Chris Johnson: I'm still best RB in the league
- By Gregg Rosenthal
- Around The League editor
- Published: June 4, 2012 at 08:43 a.m.
- Updated: June 4, 2012 at 09:39 a.m.
Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson's No. 100 ranking in the "Top 100: Players of 2012" caused some debate. Based on 2011 alone, Johnson didn't even seem to warrant that high of a ranking.
Based on his body of work, however, Johnson sees himself rather differently.
"I feel I am still the best back in the league, and I have no problem saying that," Johnson recently told Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. "None of the active backs have done anything that I have done in the first four years, even though I had a bad year last year. So I still feel like I am the best back in the league."
That sounds ridiculous on the face of it, but Johnson did gain the most yards in the league over the past four years. Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and Jacksonville Jaguars spark plug Maurice Jones-Drew have certainly been more consistent and more complete as players. Johnson seemed to take offense that he was ranked by fellow players below guys like the Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch and the Broncos' Willis McGahee.
"There's a lot of backs now who probably didn't do anything the year before and then they rush for 1,500 yards and they are the top back," Johnson said. "It's crazy, really."
Johnson has changed his approach this offseason in response to his desultory year.
"He has been here five days a week, not three, not four. A lot of the weeks he has been here all five when that is not even necessary to do," Titans coach Mike Munchak said.
Johnson is one of the most fascinating players in the league to watch this year. He carries the weight of the Titans on his shoulders and anything seems possible.
He could either right himself and get back on an all-time great path, or he could look like a player already on the decline at age 26.