Why Did The Chris Johnson Deal Get Done? Can The Titans Win the AFC South?

Adam Schefter has confirmed: Chris Johnson’s hold-out is over, as he has agreed to a 4-year, $53.5m extension with $30m guaranteed.

It would have been interesting to see how they would’ve started without him. Their other running backs Javon Ringer, Jamie Harper and Herb Donaldson are promising. It seems like either the Titans thought this dispute was a negative towards fan morale and selling tickets, they really think they can’t win without him, or Chris started to yield a little bit.

Chris Palmer, the Titans’ offensive coordinator, was a head coach last year for the UFL’s Hartford Colonials. What is fascinating about Palmer working for a head coach who used to be an O-lineman is that Chris’ offense features a lot of spreading out defenses, placing receivers in “doubles”. What’s not surprising is that this is a staple of the run-and-shoot, which was utilized by the Houston Oilers back when head coach Mike Munchak played for them and Chris Palmer coached receivers for them. They’ve also seen to be using the “switch” concept during pre-season, where two receivers running routes next to each other have multiple options based on coverages.

Palmer’s last stint as offensive coordinator was only 34 games long, with a Texans team (2003-2005) pretty thin on talent.

No matter what anyone at ESPN says, Chris Johnson is not the only elite skill position player for the offense. Kenny Britt is definitely one, and his stats would have ballooned if he had an accurate quarterback delivering the ball to him. Jared Cook is ready to step up in the way that Ed Dickson will for the Ravens with Todd Heap having exited. Cook’s size and dynamic ability pose match-up problems for linebackers.

Unfortunately, I do not think the Titans defense (15th in points allowed) will be enough to push them past the Colts in the division. However, if Matt Hasselbeck stays healthy – thus limiting the turnovers as a QB who threw for 34 TDs and 44 INTs in the last seasons -, that defense may only need to flash in the divisional games A great first test for the Titans is going to be week 2, as they welcome the Baltimore Ravens to LP Field.

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2 Responses to “Why Did The Chris Johnson Deal Get Done? Can The Titans Win the AFC South?”

  1. Russ Loede says:

    Chris Johnson and Jamaal Charles are the best two backs in football. They also so happen to be the best big-play threats at their respective position.

    Interesting you brought up Jared Cook. Glad you did because he’s going to be the “next” standout tight end. He will make some big plays this season. Showed it at flashes during the latter part of last year. Good comparison with Baltimore’s Dickson, who I really liked coming out of Oregon. Now, let’s just hope Kenny Britt gets healthy.

    You think Locker will see any snaps in a “Tebow-mode” around the goal-line? Asking too much from the rookie? I think he’s ready to start if Hasselebeck gets hurt. At times, he will look lost and inaccurate as a rookie, but I really do admire his mental make-up and physical tools. He has an enamoring skill-set that will allow him to contribute during his first campaign (if need be) and his ability to improvise will help his cause tremendously. Decision-making and throwing on the move will come over time.

    Originally I had the Titans winning the AFC South, just like I did in ’10. However, upon further review, it’s unlikely to happen; though I wouldn’t be surprised if they do take down the Colts and hold off the Texans. With a very strong offensive line, maybe Jamie Harper helps Johnson wear down opponents on the ground, a la Johnson-White combo. Johnson will be hard-pressed to do it alone again in the backfield. Also, Ringer will chime in for some carries.

  2. Chris sewell says:

    I think if titans defense keeps creating and capitalizing on turnovers the offense will play well with cj back in backfield plus that position is very deep in depth qb play honestly would do well with hasslebeck or locker although Matt would have to b healthy come playoffs