,” he said “MVP, that’s an individual goal, that’s not a team goal. Last year, my team, we had a first-round bye, went to the playoffs and all that and they still gave Matt Ryan [offensive] rookie of the year. So it shouldn’t have to go on how good your team is doing.”
He also said he’s not sure a 2,000-yard season is a necessity, though he’s currently on pace for 2,030 rushing yards. That number is too far away for him to think about much now, he said.
Johnson will be pleased to know he's moved up in Mike Sando's weekly "MVP Watch."
Voters who prefer one of the quarterbacks of a playoff team for MVP might look to Johnson for a different award -- offensive player of the year.
The MVP and offensive player of the year have been the same player for the four of the last five seasons. Last year Manning was MVP while Brees was offensive player of the year.
In the five seasons before that, a quarterback was MVP while a running back was offensive player of the year four times.
Marshall Faulk was OPOY twice when Kurt Warner was MVP. Priest Holmes won the second award when Rich Gannon was MVP in 2002. The same scenario played out for Jamal Lewis when Peyton Manning and Steve McNair were co-MVPs a year later.
“That’d be good too,” Johnson said of possibly being offensive player of the year. “But I want MVP.”