Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson has been a huge disappointment since he signed a four-year deal worth $53.5 million in 2011.
However, Johnson has found someone to blame for his difficulties.
The Titans’ coaching staff.
Tenessee fired coach Mike Munchak on Saturday, and Johnson blamed his former coaches for not using him properly. Johnson also said if the organization is not committed to using him the right way, they should part ways.
“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 told Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. “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 has not asked for a trade. He remains under contract until 2016 and is scheduled to make $8 million next season, $8 million in 2015 and $7 million in 2016.
Last season, Johnson had 279 carries, 1,077 rushing yards and six touchdowns. Johnson rushed for 2,006 yards and 14 touchdowns, plus had 502 receiving yards and two touchdowns, in 2009. Since that breakout year, he rushed for 1,364 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2010; 1,047 rushing yards and four touchdowns in 2011, plus 1,243 rushing yards and six touchdowns in 2012.
Tennessee added running back Shonn Greene last offseason to lessen Johnson’s workload, but prefers to have most of the carries.
“No disrespect, I love Tennessee and would love to be in Tennessee,” Johnson told The Tennessean. “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. 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.”
Of course, Johnson did not mention he averaged 3.9 yards per carry in 2013, the lowest number of his career.
Johnson recently said he would not take a pay cut, which could prompt Tennessee to release him. It is hard to justify paying Johnson $8 million for what he accomplished in 2013.
It was easy for Johnson to blame his old coaches, however, his lack of accountability might explain the real reason he has struggled.
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