Tennessee tailback Chris Johnson has told people he could become the first player in league history to post a pair of 2,000-yard rushing seasons, and that’s because he feels the Titans’ guards will be so much better than they were last year. The club signed Andy Levitre, arguably the premier guard in free agency, and drafted Alabama’s Chance Warmack in the first round. Levitre has missed some time while he recovers from offseason knee surgery, but is making good progress. Warmack was probably the top “roadgrader”-type blocker in the draft. Beyond the pair’s noted in-line prowess, though, both are good at getting to the second level, and that’s key to Johnson’s success.
“It looks like, besides (mauling) people at the line of scrimmage,” Johnson assessed, “those guys can get up the field.”
It was a 56/44 split between Johnson and LenDale White back in 2008, when Johnson carried the ball 251 times for 1,228 yards and nine TDs and White toted it 200 times for 773 yards and 15 TDs. The Titans' rush TDs have fallen off considerably since then, so it sounds as if Shonn Greene could take a bite out of Johnson's fantasy value because CJ1K probably won't find the endzone nine times in 2013. He has only scored 10 rushing TDs in the last two seasons, so it's not like Johnson is TD-dependent. The Titans could offset this by using him more as a pass-catcher. He caught a career low 36 passes in 2012 after averaging 48.5 catches in his first four seasons. The Tennessee running game simply isn't as potent as it was in the days of Johnson/White -- the team has averaged 377 carries in the last two seasons after averaging 503.5 carries from 2008 to 2009. Johnson's 2nd round ADP seems about right.