It's been nearly two weeks since the Titans fired offensive coordinator Chris Palmer. He was replaced by quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains. Despite the change, the results remained the same; Tennessee managed 10 points against Houston, tied for its second-lowest point total in a forgettable 4-8 season.
Running back Chris Johnson, whose 4.9 yards-per-carry is as productive as he's been in three seasons, admits that he was "very upset" about carrying the ball just 13 times for 51 yards against the Texans.
“When it is time for clutch plays in game-time situations, I don't want to be on the sideline or just be in there blocking all the time,” Johnson said via the Tennessean's Jim Wyatt. “Of course I want to be out there and make plays. I am a playmaker.”
Johnson, who is seven yards short of 1,000 for the season, hasn't brought this up with his new offensive coordinator.
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“I don't think it was a thing where he had to come to me and say anything," he said. "I was very upset, or whatever, not being able to be used as much as I wanted to be. But it's a situation, he's a new guy and he'd never called a game before in his career. Hopefully it will change.”
The fact that the Titans turned the offense over to a guy who had never called a game says more about Palmer than Loggains.
To his credit, Loggains took responsibility for not using Johnson more.
“Any time you get into a situation where you leave one of your best players on the sideline -- and when I say on the sideline I meant he is pass protection, he is not running the ball -- he is not doing what we pay him to do,” Loggains said. “And you are not as effective as you want to do.”
(We wonder how Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron feels about this.)
Meanwhile, Johnson's resurgence could create a problem for the Titans front office. CBSSports.com's Matt Rybaltowski writes that Johnson's due $10 million in base salary next season, which he almost certainly wasn't going to see after a dreadful 2011 campaign. Now that he looks more like the guy who ran for 2,000 in 2009, the question becomes if, at 27, the Titans will pay him, especially in light of all their other personnel needs.
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