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EVERYTHING CHRIS JOHNSON: MERGED


LAD_Brooklyn
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Of course he's made mistakes.  Every GM, on every team makes mistakes.    I haven't exactly  been a major Idzik  cheerleader the last month or so.   Really wanted Howard back, and REALLY wanted Revis back for one year at 12 million..  Was furious when he went to the Pats.

 

But looking back at what Idzik has done, he's made the team better without mortgaging the future.  The Jets will still have a lot of FA cash available next year, and 2 years to spend it in the 4 year CBA cycle.   Right now, before the draft, if they can get any kind of QB play, the Jets  will compete for a playoff spot.

 

If he can turn 2-3 "players" out of the 12 draft picks the Jets have, and add some depth, the Jets will be much improved.  

 

Don't know what else we could realistically expect.  I'm good right now.  Excited to see what the draft turns 

 

 

i'll wait to see the team actually play before i say they will be competing for anything but a highish draft pick

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Of course he's made mistakes. Every GM, on every team makes mistakes. I haven't exactly been a major Idzik cheerleader the last month or so. Really wanted Howard back, and REALLY wanted Revis back for one year at 12 million.. Was furious when he went to the Pats.

But looking back at what Idzik has done, he's made the team better without mortgaging the future. The Jets will still have a lot of FA cash available next year, and 2 years to spend it in the 4 year CBA cycle. Right now, before the draft, if they can get any kind of QB play, the Jets will compete for a playoff spot.

If he can turn 2-3 "players" out of the 12 draft picks the Jets have, and add some depth, the Jets will be much improved.

Don't know what else we could realistically expect. I'm good right now. Excited to see what the draft turns

There are no "major Idzik cheerleaders". The people defending him are largely making the argument that you are making in this post and taking exception with some of the unfounded and absurd criticisms he's getting here for not spending wildly on anyone with mild name recognition. That, and disagreeing with the notion that a visit that doesn't end in a signing is some kind of collosal failure.

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Idzik understands guards are a terrible value in the first round. :)

 

 

The Seahawks took James Carpenter in 2011.

 

That said, I am all about landing Lewan, a plug and play OL with LT potential...I like Marcus Martin as a long term Mangold replacement in the mid-rounds.

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Who's calling him a genius... Or anything to the polar opposite of what the brigade of whiners is calling him because someone they've heard of visited here and didn't sign?

We've got a few folks here who've been cheerleading for him since before he did a single thing. Like, last year. The guy definitely has cheerleaders. I'm not gonna call people out by name, though.

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I'm cheering for him because I like his philosophy. I hope he succeeds. So far I like what he is doing in FA. He doesn't panic - I'm sure he has contigency plans for this year, next year, etc. He is a very good chess player. It's not like some people on this board " we didn't sign FA #1 therefore we are f#*c#ed and Idzik sucks,etc."

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I'm cheering for him because I like his philosophy. I hope he succeeds. So far I like what he is doing in FA. He doesn't panic - I'm sure he has contigency plans for this year, next year, etc. He is a very good chess player. It's not like some people on this board " we didn't sign FA #1 therefore we are f#*c#ed and Idzik sucks,etc."

Agreed. It's actually taking me a while to decompress from the desire to sign all the big names and be super aggressive in FA, but I'm really liking how he thinks and acts. He simply has no panic mode. THe fact that we have 12 picks, 18 mil left and a scheduled 60 mil next year (or anywhere near that) is simply amazing. Especially when considering he inherited a team inn literal cap hell. 

The guy is slowly winning me over with his philosophy. 

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Agreed. It's actually taking me a while to decompress from the desire to sign all the big names and be super aggressive in FA, but I'm really liking how he thinks and acts. He simply has no panic mode. THe fact that we have 12 picks, 18 mil left and a scheduled 60 mil next year (or anywhere near that) is simply amazing. Especially when considering he inherited a team inn literal cap hell. 

The guy is slowly winning me over with his philosophy. 

Agree with you I too am starting believe in Idzik

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Agreed. It's actually taking me a while to decompress from the desire to sign all the big names and be super aggressive in FA, but I'm really liking how he thinks and acts. He simply has no panic mode. THe fact that we have 12 picks, 18 mil left and a scheduled 60 mil next year (or anywhere near that) is simply amazing. Especially when considering he inherited a team inn literal cap hell. 

The guy is slowly winning me over with his philosophy.

For the most part, I like his philosophy. He just brought in his third veteran RB in two years, and I kinda part ways with him there. I think RB is a position to find in the draft, while he seems to feel the depressed veteran market is good value.

I like the cap room, and I like the collection of draft picks. But all that means nothing if he doesn't convert those assets into talent, and I'm still not sold on him as a talent evaluator. I'm sure it's Mark Sanchez' philosophy to throw TDs and not interceptions, but he failed in the execution. Idzik needs to execute. It's a lot easier to look like you know what you're doing when you have two picks in the top half of the first round. It's a little different when three-quarters of your picks come on the draft's last day.

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For the most part, I like his philosophy. He just brought in his third veteran RB in two years, and I kinda part ways with him there. I think RB is a position to find in the draft, while he seems to feel the depressed veteran market is good value.

I like the cap room, and I like the collection of draft picks. But all that means nothing if he doesn't convert those assets into talent, and I'm still not sold on him as a talent evaluator. I'm sure it's Mark Sanchez' philosophy to throw TDs and not interceptions, but he failed in the execution. Idzik needs to execute. It's a lot easier to look like you know what you're doing when you have two picks in the top half of the first round. It's a little different when three-quarters of your picks come on the draft's last day.

Fair enough, but if anyone can tell you having high draft picks doesn't mean you are guaranteed a solid player, it's us. And let's not forget that Idzik created one of those top of the first rd draft picks himself.  All we have to go on is that Idzik came in here and took those two 1st rd draft picks and found the defensive rookie of the year. ( we had 4 1st rd picks and didn't do that)  Sure people can say it was the previous staff that did most of the scouting and all that, but I'm not so sure the previous regime picks Sheldon because he was the BPA when it was not a need position and we picked DL the last two drafts.  Idzik seems to be bent on the BPA concept. 11 other teams picked before we took Sheldon in the first rd and didn't find the best rookie in the draft.

 

The proof is in the pudding which we have very little of it at this point, but the pudding we have has been pretty good. There is more reason to believe he will make good with the 12 picks than bad at this point if you look at what he's done. Especially if Winters can continue his late season improvement. 

Idzik's ability to find solid contributors for cheap has been good as well. Nelson and Cribbs (prior to the injury) were nice finds man. Much better than all the rugby players Tanny seemed to be attracted to anyway. 

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http://turnonthejets.com/2014/04/chris-johnsons-role-new-york-jets/

 

Chris Johnson is a New York Jet. No longer the CJ2K of yesteryear (2009), many are left wondering what Johnson’s role with the team will be. While he may have lost a step, Johnson is still one of the most talented and durable players in the league. He should have a role with the Jets in passing situations, in the screen game, in pass protection, and as a change of pace back.

 

Pass Game:

While Chris Johnson may not be known for his hands, he has been a productive pass catcher during his time in the league. He has amassed 272 receptions, for 2,003 yards, an average of 7.4 yards per reception, and eight touchdowns. Need proof? Check out what he does on this broken play:

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Screen Game: 

Once in the open field, Johnson is one of the most dangerous backs in the league. The best way to get him there? The screen game. A productive screen game has been absent from the Jets playbook for what seems like ages. Some improvements were made in 2013 with Mornhinweg in the fold and Geno Smith replacing the screen-aphobic Mark Sanchez. However, with Goodson out for most of the season, the team lacked a player that could make hay out of these opportunities.

In Tennessee, Johnson’s hands and exceptional speed were utilized to create numerous chunk plays for the Titans. Though his lateral agility has declined in recent years, his vision and straight-line speed remain. All three are vital to effective screen players but two of three are still more than any other back on the roster can claim. Watch here as the offensive line seals, the center pulls, and CJ gets to work:

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Yes, his teammates did a heck of a job blocking down field, but Johnson displays speed and vision in the open field. On this next play against the Superbowl Champion Seahawks, the Titans set up a quick screen to Johnson to a similar effect:

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With Mike Goodson suffering from injuries and facing an impending legal battle, the need for speed and big play ability in the backfield is at an all time high.

Pass Protection:

Johnson is very underrated in pass protection, he is adequate at worst. Last year, under new Titans RB coach Sylvester Croom, Johnson’s tenacity and physicality in pass pro improved markedly. Bilal Powell still has an edge on him in that department but the Johnson’s pass catching ability should get him on the field for passing plays. Take a look at Johnson’s protection on this game winning drive against the Chargers. Here, Johnson stuns Louis Castillo (#93) at the line:

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Here, Johnson stops the 300 pound Kendall Reyes (#91) in his tracks.

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Finally, on the game winning pass, Johnson takes pass rusher Reggie Walker (#52) out of the play.

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Change of Pace: 

In case you missed it, Chris Johnson is also a pretty talented runner. His abilities are best suited to outside runs and pitches. Once he turns the corner on a stretch play he is a handful.

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However, he is not limited to outside the hashes. Johnson has excellent vision and can make hay up the gut.

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His achilles heel appears to be the desire for the big play. Johnson will often pass on an obvious hole and leave yards on the field.

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Conclusion:

Johnson will have a pretty broad role with the New York Jets. He will most likely be the team’s go-to back on third downs and should see significant work spelling Chris Ivory. Ivory is the more talented runner at this point in their respective careers but rotating Johnson in could help keep the injury prone back healthy. It is up to the offensive coaching staff to properly manage snaps and playing time. It is important to get your best players in the ideal situations without interrupting their rhythm or momentum.

Edited by Villain The Foe
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Rex Ryan's pitch to Chris Johnson
April, 17, 2014
APR 17
7:30
PM ET
By Jane McManus | ESPNNewYork.com
If you need any more evidence of the draw coach Rex Ryan has over NFL free agents, look no further than Chris Johnson's initial conference call on Thursday afternoon. He was asked why he chose the New York Jets, and he noted the team had a chance to win it all. 

"They know how to win over there," Johnson said. "The type of team that they had last year, they got a great defense. Any time you have a great defense you give yourself a great chance at winning. Looking at the team, me going there to get more playmakers on offense, we know as an organization if we're able to put up points, then that will give us a good chance at winning. So I felt I would be able to fit that mold and come there and help [the] offense." 

Not only have Ryan's Jets not delivered in the past three years, costing numerous coaches and a general manager their jobs, but a running back actually mentioned the defense as a reason to come to New York. 

The Jets are 22-26 since 2011, but listen to the facts that Johnson has at the ready after spending a few days at the Jets' training facility in Florham Park. 

"They haven't been to the playoffs in three years," Johnson said, "but last year they were one game out from the playoffs and the year before those three years they were a playoff team that was close to the Super Bowl and all those types of things." 

It's the closest fans may get to hearing Ryan's actual sales pitch to a free agent. 

Later Thursday, 98.7 ESPN New York's Michael Kay asked Johnson about Ryan, and you could almost hear him smile through the radio. 

"I can see me and him being real, real cool," Johnson said. 

Can you imagine a player saying something like that after meeting, say, Patriots coach Bill Belichick? Ryan seems to have an effortless way of relating to players, and it may be part of the reason Johnson was drawn to New York over another team. 

If Johnson has another 2,000-yard season, Ryan and his skills of persuasion will look pretty valuable. But that's one of the big ifs for the Jets as the team prepares to begin its offseason training program on Monday.
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http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2014/04/watch_new_jets_running_back_chris_johnson_racing_a_cheetah.html

Click the link to see the video of Johnson running against a Cheetah. 

  WATCH: New Jets running back Chris Johnson racing a cheetah

 
14719669-mmmain.jpg
Jets running back Chris Johnson, seen here stiff-arming the Texans' Shiloh Keo as a member of the Titans, once raced a cheetah on the Nat Geo Wild channel. (Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports)
 
Chris Johnson is known for being one of the NFL's fastest players.

But is the Jets' new running back faster than the world's fastest land mammal? It's OK to admit you were contemplating the question.

Last year, when Johnson still played for the Titans, the folks at National Geographic decided to settle the matter once and for all by having Johnson partake in a footrace against a cheetah.

The showdown coincided with a separate race in which then-Bears kick returner Devin Hester competed against another cheetah. It was all recorded in May at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Fla., before airing in November as an episode ofMan vs. Cheetah on Nat Geo Wild.

"I didn't think it was crazy," Johnson told The Tennessean's Jim Wyatt last summer. "I thought it was something fun to do, just to test human vs. animal."

Yeah, well, one part of the race did turn out to be kinda crazy, according to Johnson.

“The crazy thing is when they first set it up and they did a test run before we got there, the cheetah actually jumped over the barrier,” Johnson also told Wyatt. “So they had to make it higher.”

Yikes. Pretty sure a clause about getting mauled by a cheetah wasn't written into Johnson's last contract.

The Tampa Bay Times provided some additional background on Johnson's and Hester's races against the three-year-old cheetahs Jenna and Nave, respectively.

Jenna and Nave had both been clocked as fast as 62 miles per hour, which is far faster than any human; even Usain Bolt, the world's fastest human, has "only" run as fast as 27 miles per hour, per the Times.

That said, Nat Geo thought the races would be fun to do anyway.

The races were done on a 220-foot-long course that included a 10-foot wall to separate the players from the wild animals, which meant Johnson and Hester couldn't see Jenna and Nave as they ran.

A total of 20 cameras were used to record the action every which way. The races were done separately, and there was only one heat.

More from the Times:"We didn't do it again and again and again,'' [executive producer Jenny] Apostol said. "We didn't want to exploit the animals. We didn't want to exhaust them.''

 


The race was part of the cheetahs' routine conditioning. Trainers exercise the park's five cheetahs—one male and four females—once or twice a day to keep them healthy and in good shape. Much like racing dogs, the cheetahs are trained to run using lures made of ostrich and parrot feathers that operate on a pulley.

So who won, Johnson or Jenna? Watch the video below to find out.

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BGA: Scouting Chris Johnson April 17th, 2014 2:22 pm

familiar. However, it’s still worth looking at recent footage to try and get an insight into what Johnson has left in the tank and what he could bring to the table.

 

Johnson is a 28-year old former first round pick who has surpassed 1,000 yards in each of his six seasons in the NFL (all with the Tennessee Titans). He’s a three time pro-bowler and was an all-pro in 2009 when he became just the sixth player in NFL history to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season. Johnson has also caught 272 passes and scored a total of 58 touchdowns in his NFL career.

After the jump, I’ll be reviewing his career so far and looking at footage from last year to try and assess some of his strengths and weaknesses.

Who is Chris Johnson?

The 5’11″ 203-pound Johnson wasn’t a highly touted collegiate player as he was better known for his kick returning abilities until his senior year when he broke out with a 1,400 yard season. However, his 4.24 forty yard dash at the 2008 scouting combine definitely turned heads. Still, it was a surprise when the Titans selected him 24th in the draft, but many experts were left eating their words when he rushed for over 1,200 yards and nine touchdowns as a rookie, leading them to the postseason.

In 2009, Johnson had an incredible season, rushing for over 2,000 yards at an average of 5.6 per carry and setting an NFL record for yards from scrimmage in a season. While he hasn’t approached those kind of numbers since then, Johnson has still rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of the past four seasons and hasn’t missed a game in his entire six-year career. In 2013, he had career lows in yards per carry and yards from scrimmage, but it emerged after the season that he’d played most of the season with a torn meniscus in his knee. He still managed to rush for 1,077 yards and scored a total of 10 touchdowns.

Let’s look at Johnson’s numbers, then review what he brings to the table.

The Numbers

Six seasons

96 games

1,742 carries, 7.965 yards, 50 touchdowns (4.6 ypc)

272 catches, 2,003 yards, eight touchdowns

78% catch rate (including preseason games)

18 career fumbles (13 lost)

240 broken tackles, including 39 as a receiver

11 penalties committed

68 20+ yard runs

18 40+ yard runs

Seven sacks, seven hits and 41 hurries surrendered in 576 pass block snaps

Here are my observations based on watching footage in detail from the 2013 season:

Usage - The first thing to note is that Johnson plays all three downs. The Titans would sometimes spell him for a series here and there, but there were three games where he missed less than 10 snaps overall (including one where he missed just two). In 2012 there had been five games where he missed five or fewer snaps. This, when coupled with the fact that he didn’t miss any games yet in his career, and also that he was playing hurt last year, shows some impressive durability.

In terms of how he was used, Johnson was a tailback most of the time, as you’d expect. However, when the Titans would go five wide, he’d stay in the game and usually line up out wide. He had 50 snaps as a receiver out wide and a handful in the slot.

Running Ability – Johnson’s track record speaks for itself, but the biggest question mark surrounding his move to the Jets is whether he’s losing some of that breakaway ability that made his so productive in his early years. The numbers don’t look great, with a yards per carry average of less than four for the first time in his career in 2013 and a long run of just 30 yards.

However, Johnson was still pretty dynamic in the open field; The Titans just struggled to get him into those situations very often. As evidence that he can still be a “home run hitter” I submit this 58-yard touchdown run from preseason:

CJ2K1_original.gif?1376053728

…and this spectacular 66-yard catch and run from the regular season:

CJ2K.gif

In addition, in 2012, Johnson broke three runs of 80 yards or longer, without which his yards per carry average would have been just 3.6 yards per carry, so in 2013 he was arguably more consistent in terms of picking up yardage.

There were some encouraging performances from midseason onwards that suggest Johnson still has some gas in the tank. Against the Rams, he broke several long runs on his way to 150 yards and two scores and it’s also encouraging that he had one of his better games (127 yards and two scores) on the final day of the season. All told, Johnson averaged 4.2 yards per carry over the last 10 games. There was also a game against the Colts on Thursday night football where he ran for 70 yards and two scores in the first quarter (on eight carries) but then only managed 14 more yards on nine carries and a catch the rest of the way.

When at his best, Johnson has tremendous acceleration and makes good reads and sharp cuts. He also isn’t afraid to lower his head to fight for tough yardage, especially near the goal line. However, at this stage of his career, it does seem like he needs a few extra inches of daylight to get up to speed.

Pass Protection – Since he plays every down, Johnson is obviously called upon to pass protect quite a lot. It’s important that he’s comfortable in that role and his pass protection numbers are not too bad. However, I’d definitely stop short of calling him any kind of specialist in that role and would question how much of an upgrade he’d be over the inconsistent Bilal Powell or the improving Chris Ivory in pass protection.

Johnson did make several missteps as a pass blocker and was more often than not used as a safety valve instead. On a couple of plays, he seemed a bit tentative when picking up the blitz, although maybe that was connected to him not having complete confidence in his bothersome knee.

Receiving Threat - Johnson has always been a productive receiver, so he does have that ability which is certainly something Marty Mornhinweg offenses have looked to exploit in the past. We know that Mornhinweg strives to get his playmakers the ball in space, so that could be a good way of extra getting production out of Johnson. Johnson was one of the league leaders in yards after the catch last season, but his YAC per catch was higher than his overall yards per catch average which tells you that he was catching a lot of passes behind the line of scrimmage.

Despite his good numbers, Johnson is somewhat limited as a weapon in the passing game. In the past two seasons, he has caught just one pass more than 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, on this play where he was covered in the flat but broke off downfield on an improvised route as the quarterback bought some time. As you’d imagine, basically all of his production comes from screen passes and underneath dump-offs. However, as LaDainian Tomlinson showed in 2010, you can add an extra dimension to the offense (and help a young quarterback have some easy success to develop rhythm) just by doing that – and this is an area where Powell and Ivory have struggled to contribute.

Hands - With so many dump-off passes, it’s not surprising that Johnson has a high catch rate and not too many drops. He dropped four passes last year and three the year before that. It was poor concentration that was to blame for most of these, as he does look comfortable catching these easy passes most of the time. I didn’t find any examples of him making tough catches, but then again he wasn’t called upon to do so.

Fumbles – Johnson’s fumble rate isn’t too bad. He had three last season, two as the ball was punched out as he hit the hole and one on a freak play where he got trapped in the backfield and tried to reverse his field and got nailed from behind. There were also one or two fumbled hand-offs which were attributed to the quarterback.

Short Yardage – Johnson isn’t a power back, but does still have some success in short yardage situations, usually on the kind of one-cut zone plays that Mornhinweg also uses. As noted, though, he will fight and drive for extra yardage at times.

Special Teams – Johnson does not play on special teams. Despite being a good return man in college, he has had just one kick return for 17 yards and that was in his rookie season.

Instincts – Johnson shows good instincts as a runner and in downfield blocking situations, although there will be times where he has nowhere to go and dances around behind the line looking for a gap to emerge rather than just falling into the line to take what the defense gives him. The touchdown reception linked to above was a good veteran play showing good instincts in the passing game, but we didn’t see much more of that kind of thing.

Attitude – There are some questions over Johnson’s attitude although he has been saying all the right things since arriving. He held out over money and griped over his touches in the past, which could be an issue considering part of his contract is made up of yardage incentives. Other sources have queried his effort and said that he looks out for the big play, occasionally to the detriment of the overall gameplan, but who knows how accurate these reports are? From the footage, he seems like a popular teammate who gets fired up about making plays to help the team.

Injuries – As noted, Johnson hasn’t missed a game yet in his NFL career, but does have major red flags over the condition of his knee. Still, he passed physicals with both the Jets and Titans and finished the 2013 season on a high, so hopefully that’s something that won’t hold him back come September.

You can’t help thinking back to Curtis Martin, who gutted the way through the 2005 season with a knee injury and was on course for 1,000 yards or thereabouts when they shut him down with four games to go. In 2006, Martin wasn’t ready in time for camp and was forced to retire. Sometimes, when running backs start to have issues, the downfall is swift and sudden. Martin was five years older than Johnson is now in 2006 though.

Conclusions

Johnson is a big name and while there may be fears over how much longer (if at all) he can perform at an elite level, the Jets are getting him on a reasonable level contract and won’t be entirely reliant on him to carry the load.

From the footage, I was encouraged to see that Johnson still has the burst and open-field quickness he has relied upon to become one of the league’s better backs. While he didn’t break as many long gains, he does still possess the ability to get out to the second level and is dangerous when he does that.

Marty Mornhinweg’s offense does require backs who can produce in the passing game and protect the quarterback and while I’ve said that Johnson might not be all he’s advertised to be in those areas, his experience and competence in either role is valuable.

While Johnson will compete for a role and most likely end up splitting carries with Chris Ivory, the obvious comparison to look at is Tomlinson, who joined the Jets coming off a career-worst year and rejuvenated his career (improving his yards per carry average from 3.3 in his final season with the Chargers to 4.2 with the Jets). While the offensive line took a lot of the credit for that, this was the year where Matt Slauson was a first year starter and Damien Woody went down injured to be replaced by Wayne Hunter, so they were hardly at their best. I’d instead attribute Tomlinson’s success to the fact he had a reduced workload and was able to remain fresh much deeper into the season. That’s something that could benefit Johnson too.

In terms of whether Johnson will benefit from the Jets offensive line being better than the Titans were last year, I wouldn’t automatically assume that to be the case. The Titans are not a bad run blocking team and I’d put last year’s Jets team on about the same level. However, if the Jets can get improved play from the left guard position, their line should improve substantially this year and that will give Johnson a good chance to have some success.

We’ll return to looking at some of the players the Jets have added to the active roster since the end of the season with a look at defensive lineman TJ Barnes in a few days…

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Crash Landing for New Jet After two weeks on the market, ex-Titan Chris Johnson has a new team: the Jets. What can New York expect from the running back with six straight 1,000-yard seasons? Definitely not the superstar CJ2K had been in Tennessee

After getting released by the Titans and then sitting on the open market for two weeks, Chris Johnson finally found a new team. In New York he’ll likely be taking handoffs from fellow offseason pickup Michael Vick, forming football’s most terrifying backfield if this were 2010.

With the steady Bilal Powell and the explosive Chris Ivory also on the depth chart, Johnson should expect no more than 12-15 touches a week. That might seem like a fall from grace for a 28-year-old who has topped 1,000 yards rushing in all six seasons since being drafted with the 24th overall pick in 2008. But Johnson has been tilting away from superstar status for awhile.

Did you know it was almost five years ago that Johnson had his 2,000-yard campaign? Since adding a “CJ2K” tattoo, Johnson has averaged 73.9 yards per game (1,183 per season). Those aren’t numbers of a pedestrian player, but they aren’t numbers of an electrifying feature back, either. Nine other running backs have averaged more yards a game since ’09 (minimum 40 starts).

So why the drop in Johnson’s production?

Some have speculated that work ethic is an issue. In 2011, midway through a five-year rookie deal worth $12 million, Johnson made good on a two-year-old threat of holding out in demand of a raise. After missing all of training camp and the first three preseason games, he got the Titans to capitulate with a four-year, $53 million contract, with an astounding $30 million guaranteed. Then Johnson went out and had his worst season, rushing for a meager 1,047 yards. He bounced back a bit in 2012 before resubmitting paltry numbers in 2013.

Who knows if Johnson rested on his laurels after becoming filthy rich. Game film does not show drive, only performance. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be speculation. Longtime beat writer Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean wrote that while Johnson is by all accounts a “good guy,” his “laid-back approach” rubbed some in the Titans organization the wrong way. Johnson also hasn’t earned himself much sympathy with his public gripes. (Recall him slapping the faces of his offensive linemen by tweeting “Thank God” right after guard Chance Warmack was drafted.) He seems to have a gift for pointing fingers.

Maybe there are other reasons Johnson has tailed off. He officially touched the ball 408 times in 2009 and another 360 times in 2010. That’s a lot of mileage for a slender 195-pounder.

chris-johnson2.jpg?w=360&h=415Johnson has never rushed for less than 1,047 yards in a season.(Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Or, what if Johnson was never actually as good as his 2009 numbers suggest? The rest of his career numbers would verify this. In 2009, Johnson had touchdown runs of 91, 89, 85, 57 and 52 yards. That’s great, those big plays count. But they also tend to be aberrational stat-inflators. This isn’t to say Johnson didn’t earn his 2,000 yards; take out his four longest runs and he would have still won the rushing title. But from a broader vantage point, running backs rarely hit monstrous home runs with year-to-year consistency.

Johnson has posted just eight 40-yard runs since leading the NFL with seven in 2009. Last season he had zero such runs. His breakaway jets didn’t fire and he showed little ability to make defenders miss. That’s a major problem in today’s NFL.

Johnson still has good speed—and it can maybe once again be great speed now that his legs will get more rest. But he no longer has world-class speed, and the difference between “world class” and “great” is gargantuan for a player who lacks other attributes to fall back. Most running backs in their late-20s see their wheels lose tread. The great ones come to rely more on their vision, power and sense for setting up angles and blocks.

Johnson has never thrived in these areas. Take his speed rating down from, say, a “98” to an “85” and you have a rudimentary back who gains only the yards that are blocked—and sometimes not even that given his propensity to abandon play designs to chase home runs.

A back like this is easy to find, which explains why Johnson went unsigned for so long. If you’re a GM, why bring in a 28-year-old Johnson when, for virtually the same price (and probably less), you can draft a 22-year-old who won’t wear down over the next few years and might even blossom into a star? The young guy is also easier to mold, which is important with a complementary player.

The Jets, of course, have a different view. Signing Johnson is a low-risk move for GM John Idzik and, more importantly, head coach Rex Ryan. Like other one-trick ponies, Johnson could excel in a limited role depending on how those around him perform. And if the experiment goes up in flames, nothing else on the team will conflagrate because we’re then talking about a low-level backup. Johnson might not be the Jets’ next version of LaDainian Tomlinson. But at least he won’t be Mike Goodson

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Crash Landing for New Jet After two weeks on the market, ex-Titan Chris Johnson has a new team: the Jets. What can New York expect from the running back with six straight 1,000-yard seasons? Definitely not the superstar CJ2K had been in Tennessee

After getting released by the Titans and then sitting on the open market for two weeks, Chris Johnson finally found a new team. In New York he’ll likely be taking handoffs from fellow offseason pickup Michael Vick, forming football’s most terrifying backfield if this were 2010.

With the steady Bilal Powell and the explosive Chris Ivory also on the depth chart, Johnson should expect no more than 12-15 touches a week. That might seem like a fall from grace for a 28-year-old who has topped 1,000 yards rushing in all six seasons since being drafted with the 24th overall pick in 2008. But Johnson has been tilting away from superstar status for awhile.

Did you know it was almost five years ago that Johnson had his 2,000-yard campaign? Since adding a “CJ2K” tattoo, Johnson has averaged 73.9 yards per game (1,183 per season). Those aren’t numbers of a pedestrian player, but they aren’t numbers of an electrifying feature back, either. Nine other running backs have averaged more yards a game since ’09 (minimum 40 starts).

So why the drop in Johnson’s production?

Some have speculated that work ethic is an issue. In 2011, midway through a five-year rookie deal worth $12 million, Johnson made good on a two-year-old threat of holding out in demand of a raise. After missing all of training camp and the first three preseason games, he got the Titans to capitulate with a four-year, $53 million contract, with an astounding $30 million guaranteed. Then Johnson went out and had his worst season, rushing for a meager 1,047 yards. He bounced back a bit in 2012 before resubmitting paltry numbers in 2013.

Who knows if Johnson rested on his laurels after becoming filthy rich. Game film does not show drive, only performance. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be speculation. Longtime beat writer Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean wrote that while Johnson is by all accounts a “good guy,” his “laid-back approach” rubbed some in the Titans organization the wrong way. Johnson also hasn’t earned himself much sympathy with his public gripes. (Recall him slapping the faces of his offensive linemen by tweeting “Thank God” right after guard Chance Warmack was drafted.) He seems to have a gift for pointing fingers.

Maybe there are other reasons Johnson has tailed off. He officially touched the ball 408 times in 2009 and another 360 times in 2010. That’s a lot of mileage for a slender 195-pounder.

chris-johnson2.jpg?w=360&h=415Johnson has never rushed for less than 1,047 yards in a season.(Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Or, what if Johnson was never actually as good as his 2009 numbers suggest? The rest of his career numbers would verify this. In 2009, Johnson had touchdown runs of 91, 89, 85, 57 and 52 yards. That’s great, those big plays count. But they also tend to be aberrational stat-inflators. This isn’t to say Johnson didn’t earn his 2,000 yards; take out his four longest runs and he would have still won the rushing title. But from a broader vantage point, running backs rarely hit monstrous home runs with year-to-year consistency.

Johnson has posted just eight 40-yard runs since leading the NFL with seven in 2009. Last season he had zero such runs. His breakaway jets didn’t fire and he showed little ability to make defenders miss. That’s a major problem in today’s NFL.

Johnson still has good speed—and it can maybe once again be great speed now that his legs will get more rest. But he no longer has world-class speed, and the difference between “world class” and “great” is gargantuan for a player who lacks other attributes to fall back. Most running backs in their late-20s see their wheels lose tread. The great ones come to rely more on their vision, power and sense for setting up angles and blocks.

Johnson has never thrived in these areas. Take his speed rating down from, say, a “98” to an “85” and you have a rudimentary back who gains only the yards that are blocked—and sometimes not even that given his propensity to abandon play designs to chase home runs.

A back like this is easy to find, which explains why Johnson went unsigned for so long. If you’re a GM, why bring in a 28-year-old Johnson when, for virtually the same price (and probably less), you can draft a 22-year-old who won’t wear down over the next few years and might even blossom into a star? The young guy is also easier to mold, which is important with a complementary player.

The Jets, of course, have a different view. Signing Johnson is a low-risk move for GM John Idzik and, more importantly, head coach Rex Ryan. Like other one-trick ponies, Johnson could excel in a limited role depending on how those around him perform. And if the experiment goes up in flames, nothing else on the team will conflagrate because we’re then talking about a low-level backup. Johnson might not be the Jets’ next version of LaDainian Tomlinson. But at least he won’t be Mike Goodson

 

These articles are absurd.  Take away CJ's 4 largest runs, if you look at it from this perspective, if you take his speed from a 98 to an 85... etc  What is this even about?  The guy  had those runs. The guy did those things. Why should I take any of it away to come to a conclusion the writer wants me to?

 I seriously hate this kind of "analysis".  

CJ has been successful his entire career. The only issue is that he had a legendary 2009. Therefore he is now compared to that. 

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These articles are absurd.  Take away CJ's 4 largest runs, if you look at it from this perspective, if you take his speed from a 98 to an 85... etc  What is this even about?  The guy  had those runs. The guy did those things. Why should I take any of it away to come to a conclusion the writer wants me to?

 I seriously hate this kind of "analysis".  

CJ has been successful his entire career. The only issue is that he had a legendary 2009. Therefore he is now compared to that. 

I dont disagree. I just put up what i found

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These articles are absurd.  Take away CJ's 4 largest runs, if you look at it from this perspective, if you take his speed from a 98 to an 85... etc  What is this even about?  The guy  had those runs. The guy did those things. Why should I take any of it away to come to a conclusion the writer wants me to?

 I seriously hate this kind of "analysis".  

CJ has been successful his entire career. The only issue is that he had a legendary 2009. Therefore he is now compared to that. 

 

The way in which that perspective has merit is because he doesn't typically get his average run.  Imagine the following stat line:

 

21 carries for 80 yards (3.9 ypc like he had last year).  Now pretend one of those carries was a 40 yarder (the very type of gain that makes him dangerous).

 

So on that one carry the team was clearly aided by his elite speed.  40 yards on one play.

 

The problem is that it took 20 other carries to get another 40 yards.  The reality is that on balance those crappy runs very likely hurt the team more than his 40 yarder helped.  It's the type of game a RB has when the team finishes with 13 points.  The 40 yarder contributed to either a FG or a TD, but the other 20 carries contributed to killing drive after drive after drive.  A game like that is a pretty bad one, and that's giving the benefit of the doubt that his big gains all occurred when it still mattered.

 

So you're right that you can't just take away the very thing that makes him dangerous.  At the same time, you can't really pretend that he gained a little bit of that big gainer on each of his 20 other carries.  And any of those big gain carries that occurred in garbage time, after the game was in hand one way or the other, or in a gimme type game that Tennessee was probably going to win anyway, can be ignored from this point of view.

 

I think his ypc will go up this year if our backs are used right, and wouldn't be surprised to see it go up by a full yard.  Because what also goes hand in hand with the above is that a back like Ivory is far better-suited to get the ball on dozens of short-yardage carries that hurt CJ's average.

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BGA: Scouting Chris Johnson April 17th, 2014 2:22 pm

familiar. However, it’s still worth looking at recent footage to try and get an insight into what Johnson has left in the tank and what he could bring to the table.

 

Johnson is a 28-year old former first round pick who has surpassed 1,000 yards in each of his six seasons in the NFL (all with the Tennessee Titans). He’s a three time pro-bowler and was an all-pro in 2009 when he became just the sixth player in NFL history to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season. Johnson has also caught 272 passes and scored a total of 58 touchdowns in his NFL career.

After the jump, I’ll be reviewing his career so far and looking at footage from last year to try and assess some of his strengths and weaknesses.

Who is Chris Johnson?

The 5’11″ 203-pound Johnson wasn’t a highly touted collegiate player as he was better known for his kick returning abilities until his senior year when he broke out with a 1,400 yard season. However, his 4.24 forty yard dash at the 2008 scouting combine definitely turned heads. Still, it was a surprise when the Titans selected him 24th in the draft, but many experts were left eating their words when he rushed for over 1,200 yards and nine touchdowns as a rookie, leading them to the postseason.

In 2009, Johnson had an incredible season, rushing for over 2,000 yards at an average of 5.6 per carry and setting an NFL record for yards from scrimmage in a season. While he hasn’t approached those kind of numbers since then, Johnson has still rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of the past four seasons and hasn’t missed a game in his entire six-year career. In 2013, he had career lows in yards per carry and yards from scrimmage, but it emerged after the season that he’d played most of the season with a torn meniscus in his knee. He still managed to rush for 1,077 yards and scored a total of 10 touchdowns.

Let’s look at Johnson’s numbers, then review what he brings to the table.

The Numbers

Six seasons

96 games

1,742 carries, 7.965 yards, 50 touchdowns (4.6 ypc)

272 catches, 2,003 yards, eight touchdowns

78% catch rate (including preseason games)

18 career fumbles (13 lost)

240 broken tackles, including 39 as a receiver

11 penalties committed

68 20+ yard runs

18 40+ yard runs

Seven sacks, seven hits and 41 hurries surrendered in 576 pass block snaps

Here are my observations based on watching footage in detail from the 2013 season:

Usage - The first thing to note is that Johnson plays all three downs. The Titans would sometimes spell him for a series here and there, but there were three games where he missed less than 10 snaps overall (including one where he missed just two). In 2012 there had been five games where he missed five or fewer snaps. This, when coupled with the fact that he didn’t miss any games yet in his career, and also that he was playing hurt last year, shows some impressive durability.

In terms of how he was used, Johnson was a tailback most of the time, as you’d expect. However, when the Titans would go five wide, he’d stay in the game and usually line up out wide. He had 50 snaps as a receiver out wide and a handful in the slot.

Running Ability – Johnson’s track record speaks for itself, but the biggest question mark surrounding his move to the Jets is whether he’s losing some of that breakaway ability that made his so productive in his early years. The numbers don’t look great, with a yards per carry average of less than four for the first time in his career in 2013 and a long run of just 30 yards.

However, Johnson was still pretty dynamic in the open field; The Titans just struggled to get him into those situations very often. As evidence that he can still be a “home run hitter” I submit this 58-yard touchdown run from preseason:

CJ2K1_original.gif?1376053728

…and this spectacular 66-yard catch and run from the regular season:

CJ2K.gif

 

 

 

Those were last season?  Nasty.

 

Jets havent had that since Leon.

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I like the cap room, and I like the collection of draft picks. But all that means nothing if he doesn't convert those assets into talent, and I'm still not sold on him as a talent evaluator. I'm sure it's Mark Sanchez' philosophy to throw TDs and not interceptions, but he failed in the execution. Idzik needs to execute. It's a lot easier to look like you know what you're doing when you have two picks in the top half of the first round. It's a little different when three-quarters of your picks come on the draft's last day.

This is what literally everyone thinks.

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