As Chris Johnson’s star has faded a bit the past couple years, it was fair to ask how much his offensive line was holding him back. He didn’t mind alluding to that on a few occasions.
With a new offensive line, Johnson and his backup Shonn Greene looked pretty good.
In Tennessee’s preseason opener against the Redskins, Johnson took off on a classic Johnson run, starting right, cutting back left, and then rookie safety Bacarri Rambo had a chance to stop him in the open field. Rambo had no chance at all.
Johnson juked Rambo, making the rookie look foolish, and took off for a 58-yard touchdown. Johnson still has that elite speed. Then Greene came on later and got a 19-yard touchdown.
The runs were nice, but even better, the holes were there.
The Titans invested heavily in the offensive line this offseason, drafting guard Chance Warmack with the 10th pick of the first round and signing free agent Andy Levitre to a $39 million deal. So far, so good.
“They’ve been doing a good job,” Johnson said during a sideline interview on the Titans’ broadcast. “On a couple runs I had in the first quarter, being able to read the line and be patient and read the line and those type of things, it just feels good that I can be patient and read it and actually hit it.”
Johnson had just two runs, and finished with 60 yards. That was enough. He showed what he might be capable of with an improved offensive line.