In a recent statement, Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson has voiced his displeasure with his role on the team. Roger Lodge and Tony Luftman discuss.
Chris Johnson, who is under contract and scheduled to make $8 million next season, said if the Titans don’t plan on giving him a bigger role under their next head coach, he would rather be elsewhere, Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean reports.
“I feel like if they are not going to use me the way I am supposed to be used and let me be the horse, then I would rather them let me move on. Their money would be wasted on me,” Johnson said. “I feel like if they are not going to use me right, let somebody get me that’s going to use me the right way.”
Johnson said he hasn’t requested a trade. He vowed to continue working hard if the Titans decide to keep him. He is under contract through 2016, the result of an extension he received in 2011. He’s scheduled to make $8 million in 2015 and $7 million in 2016.
“No disrespect, I love Tennessee and would love to be in Tennessee. But I feel like I am wasting the prime years of my career if I am not used right. You feel me? It is crazy to look at backs around the league and see the opportunities they have,” Johnson said. “I am not a coach, and I am not a GM. But if I am paying a player to make him the top-paid guy on the team, there is no way in critical situations that he is going to be on the sideline. Around the goal line, I’d come out.
“I want to help the team win. People say, ‘He is not worth the $10 million, he is not worth the $8 million.’ I feel like if you give me $8 million, let me earn it. At crucial times of the game, I shouldn’t be on the sideline watching.”
The Titans coaching search continues, and today the team had a formal sit down with Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 7, 2014
Gruden also is being talked about to interview with the Redskins, Lions and Vikings, three teams that are ahead of the Titans when it comes to reaching out to coaches this offseason.
After firing Mike Munchak in a stunner on Saturday, the Titans are wasting no time in looking for a new head coach.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports the Titans reached out informally this week to Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt.
Rapoport add they are also interested in Cowboys special teams coach Rich Bisaccia and Vanderbilt coach James Franklin.
Mike Munchak released a statement today on his firing from the Titans:
“This is a day I hoped would never come, but there is a reason for everything. Words cannot express the sadness for leaving this organization that I have been a part of for over 30 years.
My goal as head coach was to do things the right way with the right people and I felt confident that the results would follow. Sometimes rebuilding a team and its culture takes time, but I truly believe we were on the verge of great things. Unfortunately my vision did not match that of the organization, so we will part ways.
My family and I would like to thank the Adams family for all of the opportunities that they have given me over the last three decades.
I also would like to thank my players and staff for their on-going support and I wish them all the best.
Also, to the fans that have hung with me, I want to say “thanks.”
Less than 24 hours than it appearing he was going to stay, the Titans have fired head coach Mike Munchak after three seasons in which he led the Titans to a 22-26 record.
Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported the news first Saturday aftenroon.
There was a meeting on Friday with Titans President and CEO Tommy Smith and Munchak, and it looked like his job was safe after that meeting.
Something Saturday led Smith and the Titans brass to change their minds on Munchak and their decision to keep him on.
Munchak took over for Jeff Fisher after he was fired following the 2010 season.
Indications are Titans team president/CEO Tommy Smith has decided to retain Mike Munchak for the 2014 season, JIm Wyatt of the Tennessean reports. This according to sources familiar with the situation.
The Titans finished 7-9, putting Munchak on the hot seat with one year remaining on his contract. He met with Smith on Friday in Houston and convinced him that the team is close to a breakthrough.
The Titans haven’t been to the playoffs since 2008 and haven’t won a playoff game in a decade.
The Titans still have plenty of issues to sort through, including some on Munchak’s staff. Defensive coordinator Jerry Gray and senior assistant Gregg Williams both have expiring contracts. Running back Chris Johnson is scheduled to make $8 million in 2014, and quarterback Jake Locker is heading into the final year of his contract.
“I feel real good about this team, how we have grown as a team throughout the year. I see it first-hand every day. I see the tape. I see what we are doing. I think I have a great feel for what we need as we continue to get better,’’ Munchak said.
“I don’t think we are that far off. I think you saw that in the way we played this year. I don’t think you saw a team that last year we had a hard time hanging in games. This year, we were right there. We just got to find, get a few closures. We just need to find a few more guys to help us close out games and we’ll be in great shape.”
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (6-3) AT TENNESSEE TITANS (4-5)
|STREAKS||Past 3, 8 of past 9|
|COACHES VS. OPP.||Pagano: 2-0||Munchak: 1-3|
|LAST WEEK||L 38-8 vs. Rams||L 29-27 vs. Jaguars|
|LAST GAME||12/9/12: Titans 23 at Colts 27. Indianapolis CB Cassius Vaughan returns INT 3 yards for TD in 3rd quarter as Colts overcome 13-point halftime deficit.|
|LAST GAME AT SITE||10/28/12: Colts 19, Titans 13 (OT). Indianapolis rookie QB Andrew Luck leads 80-yard 4th-quarter TD drive to force OT. Colts RB Vick Ballard has game-winning 16-yard catch.|
|BROADCAST||NFLN (7:25 PM CT): Brad Nessler, Mike Mayock, Alex Flanagan (Field reporter). Westwood One: Ian Eagle, Trent Green, Rocky Boiman (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WW1) 92 (Ind.), 86 (Ten.). XM: 88 (WW1), 225 (Ind.) 86 (Ten.).|
|PASSING||Luck: 183-311-2,198-14-6-87.5||Fitzpatrick: 63-111-790-4-4-76.0|
|RUSHING||Richardson: 119-355-3.0-2||C. Johnson: 150-546 (3C)-3.6-2|
|RECEIVING||Hilton: 41-663-16.2-5||Wright: 50-580-11.6-1|
|SACKS||Mathis: 13.5 (1L)||Casey: 7|
|INTs||Butler: 2||Verner: 5 (T1L)|
|PUNTING||McAfee: 46.6||Kern: 43.8|
|KICKING||Vinatieri: 70 (19/19 PAT; 17/20 FG)||Bironas: 62 (23/23 PAT; 13/16 FG)|
COLTS: Have won 3 of past 4 at Ten…Have 3-1 road record this season…QB ANDREW LUCK is 6-2 with 13 TDs vs. 6 INTs & 83.3 rating vs. AFC South. Luck (10) has most game-winning drives by QB in 4th qtr./OT in 1st 2 seasons of career since ’70. Since 2012, has 8 rush TDs, most by AFC QB. Had 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs & 92.8 rating in last road game. Registered 8th career game with 300+ passing yards last week…Since ’12, RB TRENT RICHARDSON has 13 rush TDs, 3rd-most in AFC. RB DONALD BROWN is averaging 120.5 rush yards per game in past 2 vs. Ten…WR T.Y. HILTON has 7 catches & 100+ rec. yards (121, 130) in each of past 2. Has 4 100-yard rec. games in ’13…LB ROBERT MATHIS has career-best 13.5 sacks in ’13. Posted 5th game of season w/ at least 2 sacks last week…LB JERRELL FREEMAN leads team w/ 75 tackles…TITANS: QB RYAN FITZPATRICK completed 22 of 33 passes (66.7 pct.) for 264 yards with 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs & 111.2 rating last week. In last start at home vs. Colts (w/ Buf. on 1/3/10), Fitzpatrick had 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs & 120.8 rating…RB CHRIS JOHNSON has 2 career games with 100+ rush yards vs. Ind. (113, 111). Titans are 25-9 (.735) when Johnson has 100+ rush yards. Has 6 career rush TDs of 80+ yards, most in NFL history. For career, Johnson avg. 104.9 rush yards per game in Nov. RB SHONN GREENE rushed for 161 yards in last game vs. Colts (w/ NYJ. on 10/14/12)…WR KENDALL WRIGHT has team-best 292 yards after catch in 2013. Wright (580) needs 47 rec. yards to surpass career-high…TE DELANIE WALKER has career-best 4 TD rec. in 2013…DT JURRELL CASEY has career-best 7 sacks this season…CB ALTERRAUN VERNER has career-high 5 INTs in ’13.