Found June 12, 2013 on Optimum Scouting:

If you're a fan of the Tennessee Titans, or if you've had him on a fantasy roster in the last couple of seasons, you're well aware of how frustrating Chris Johnson can be. The player who once was a holding penalty away from potentially breaking the NFL's rushing record, Johnson has spent the last several years as a mediocre threat at best.

No team has done more to try and improve their running game during this offseason than Tennessee. Will the massive investments they've made pay off, or will 2013 be the same old story for Johnson and the Titans?

Ever since Johnson's production began to decline, there's been great debate as to whether or not the problem was the running back or the blocking in front of him. The Titans left little doubt as to what they felt the problem was. With the big ticket additions of guards Andy Levitre and Chance Warmack, another potential starter in center Brian Schwenke, a new running backs coach (Sylvester Croom) and a legitimate option to help spell Johnson (Shonn Greene), it's clear that Tennessee felt the biggest issues were in the supporting cast.

That conclusion is hard to argue with, at least to some degree. Watching almost any game tape from 2012 quickly reveals that the interior of Tennessee's offensive line was one of the league's worst. Johnson certainly looked indecisive and appeared to give up on plays – but when there's no hole to run through in the first place that becomes a little more forgivable.

The Titans devoted over $50 million dollars and two draft picks, including their first round selection, to try and solve that problem. Levitre is one of the more highly regarded left guards in the league, and although he's typically considered to be a better pass blocking player than a run blocker, he's still a tremendous upgrade over the Titans have had to work with previously. Warmack, who appeared desperate to be selected by Tennessee in the first place, will also be a big improvement at the right guard position. If Schwenke can win the competition for the starting center spot during training camp, it'd result in three out of five starters on the line being replaced just one offseason.

Tennessee didn't just settle with making offensive line improvements. Johnson's most productive years came when he was sharing carries with LenDale White. The Titans got away from that formula in more recent seasons, but with the addition Greene it appears as though that Johnson will again be getting more chances to catch his breath in 2013. While signing Greene specifically was a questionable call, as there were better and cheaper options available via free agency and the draft, the philosophy behind it is hard to argue with. White was a below average running back and was still able to compliment Johnson. Greene, while he's one of the worst starting backs in the league, should be able to at least provide the same production that White did years ago.

With those big investments, as well as shift to a run first philosophy on offense, Johnson will have no excuses in 2013 as he has in the past. Does he still have the talent to live up to those types of expectations? It does appear to be the case. Even after starting the year with just 45 yards rushing in his first three games, he still managed to finish the year with a 4.5 yards per carry average. He had seven games with 90 or more yards rushing, and flashed the big play potential that made him a household name years ago.

It remains to be seen if such a run oriented attack will result in wins for the team as a whole. However, there should be little doubt that Chris Johnson will be returning to form in 2013. There are few running backs that will have a better situation to produce in. If he can't put up big numbers this year, it'll be a sure sign that his career as a starting running back is over.  


Johnson wants 2,000 yards again, playoffs too

Chris Johnson is often asked how many yards he thinks he can rush for any season, and the player nicknamed CJ2K always responds with the same answer: 2,000. But Johnson says he is rarely asked about his team goals and gets tabbed as a selfish player for mentioning his personal goal. Still, he believes he can run for 2,000 yards again and help the Titans make the playoffs. His ultimate...

Chris Johnson Says He’s Not Selfish For Wanting 2,000 Yards Rushing

Titans running back Chris Johnson has made no secret of his goal to rush for 2,000 yards in a season.  Johnson has predicted that he will return to his glory days of 2009 when he had over 2,500 yards from scrimmage. Johnson said that every season his goal is to rush for 2,000 yards, but that doesn’t make him selfish according to the Tennessean. “Every year coming in I have a...

Chris Johnson Says He’s Not Selfish For Wanting 2,000 Yards Rushing (Video)

Titans running back Chris Johnson has made no secret of his goal to rush for 2,000 yards in a season.  Johnson has predicted that he will return to his glory days of 2009 when he had over 2,500 yards from scrimmage. Johnson said that every season his goal is to rush for 2,000 yards, but that doesn’t make him selfish according to the Tennessean. “Every year coming in I have...

Stefan Charles out to show he’s got the goods

Ever heard of the University of Regina? Well, me either, but defensive tackle Stefan Charles  is a beast at 6’4 and 328lbs for the Tennessee Titans and attended the school. I think it’s safe to say with a good preseason, Zach Clayton and DaJohn Harris could be on the outside looking in. Charles might look the part of a defensive tackle, but he has never actually played against...

Tennessee Titans UDFA CB George Baker is still new to the position but not football

George Baker was a pure athlete in Miami when he was coming out of high school. He was an All State offensive player and at 5’11, 180 pounds he was a blazer.  He never played CB until USF in college, but George turned out to be a very good player.  He finished his 2012 season with 42 tackles, 5 pass break ups and several huge hits.  George understands it will take work for him...

Chris Johnson reportedly looks to be in great shape

According to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean, Chris Johnson is in fantastic shape. Of course, we did hear that same thing last year. I wouldn’t hang on this comment too much. Johnson played well under par in 2012. Although, this year could be different for Johnson. He’s playing behind probably the best offensive line in his entire career. 2013 might be his last chance to solidify...

Titans agree to terms with WR Justin Hunter

The Tennessee Titans have agreed to terms with receiver Justin Hunter, their second-round draft selection. The Titans announced the agreement Thursday. The 6-foot-3 Hunter spent three seasons at the University of Tennessee where he caught 106 passes for 1,812 yards and 18 touchdowns. He was second-team All-Southeastern Conference as a junior after 73 receptions for 1,083 yards...

Chris Johnson Reportedly in ‘Great Shape’

Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson ”looks to be in great shape” and “has been explosive” during the team’s OTAs on Monday, according to Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. Photo Via Official Tennessee Titans Facebook Page It’s worth noting that we did hear similar things all last offseason, and when the games got underway, Johnson was inconsistent and ultimately blamed...

Titans' McCarthy primed for productive, healthy season

NASHVILLE, Tenn. The Tennessee Titans have liked what they've seen in two seasons from Colin McCarthy. The thing is, they just havent seen the middle linebacker enough for their liking. Ditto that feeling for McCarthy, who exploded onto the scene to earn the starting slot two seasons ago as a rookie and unheralded fourth-round draft pick out of Miami (Fla.). By the time 2012...

Titans agree to terms with WR Justin Hunter (Yahoo! Sports)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have agreed to terms with receiver Justin Hunter, their second-round draft selection.,

PN Interview: RHP Prospect Walter Speaks of Tommy John Recovery

Right-handed pitcher Kevin Walter recently made his Class A debut after a considerable wait, having dealt with a lengthy recovery from Tommy John Surgery.  A Phillies’ 20th round draft selection out of Legacy High School in Colorado, back in 2010, Walter had been limited to very minimal game action over the three years after signing his first pro contract until he was promoted...

Fantasy Facemask: Getting That Fantasy Football Edge

With the NFL season fast approaching, it is time to take a look at some of the fantasy commodities that could be a rags to riches story for the 2013 season.Coming up will be 10 players to keep an eye on for the 2013 season who can give you a foothold on your fantasy leagues.1. Chris Johnson, RB - Tennessee TitansLast season, many considered Johnson to be on a bust of a season and...
All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

2014 Mountain West Conference Preview: Top 10 Senior NFL Draft Prospects
2015 NFL Draft: Get to Know These Three Underrated Senior Prospects
2014 College Football Preview: SEC’s Top Senior Prospects for the 2015 NFL Draft
2014 Heisman Odds: Evaluating the Senior Candidates and their 2015 NFL Draft Futures
2014 College Football Preview: Top Senior Prospects for the 2015 NFL Draft
2014 College Football Preview: Big 12′s Top 10 Seniors for the 2015 NFL Draft
2014 Supplemental Draft: No Prospects Drafted, All Four Now Become Free Agents
2014 Supplemental Draft: North Carolina’s Darius Lipford Leads Four Eligible Prospects
Bruce Feldman’s “Freak List”: Evaluating the Seniors For the 2015 NFL Draft
2015 NFL Draft: Ranking the Top 5 Prospects for Each Big Ten Team
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.