|CJ2K looks to break out. (US Presswire)|
Titans running back Chris Johnson had a forgettable 2011 season, a situation exacerbated by the four-year, $53 million extension he signed days before the opener. After it was over, the artist formerly known as CJ2K had 1,047 yards on 262 carries and four touchdowns. Perfectly reasonable numbers for an affordable backup, but unacceptable for a guy paid like one of the league's best backs.
During the offseason, new Rams coach Jeff Fisher, who coached Johnson in Tennessee from 2008-10, suggested we all "delete last year and move on with high expectations." It's a fine sentiment except that, through three games in 2012, Johnson has 45 rushing yards on 33 carries for a depressing 1.4 yards per carry.
Titans running backs coach Jim Skipper, like Fisher this summer, is stressing the positive. He's even mixing in baseball metaphors.
"Well, it's like a baseball batter trying to hit a home run," Skipper told NFL.com's Ian Rapoport earlier this week. "All of the sudden, the batter hasn't hit a home run in 25 at-bats and now everybody's counting how many at-bats he's gone since he hit a homer. That type of thing. What you gotta do is just relax and, eventually, things will start happening. All you gotta do is be yourself, and good things will happen and just stay positive."
This isn't entirely Johnson's fault; the offensive line has been atrocious. But things look to get worse before they get better; the Titans's bottom-of-the-barrel rushing attack faces the Texans' top-rated defense on Sunday.
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