|What's going on with Chris Johnson in Tennessee? (US PRESSWIRE)|
Posted by Ryan Wilson
Back in August, before the Titans gave running back Chris Johnson a four-year, $53.5 million deal, we wrote that the Tennessee shouldn't pay him. Yes, Johnson's one of the league's top backs, and yes, he would've been underpaid (he was set to make $1.05 million in 2011), but running backs are among the easiest positions on the roster to replace, and the Titans had plenty of other needs after winning just six games in 2010 and drafting a franchise quarterback in April.
Obviously, the front office disagreed and gave Johnson a new contract that included $30 million in guaranteed dough. Now, six games into the season, Johnson is among the NFL's worst-performing backs. In Sunday's 41-7 loss to the Texans, Johnson managed just 18 yards on 10 carries. It didn't help that after the game he seemed uninterested in taking responsibility.
“Basically, if you are watching the game and you really can’t tell what is going on with the run game then I would say you really don’t know football,’’ Johnson said. “I wouldn’t say I am the issue. I am very confident I have been doing the things … I do.”
Like averaging 1.8 yards per rush?
On Wednesday, the Tennessean's David Climer writes that Johnson "evokes memories of Vince Young." Yikes.
The whole What’s up with CJ? is this season’s unfolding mini-drama, so much so that it risks becoming a distraction in the locker room and on the field. Try as he might, Munchak can’t get away from it.To coach Mike Munchak's credit, he downplayed Johnson's comments, perhaps in an effort to move the conversation away from one of the team's most underwhelming players.
This is strangely similar to Jeff Fisher’s constant balancing act with Young in the previous five years. Back then, there was an unmistakable air of unease between coach and quarterback. Fisher denied it for the longest time. Young did, too, at least until he was released by the Titans.
On Wednesday, Johnson clarified is remarks.
“I take a lot of accountability on myself,” he said. “Anytime I go out, no matter what the outcome is or anything like that, no matter what the stats look like or anything, I always (am) hard on myself.”
He also admitted that his poor performance left him as emotional as he's ever been.
“That was as frustrated as I’ve been throughout this whole year or my whole career,” he said. “Just (knowing) how good we are as a team and as a unit, and for us not to be out there showing it on Sunday, it’s just frustrating.”
The Titans play the Colts this week. If Johnson can't get on track against Indy, he'll be introduced to a whole new level of frustrating.
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