Wednesday, May 8, 2013
What to expect from CJ in '13
By Tom Carpenter
On Tuesday, we discussed how Shonn Greene fits into the Tennessee Titans' backfield with Chris Johnson. But what sort of expectations does Johnson have for himself this season? In previous years, we heard him suggest he could go for another 2K campaign or even 2,500 yards, but he struck a different tone this week when talking to the press, according to David Climer of the Tennessean.
"He declined to make any predictions about yardage totals. He deflected questions about individual goals. He even seemed to embrace the arrival of veteran running back Shonn Greene as a short-yardage back," Climer wrote. "In short, he wasn’t himself — or at least not the Chris Johnson we expect to hear during the offseason. And that’s encouraging."
Johnson seems to be intrigued by new offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, who dubbed him "a franchise running back."
"Look for Johnson to line up at different spots in Loggains’ offense," Climer added. "The goal is to get the ball into his hands in space as often as possible. He should be more active in the passing game."
That's good news for fantasy owners who have him in points-per-reception keeper leagues, especially considering that CJ already has hit the 50-catch mark twice during his five-year NFL career. ESPN AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky thinks Johnson can have a big year if he truly is willing to put the team ahead of his personal goals and desires:
Paul KuharskyHas Chris Johnson's changed direction?
"While the Titans intend to be a run-first, run-heavy team, they brought in Greene. He’s going to take carries away from Johnson, and that’s going to make CJ's dream of a second 2,000-yard season completely impractical. The offense intends to get Johnson involved in the passing game. That sounds great. But he often appeared disinterested in catching passes last year, when they fell to the ground a lot when they came in his direction. If he dedicates himself to being better in that area, if he realizes a pairing with Greene can be healthy for both him and the team, it could be a big year for CJ. Just with a different definition of big."