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Chris Johnson Praises Titans for Julio Jones Trade and Impact on Derrick Henry

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJune 10, 2021

Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Former Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson praised Titans general manager Jon Robinson for the blockbuster trade to acquire wide receiver Julio Jones from the Atlanta Falcons.

"I wish I could've played there when we had that GM," Johnson told TMZ Sports in an interview released Thursday. "They doing what they got to do to win games."

The 2009 NFL Offensive Player of the Year explained the arrival of Jones to start opposite A.J. Brown will prevent defenses from stacking the box against Derrick Henry, which will give the two-time defending NFL rushing champion a chance to post even more impressive numbers in 2021.

"There's no way you can put eight, nine in the box on Henry," Johnson told TMZ. "You got Julio on the outside. You got A.J. on the other side. So, you can't stack the box or anything like that. ... It's crazy."

He added: "I wish they would have made them moves when I was there. You love that move. You don't want to continue to run against eight and nine in the box. You don't want to do that."

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When Johnson rushed for 2,006 yards in 2009 to win a rushing title, he did it as part of an otherwise lackluster Tennessee offense. Vince Young and Kerry Collins combined for 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions while throwing to a group of targets led by Kenny Britt, Nate Washington and Bo Scaife.

Henry, who came up just 78 yards short of Eric Dickerson's single-season record of 2,105 rushing yards last year, should have a realistic shot to break that mark in 2021 between the new 17-game season and the talent around him preventing defenses from stacking the box.

Robinson talked about the upside of the Titans offense following the acquisition of Jones during an appearance Wednesday on the NFL Network's Good Morning Football.

"To have both of those guys [Jones and Brown], with Anthony Firkser, with Josh Reynolds, with Derrick in the backfield, obviously with Ryan [Tannehill], we're just excited about how they're all going to complement each other, the stresses they can put on defenses and make defensive coordinators' job harder to try to game plan of those guys," Robinson said.

High-powered offenses are the name of the game in the NFL, especially in the AFC with the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens among the teams the Titans will likely have to overcome if they're going to reach the Super Bowl.

The arrival of Jones alongside Brown and Henry gives Tannehill more than enough playmaking ammo to guide Tennessee on a deep postseason run.

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