- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Mike Munchak kind of, sort of, put himself on the hook for a run-game evaluation -- after a quarter of the season.
Following a career-worst game for Chris Johnson, who turned 11 carries into 4 yards in a 34-13 loss to the Patriots, Munchak said he wasn’t going to get into breaking down every carry. He said the team would need more time, perhaps a quarter of the season, to assess the run game.
The Titans threw it with success so they got away from the run, and then they were trying to close a big gap so they got away from it even more.
Sunday, the run blocking was poor, but so was Johnson. A back with his skills should be able to gain more than 4 yards on 11 touches no matter how bad the blocking.
It’s one game, sure. But the benefit of the doubt clock is ticking on Munchak, coordinator Chris Palmer, offensive line coach Bruce Matthews and running back coach Jim Skipper as well as on the guys they are developing.
With no offseason last year and a holdout that took Johnson to the brink of the season, the run game struggles were explained away.
An offseason with Johnson around, with guard Steve Hutchinson added to the interior mix, with meetings and installation and more meetings was supposed to fix it.
There were no signs against the Patriots that such repair has occurred.
Darius Reynaud saw some action on third down and got two carries and three catches against the Patriots, but look for Johnson to get the lion’s share of work going forward.
“I think we’ll roll with what we have,” Munchak said.
As for the possibility of benching Johnson based on lack of production, Munchak said: “Anything's possible but I don't think it's anything that's going to ever happen."
Meanwhile it appears the Titans have addressed their interior line depth. Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean reports they’ve signed former Cardinals guard Deuce Lutui.