Chris Johnson doesn’t believe he is solely to blame for the Tennessee Titans’ rushing woes.
Johnson, a former 2,000-yard rusher, heads into Sunday’s game with the Detroit Lions having gained only 21 yards on 19 carries.
”Even when I went for 2,000, I didn’t think I was perfect, but I wouldn’t sit here and say I’m to blame,” Johnson said Thursday. ”I’m only going to be as good as my line is going to be. We’ve got to work together and get better.”
Johnson said he knows he’s an easy target because of the running game’s struggles and the $53 million contract extension he signed last year. Johnson said he hadn’t noticed on tape any big run opportunities that he had missed so far.
”I’m the highest-paid guy on this team, so of course I get the criticism,” Johnson said. ”But it’s something I don’t let get me down.”
Titans coach Mike Munchak called the ineffectiveness of the running game a team problem rather than a Johnson problem or an offensive line problem Johnson rushed for 17 yards on eight carries last week in a 38-10 loss to the San Diego Chargers.
”It’s a team effort when things are not going well,” Munchak said. ”If it was one thing, we’d make an adjustment to that one thing. We’re just going to have to plow ahead this weekend, and hopefully we’ll get a lot more opportunities than eight to hand the ball off.”
Munchak said he won’t make any lineup changes for now to address the Titans’ inability to run the ball.
The coach said Johnson might not be the same running back he was as a rookie in 2008 due to wear and tear, but that it doesn’t explain the struggles of the Titans’ rushing attack.
”Has it affected his body? Sure,” Munchak said. ”But I don’t think that’s an excuse as to why we’re not running the ball well.”