Chris Johnson has the big money contract extension. Now he says he’s got to get into his groove.
The three-time Pro Bowl running back had only nine carries for 24 yards in the season opener as he works his way back into shape from his holdout that ended Sept. 2. Titans coach Mike Munchak is ready to give the ball to Johnson, saying he thinks the running back could have as many as 25 touches against Baltimore on Sunday.
Johnson said Wednesday he needs more carries than he got in the 16-14 loss to Jacksonville.
“You could blame it on the whole offense,” Johnson said. “We didn’t stay out there on the field and do what we were supposed to do and keep the drive going. I’m sure if we had kept the drive going and stayed out there longer I would’ve had more carries and things like that.”
Johnson had 16 touches against Jacksonville along with six catches for 25 yards.
“I wasn’t as tired as I thought I’d be,” Johnson said. “I can do more carries and things like that. I actually felt good out there.”
The Titans (0-1) certainly need Johnson up to speed immediately, and not just because they gave him a four-year contract extension worth $53 million with $30 million guaranteed. They are 17-7 when he runs for 100 yards or more and 18-5 when he runs for a touchdown.
Not that Tennessee had many chances against Jacksonville, running a total of 13 times for 43 yards. Only Denver had fewer yards in the opening week, but it was Johnson who had all eyes on him with his big contract. Johnson said he feels he really got four to six true carries in what now ranks as the third-worst performance of his career.