Running back Chris Johnson said his goal is to rush for at least 2,000 yards, which he accomplished in 2009.
Said Johnson, “I feel like a lot of people have written me off. I still went over 1,000 yards (last season) but it wasn’t a CJ2K year. So a lot of people are going to write me off. … I want to be the first one to do it twice, that’s certainly a goal of mine to do. … I feel like I’m still the best back in the league. When I ran for 2,000 yards my goal was to be the best player in the league and I still want to be that. In order for my team to make it to the playoffs, make it to the Super Bowl, I’m going to have to be the best.”
Johnson compared the way outsiders view him to LeBron James and the huge expectations that exist.
“I feel just like LeBron – a lot of people are going to be back on the bandwagon,” Johnson said. “He had a lot of haters out there, a lot of people saying he wasn’t good and things like that and just to see how he overcame that and came back this year and won the championship, it shows his hard work and dedication.”
Johnson also said that after playing at 191 pounds last season, he was 200 during OTAs and wants to maintain at about 197 or 198 during the season.
He said, “I want to be a little heavier because it makes me feel a little sturdier and it helps me make it through the whole season with the bumps and bruises.”
–Wide receiver Kenny Britt underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee according to Jim Wyatt of the Nashville Tennessean.
Britt tore the ACL and MCL in his right knee last September and required a second procedure, described as a “cleanup” by coach Mike Munchak, in May. The Titans said at the time he would be ready for the Sept. 9 season opener against the Patriots.
It was not immediately known why Britt required a procedure on his right knee or if he’s still on course to return for the start of the regular season.
–The Titans have yet to speak to tight end Jared Cook about a contract extension, though he is set to enter the final year of his deal in 2012. Cook had 49 receptions for 759 yards and would appear to be near the top of Tennessee’s priority list this season.
“I would like to stay here. I like Tennessee a lot, but you just kind of block it out and take care of your job. As long as you take care of your job, you’ll be all right,” Cook said to TitanInsider.com. “I’m still waiting (to hear), but hopefully soon.”
Even though the Titans drafted Taylor Thompson in the fifth round in April, he is a rookie making a position switch from defensive end, and might be a bit of a project early on. With offensive coordinator Chris Palmer opening up the offense to take advantage of mismatches against the defense, it would appear that Cook could and should have a long-term future in Tennessee. Or at least be worth the franchise tag.
–Defensive end Kamerion Wimbley took part in the TV reality show “American Ninja Warrior.” Wimbley taped the episode back in March before he joined the Titans with a five-year, $35 million deal in April. Wimbley, who goes 6-4, 255, made a nice accomplishment to complete the obstacle course event, given that the course usually favors much smaller competitors. However, his time in completing the course was not good enough to allow him to qualify for the show’s finals in Las Vegas.
Nonetheless, he said he enjoyed being in the competition, which aired on G4 Network on June 24 and on NBC the following evening.
“It was a great experience for me. I got to meet people who are celebrities in that world,” said Wimbley. “I got through the first day pretty well and the second day, well, I’ll let you watch that. But it was fun. I made it through the first rounds all the way to the semifinals.”
–The Titans look to have moved on from long-time long snapper Ken Amato, who remains a free agent. Tennessee released long snapper Jake Ingram at the end of minicamps, leaving rookie Beau Brinkley, who has been impressive thus far, as the lone long snapper on the roster heading into training camp.
–The Titans will hold a joint practice with the Atlanta Falcons on Aug. 6 in Dalton, Ga.
Coach Mike Munchak explained the thinking behind the move.
“You can take time out and travel and have a good practice against a good football team and really work your first and second groups quite a bit without worrying about injuries like you would in a preseason game,” Munchak said. “I think it’s a great opportunity to get on the bus and have a bonding opportunity and going to practice together and getting a lot of reps against people you’re not as familiar with. I think that’s a good thing.
“We’ve both got to travel about the same amount of distance to get where we’re at. We’re still ironing out all of that, but that whole experience for your team kind of breaks up camp for a day, and in the long run I feel it will be very good for everybody.”
–The Titans locked up franchised safety Michael Griffin with a long-term team worth $36 million over five years. Griffin had not signed his franchise tender, but signed a waiver and took part in all offseason work while a deal was being hammered out.
Griffin gets $15 million in guaranteed money and $9 million in a signing bonus.
“You know what? I handled it my way. I told my agent as soon as the offseason program started that I wanted to be here. I just asked him was there an injury clause or something I can sign that I can participate with my teammates,” Griffin said. “That was all that was important to me, just to be here working out with the team. I’ve had a great time this offseason. Two more days, and then we all break. I can’t wait until training camp, just to get back around this group of guys. This is my job. This is like my family. So I just enjoy being around them.”
–Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck’s name came up in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal as a target from a 2010 playoff game when he was with Seattle. Hasselbeck downplayed his name coming up as someone the Saints might have wanted to try and injure.
“It’s an aggressive style of defense and they’re known for their exotic blitz packages and getting hits on the quarterback. I think every time you play those guys that’s what you expect. When he (Gregg Williams) was in Washington it was the same kind of thing. They were a tough team to prepare for.”
QUOTE TO NOTE:
“That was one of the things that drew me to here. I don’t think there’s such a thing as overachieving in the NFL. You get what you work for, and a lot of times you don’t even get that. You don’t become 9-7 by accident. Obviously, we have a good core and a good team.” – G Steve Hutchinson on signing with the Titans.