Johnson needs to earn additional carries

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Chris Johnson tells Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean that if the Titans used him more, they’d get what they are paying for.

In so doing, he creates a chicken-or-egg argument.

CJ says if he got more carries, he’d fare better.

I say if he fared better with the carries he got, he’d get more carries.

Johnson pointed to the workload for players like Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles, Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy, Chicago’s Matt Forte and Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson.

“I give those guys credit, but those guys are being used differently. You don’t put a back of that caliber on the sideline. There were a lot of games where I would get my momentum going, and I’d get the hot hand, and then the next series I am on the sideline getting cold, and I didn’t like that,” Johnson said. “Of course I was frustrated with how they used me. But I am not the type of person who’s going to complain during the season. I am going to make the best of the situation.

“I have to be fed. A lot of games I started getting hot and they took me out. I know a lot of people say I didn’t have any home runs this year. Well, those runs don’t come easy. They come once you keep getting the ball.”

But with 259 carries this past season, Charles actually had fewer than Johnson, who had 279. McCoy had 35 more carries than Johnson, Forte 10 more and Peterson the same.

Among backs with more than 250 carries in 2013, only Johnson failed to average at least 4.1 yards a carry. Johnson averaged 3.9.

Johnson’s work in 2011 and 2012 prompted the team to change course with him and move away from him as a workhorse back. While he made $10 million in 2013, the team added free agent Shonn Greene.

Greene was to be the key in short-yardage and goal-line situations. But on 22 carries where Johnson needed 1 or 2 yards for a first down, Johnson converted 16 times -- 72.7 percent.

New president and CEO Tommy Smith said during the season the Titans need to use Johnson better.

Mike Munchak’s successor will have a say in what the Titans do with Johnson. But CJ previously told Wyatt he would not accept a pay cut.

The running back isn't pushing for a trade and expressed no hard feelings toward Munchak or outgoing offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains.

“I feel like if they are not going to use me the way I am supposed to be used and let me be the horse, then I would rather them let me move on. Their money would be wasted on me,” Johnson said. “I feel like if they are not going to use me right, let somebody get me that’s going to use me the right way.”