Chris Johnson: 15-20 carries a game?

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Due to his versatility, the expectations surrounding explosive rookie RB Chris Johnson have been centered upon his potential role as a dynamic jack-of-all trades back in the Titansí offense.
Weeks ago, on this site, it was speculated that Chris Johnsonís ability to run in between the tackles and the potential for him to carry a little more weight without sacrificing his elite speed could lead to CJ becoming a primary back down the road.
If itís up to Mike Heimerdinger, Johnsonís transition into being a main back could begin as soon as 2008.

In a radio interview conducted by Titans Radio, around the 9 minute mark, Dinger expresses his desire for Johnson to carry the ball 15-20 times per game. Despite Chris’s ability to catch the football and contribute on returns, Dingerís hopes are geared around CJ making an immediate contribution in the running game.
Dinger compares Johnson to current Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis, saying that CJ is around the same size as Portis when he entered the league. Portis averaged about 17 carries per game in his rookie debut in 2002, running for 1,508 yards while scoring 15 touchdowns on 273 rushing attempts.
It will be interesting to see what Dingerís desire for Johnson to carry the ball 15-20 times a game will mean for incumbent LenDale White.
Last season, the Titans carried the ball 543 times while averaging roughly 34 carries per game. If the Titans run as much as they did last year, youíre probably looking at Johnson and White sharing the workload.
So what do you guys think? Should Johnsonís touches come in the running, receiving and return game or as Dinger suggests, should he†primarily serve as a tailback next year?

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5 Responses to “Chris Johnson: 15-20 carries a game?”

  1. Billy Joe Says:

    I think CJ will get that number of touches, but with many coming from receiving/returns during the upcoming season. Portis beefed up after a few seasons as will CJ. Then they will use him more between the tackles.
    The versatility is so great for us and very exciting!

  2. adam Says:

    I think it depends on two things: LenDale’s health/ability to hit the hole with more authority and the production of the WRs and TEs. Every report coming out of Titans camp suggests that Chris is a quick study so let’s just see where the greatest need is as camp and preseason unfold and go from there.

  3. Nick Says:

    I think heimerdinger is trying to instill some USC offense, with CJ playing the role of Reggie Bush. The versatility,or so I hear, of CJ is excellent, putting Lendale into a situation which I feel he would be more comfortable with, short yardage and scoring touchdowns. If he is what we all think he is, we have got a very needed true offensive weapon.

  4. David H. Says:

    Thats good news for LenDale in the fact the he has a multi-demensional back to share the load with, but its bad news for Chris Henry. I think that CJ could denfinetly handle 15 to 20 carries. In my opinon I think that is the capacity that he should be used. 10 to 15 carries minimum, and easliy 5 to 8 catches a game. Hopefully with CJ changing his jersey to # 28 he’ll play like another famous # 28 who’s team the Titans are playing coincedentally in the first preseason game.

  5. Drexel Perry Says:

    I could envision a scenario where Johnson gets the bulk of his carries in the first half, with LenDale being the punisher to wear down opposing teams in the second.
    One thing I’m going to be keeping an eye on during training camp/preseason is how effectively Johnson can run in between the tackles. That will determine how often we will see Johnson running the football.
    A combo of Johnson’s gamebreaking ability and LenDale’s power could be formidable. Can’t wait to see how it all pans out.
    As always, thanks for the comments guys.

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