Chris Johnson is entering his seventh year in the NFL and has never rushed for less than 1,000 yards in a single season. That is an impressive feat for any running back, but Johnson has been frustrating to watch since he eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark in 2006. He quickly went from being the best back in the NFL to the most infuriating.
Johnson, who will turn 29 next month, has looked very sharp over the last two preseason games. He rushed for 63 yards on 10 carries against the Bengals and 42 yards on nine totes against the Giants, giving him an average of 5.53 yards per carry during that span. And CJ sure is confident.
“That’s just what some people say, but people in this game know,” Johnson told the NY Daily News when asked about his recent decline. “I’ve never been a guy who’s had under 1,000 yards. There’s a thousand backs out there that wish they could rush for 1,000 yards. And I’ve done that every year of my career. So, it is what it is.”
The issue is Johnson could have been so much more than just a 1,000-yard guy. He has tremendous speed and talent, but he has a tendency to show up when he pleases and loaf the rest of the time. Rex Ryan has done a solid job of taking pressure off Johnson by stressing that the Jets will use a running back committee.
“Yeah, we got a couple backs here, but once the games start…” Johnson said. “Get a couple carries. If it goes good or if it don’t go good, that doesn’t mean that you’re not going to be in the game no more. You’re still going to be in the game throughout the whole game. It’ll work (itself) out.
“I won’t say that I’m not one of the best running backs in the league. But it’s not about trying to see who’s the best running back on this roster or who’s the best running back in the league. It’s about trying to win.”
As our friend Evan Silva reminded us, Johnson looked even better last preseason. He battled a knee injury throughout much of the season, but he still ultimate wound up disappointing. Of course, Johnson blames the Titans’ predictable playcalling for his struggles in 2013.
Bottom line? I wouldn’t trust Johnson in fantasy football or in real life. If he proves me wrong, good for him.