We live in sad times. It’s been 18 days since the Super Bowl, which is nearly three long, cold weeks without football. Most of us have used the survival methods of a recently dumped high school girl: a steady diet of cookie dough, and repeated viewings of A Walk to Remember. Yes, sad times indeed.
Sure, we filled much of that space two weeks ago by re-hashing the Super Bowl and wondering whether or not Beyonce pulled a very large Superdome plug. And personally, I burned a week turning various shades of orange on a Dominican beach, which was swell. But now the Combine has arrived, with coaches and players beginning to talk to people who hold microphones and notepads today.
So dammit, give us something, and maybe even something to make us think warm and fuzzy fantasy football thoughts in late February.
Munchak said finding a running back to help Chris Johnson needs to be more of a priority
— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) February 21, 2013
Oh cool, thanks.
For fantasy purposes, Chris Johnson is evil. Please accept my apologies as a scorned Johnson owner, as I’ve been burned by him in each of the past two years. He’s great and fast, and then he’s slow, and woefully unable to identify a hole. That resulted in seven games this past season when his yards per carry was below 3.0, and five when he finished with less than 30 total yards. Of course, he redeemed himself with five games when he topped 120 yards.
Still, since he was a first rounder in most leagues, those peaks didn’t balance out the lowly valleys, especially when he had only one game with over 4.0 YPC after the Titans’ Week 11 bye. So what’s the solution? Welp, Jake Locker’s continued development would be nice, and having an offensive line that prevents him from being hit in the backfield consistently would be cool too.
But as Munchak quite accurately observed today, some backfield support to both ease Johnson’s burden and provide a change of pace is needed. Javon Ringer is a free agent and he’s missed 27 games over four seasons, which is why the Titans have shown little interest in retaining his services. That leaves Jamie Harper as Johnson’s primary backup, and Munchak seems to sort of hate him. Harper was given only 19 carries this past season, and of the Titans’ overall 378 rushing attempts, 276 of them went to Johnson.
On its own that’s not a steep workload, but it begins to become at least mildly concerning when we factor in Johnson’s age — 27, which is sadly not young for a running back — and the two +300 carry seasons he’s already recorded. Beyond that, a powerful bruiser would be a desperately needed addition through the draft that would quickly complement Johnson’s speed burning splashing. In the rare times he was healthy, Ringer filled that role nicely.
So here’s to hoping, because in August I’ll surely have a late first-round pick again, and I won’t be able to resist Johnson’s dark charms. Still hate you.