With Chris Johnson’s career with the Tennessee Titans now officially over. Finally. The question now has to be; how will the 7-year veteran fit in with his new team? The New York Jets.
Johnson has never been a guy that’s shy about what he desires. He desires to be the workhorse. He wants to be the guy that carries the ball 25 times each game. He also sets lofty goals like rushing for 2,500 yards in a season. The Titans organization wasn’t giving him a shot at either. Really, I don’t blame them. In fact, I think the Titans should have traded Johnson a season or two ago.
I think the Titans had the right idea of limiting Johnson’s touches to try to preserve him for the latter years of his career. Johnson looked at it as a slap in the face. A sign that the Titans no longer trusted him to be the ‘The Guy’. Nothing was farther from the truth. If there’s anything Johnson should be upset with Titans about, it’s the lack of cohesiveness from the offensive line over the years.
Things aren’t going to be easy in New York, either. Johnson, to me, seems to have a ‘me’ first attitude. It didn’t work in Tennessee and it certainly won’t work in New York. However, the Jets could be that team that tries to showcase his talents. Which is what Johnson wants. Whether, that’s good for the team or not will be the question. Right now, it looks like Johnson will share running back duties with Chris Ivory. While, Ivory is very serviceable, I would think Johnson will receive the bulk of the carries.
As for the Jets, they have questions of their own in the offensive line and it’s hard to say who will start at QB. Geno Smith should keep his job to start the season, but if he struggles, Michael Vick is on-board to take over. Although, Vick is much older and has endured multiple injuries over the years, pairing with Johnson in the backfield could spark memories of Vince Young and Johnson anchoring the Titans backfield just a few seasons ago. Chris Johnson, had his best seasons with Young under center. It’s really disappointing things didn’t work out. That duo gave the Titans an exciting look and was sort of the catalyst for the surge in teams utilizing the read-option in the NFL.
The Jets are a team in transition, and it’s quite possible Johnson may become the centerpiece. Jets head coach, Rex Ryan, is not an offensive guy, at all. However, he is the type of coach that wants to play to his defense. The Jets should be strong on D again in 2014. That means, even with the acquisition of former Broncos receiver Eric Decker, the Jets will be primarily a running team. Of course, a lot of that depends on the development of Geno Smith. Decker, was picked up to be the Jets number 1 receiver, which I think is a stretch, and there are returning receivers Jeremy Kerley and Stephen Hill. There is definitely talent there, but the Jets aren’t going to air it out. Johnson, may not get 25 carries, but I think he’ll average 15-20, which should keep him happy. After signing the deal, Johnson said he’s ‘coming to New York with a chip on his shoulder’. If that’s the case, the 2-years and $9 million they’re paying Johnson should be well worth it……