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CJ work answers querries

CJ work answers querries

Posted: Saturday, June 9, 2012 7:00 pm

NASHVILLE (AP) — Chris Johnson is on a mission. The Tennessee running back insists he’s still the best in the NFL, and he’s working hard this offseason to make sure he bounces back after the worst season of his career.
Johnson has packed on eight to nine pounds of muscle as part of his strong commitment to the Titans’ offseason program.
It’s a dramatic difference from last year, when Johnson missed nearly the entire preseason holding out for a contract extension. He got his money, then the self-proclaimed best running back in the league ran for 1,047 yards. That was less than 13 others in 2011.
“I just know when I have been through the same things as everyone as far as camp and being on the same page as my offensive line, I feel like I am the best back in the league,” Johnson said Wednesday.
Johnson took a handoff Wednesday during the Titans’ second week of organized team activities, made a sharp cut to the left and shot into a gap opened by seven-time Pro Bowl offensive guard Steve Hutchinson. The veteran is one of the Titans’ top free agent acquisitions this offseason.
Such openings were rare in 2011 for the man who led NFL in rushing over the last four years, and that left the Titans ranked 31st in the league in yards rushing per game.
Intent on returning to his old form that helped him earn his self-proclaimed nickname CJ2K, Johnson began lifting a month earlier than usual this offseason. Though Johnson hasn’t completely eliminated McDonald’s from his diet, he has replaced fried food for the most part with baked chicken and mashed potatoes. Johnson now weighs roughly 199 pounds.
“It’ll just help me stay healthy and fresh, not so much break tackles,” Johnson said.
Rebounding from a down year hasn’t been easy for elite running backs over the past decade.  Former Packers running back Ahman Green and former Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander were both under 30 when they recorded 1,800-yard seasons in 2003 and 2005, respectively. Neither rushed for 1,200 yards again.
Johnson became only the sixth man in the NFL to run for at least 2,000 yards in 2009 when he ran for 2,006 yards. Like Johnson, Jamal Lewis was only 24 when he became the fifth man to run for at least 2,000 yards. In his next six seasons, Lewis rushed for more than 1,300 yards only once.
In that record-setting season, Johnson had 22 carries of 20 yards or more and seven of at least 40.
His explosiveness has declined with just 24 rushes of 20 yards or more combined and five of at least 40 in the past two seasons combined.
But head coach Mike Munchak  credits Johnson with working hard to come back with a great year.
“A lot of the weeks he has been here all five when that is not even necessary to do,” Munchak said.


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