It seems like just yesterday that Chris Johnson was dashing his way to 2,006 rushing yards for the Tennessee Titans back in 2009. It seems like just yesterday that he recorded 2,509 yards from scrimmage, breaking Marshall Faulk’s single-season record. Then again, when you run that fast, six years can simply fly by.
The Titans drafted the speedy running back from East Carolina University with the No. 28 overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. The main reason he was a first-round pick was thanks to his jaw-dropping, record-breaking 4.24 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. This record still stands today as the fastest 40-time ever recorded.
Chris Johnson eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark in each of his six seasons with the Titans. He provided the Titans offense with a perpetual spark, and the ability to keep any fan on the edge of their seat. One blink, and you missed his next highlight.
His speed, his vision, and his durability made him an unstoppable force in the NFL, giving the Titans one of the most consistent and electrifying ground games in the league.
As time passed, Johnson became more of a hassle than a difference-maker. He held out prior to the 2011 season, ultimately receiving a four-year, $53.5 million deal from the Titans. After his big payday, he was never quite the same player, and could not live up to his contract.
He seemed more interested in hitting the 80-yard home run than taking the seven- or eight-yard run. He seemed more interested in juking and dancing behind the line of scrimmage than putting his foot in the ground and hitting the hole.
Johnson will turn 29 in September. His best days are clearly behind him.
These reasons are why the Titans made the tough decision to release Johnson earlier this month. Johnson then signed a two-year contract with the New York Jets.
When Johnson and the Jets make the trip to Nashville’s LP Field in Week 15 of the 2014 season, it will be weird for Titans fans. Despite the weirdness, we will always remember his six years in Tennessee, where we witnessed his God-given speed, and the player formerly known as CJ2K.