This past season has shown the up side and the down side of Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson. At the start of the NFL season, Johnson looked as if his playing days were behind him–at least in a Titans uniform.
As a person who covers the Titans, I can tell you that more than one person mentioned to me that they thought Johnson was going to lay down for the season and collect a check. He had a dismal start to the season, averaging only a few yards per game. Then, as if a fuse had been lit, he exploded with record breaking games and a season that completely brought fans back to his camp.
The question now is this. Do the Titans need to look for another running back in the 2013 NFL Draft? I think the answer is a solid yes! Tennessee needs to bolster their running game with a solid back up running back. Here’s my thoughts.
First, I like Johnson. He’s a heck of a player and can break open a huge run at anytime. He can side step, jump over players and blow past secondaries with ease when he gets going. The problem is that sometimes he does not get going.
Towards the end of last season, it was clear that other teams were keying in on Johnson as a way to shut down the Titans’ ineffective offense. Everyone knew that Jake Locker was hurt, as were several of the Titans receivers. The only solution was to hand Johnson the ball. That’s a lot of wear and tear on one of your best players.
At some point, you want to bring your best player out of a game. It could be to change up a drive, allow for some rest or to change an offensive plan. Switching a stealthy running back with a bulldozer style runner that can eat up some clock while still moving the ball can be a plus.
It would do the Titans well to look south towards a player such as Eddie Lacy from Alabama. You could have Johnson running like a bolt of lightning for quick touchdowns and Lacy in for rough and tumble short yardage with the occasional long run.
In my opinion the Titans could use a second, larger running back to complement the skills offered by Johnson. Hopefully the Titans’ draft day chips will fall in the right places.