Chris Johnson: 5 Reasons Why the Tennessee Titans RB Has Disappointed in 2011
Chris Johnson has been one of the top running backs, if not THE best running back over the past three NFL seasons. After a lengthy holdout, Johnson was poised to continue this success into the 2011 NFL season, but so far, has been nothing short of a disappointment.
How does one go from All-Pro to getting booed off the field at a home game?
Here are the top five reasons Chris Johnson has disappointed in 2011:
5. Training Camp Holdout
Johnson has claimed he didn't show up out of shape following his holdout, but this is likely to have had some effect on his play so far this season.
It's within the realm of possibility that Johnson wasn't expecting a deal to get done as soon as it did and simply wasn't ready to play at an elite level.
For a back who has relied on his speed as his No. 1 tool, conditioning is crucial.
4. He Got Paid
When Johnson accepted a $53.5 million contract, he was putting a hefty price tag on his services.
Since then, he hasn't played with the same urgency or burst.
This has made many speculate if Johnson just found his 53.5 million reasons to set himself in cruise control until another contract year.
3. Run Defenses Faced
According to Football Outsiders, here are the Titans opponents' run defense rankings for their first four games:
Week 1: Jaguars No. 9; Week 2: Ravens No. 1; Week 3: Broncos No. 14; Week 4: Browns No. 13.
In the Titans' two losses since these tough run defenses, they haven't been in a position to rush the ball, going down early against both Pittsburgh and Houston, which could certainly help attribute to the lack of carries.
2. He's Playing with Fear
If you watch Johnson's play closely this year—especially this past week against the Texans—you'll notice he is shying away from contact of any kind.
It's almost as if he's given up on picking up any kind of yardage when he sees a defender bearing down on him.
1. He's Not Taking the Blame
Chris Johnson recently was quoted saying “I wouldn’t say I am the issue" (via Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean).
Yes, Chris—with 2.8 yards per carry and only a few runs over 20 yards, you need to also take your part of the failures.
Don't lay the blame elsewhere, or your linemen will stop blocking for you and the fans will most certainly stop cheering for you.