Tennessee Titans: Will Chris Johnson Put Up or Shut Up in 2012?

Chad MintonCorrespondent IJune 5, 2012

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 02:  Running back Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans runs the ball against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Chris Johnson has wasted no time reminding everyone that last season's disappointing numbers had no effect on his self-confidence.

Recently, Johnson proclaimed that he is "still the best back in the league," and head coach Mike Munchak is probably hoping he is right.

If Johnson returns to his old form of 2009, then the Titans will be a force to be reckoned with in the AFC. Even without Johnson playing  up to his full potential, the Titans still pushed for a playoff spot. A no-show against the lowly Colts kept that from happening.

Jonson has never been shy about telling everyone how great he believes he is, and honestly, there's nothing wrong with that. You want your players to believe they are the best at their respective positions. If you don't think you're one of the best, then chances are that you're not going to go very far in the NFL.

However, you also have to back that talk up. Johnson hasn't backed that talk up over the last two seasons. In fact, Johnson has been virtually invisible in big games over the last two seasons.

Last season against eventual AFC South winner Houston, Johnson could only manage 18 yards on the ground. Not what you would consider the "best back in the league."

You don't have to just use last season as an example of Johnson not showing up in big games. In the second game of the 2009 season against the Steelers, once again, Johnson was a non-factor.

There are also a handful of other key division games in which Johnson has failed to live up to his self-proclaimed tag of being the best at his position.

It really is time for Johnson to stop living in the past and start delivering in key situations, like the best backs in the league truly do.

This could end up being a special season for the Titans, with their offense looking to be full of promising pieces and the defense getting better as well.

If Johnson backs up his proclamation, then we'll all be happy to hear his boasting throughout the offseason. However, if he flops yet again, then it will be time to adopt a more modest tone for Johnson.