Chris Johnson said he expects, once the season starts and he is making plays, that he will become the Jets’ primary running back (Hanzus, July 1).
“Once the season starts and once we’re playing and I’m doing my thing, I’m pretty sure if I’m making plays they’re going to want to keep handing the ball off to me,” Johnson said. “If they want me to continue making plays, I’m pretty sure I can’t do that if I’m on the sideline.”
The Jets said that Johnson is no longer in the prime of his career, so they will be “strategic” in how they use him, running backs coach Anthony Lynn said recently (Cosentino, June 25).
“We’re going to have to be strategic in how we use him, and when we use him, to keep him fresh so that he can be the explosive guy that I know that he can be,” Lynn said.
Johnson also said his knee has been cleared by Dr. James Andrews and he is close to 100 percent.
He was held out of OTAs as he healed from surgery on his torn meniscus.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comThe Titans have had one of the worst offensive lines over the last three years and while they sought to address the group in 2013, they did so at the two least impactful positions by adding Chance Warmack and Andy Levitre as the team’s two new guards for Johnson’s final season. The results weren’t that much different despite the clear addition in talent.
The Jets offensive line might not be as good as it once was back in 2010, but it is easy to conclude that Johnson will benefit from a better offensive line in New York than he has for much of his recent career. It is not unreasonable to see Johnson experience an uptick in yards per carry based on his blockers alone.
That said, Johnson might not outgain himself in recent years due to the nature of the group. Chris Ivory is a powerful runner between the tackles when he can get a head of steam and might move into a short yardage and “closer” role, while Johnson picks up some series and third down work and/or designed plays. Meanwhile, Bilal Powell is a perfect complement to Ivory and Johnson in that he can fill in when C&C need a breather or the team need a competent and versatile (though less explosive) option. I do think that the Jets will utilize all their players to the best mix of skills and roles in an effort to keep the group fresh and the team’s depth at the position might be among one of the better groups in the league. So Johnson should be careful about making too many predictions too soon.