With the departure of Jeff Fisher and the hiring of Mike Munchak, a new offensive and defensive coordinator and the inevitable release/trade of QB Vince Young, our focus as of late has been upon the sea of change that's taken place in recent weeks.
Now that the dust has settled a bit, it's time to resume our normal offseason activities at Total Titans by examining how the team stacks up at each spot. We'll begin our annual offseason positional analyses by taking a look at the running back position.
Will CJ2K return in 2011?
Coming off his spectacular 2,006 rushing yard campaign in 2009, Chris Johnson took a step back in 2010. Sure, his 1,364 yard effort in '09 was anything but shabby, but there's no question that it was a "pedestrian" performance compared to his exploits during the previous season.
With newly hired offensive coordinator Chris Palmer already placing an emphasis on the running game and the hiring of new running backs coach Jim Skipper, it would be to the surprise of no one if CJ returns to the form he displayed in 2009. Although I'd be pleasantly surprised if he reached 2,000 yards again, my expectations for CJ are centered upon somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,500 yards and double-digits in the touchdown category.
More Javon Ringer, please
In limited opportunities, Ringer showed that he is a very capable runner in this league in 2009. Toting the rock on only 51 occasions, Ringer picked up 239 yards while averaging a solid 4.7 yards per carry.
As good as Chris Johnson is, due to his rather slight stature, he's not the type of guy you feed the ball to 30-40 times a game. A guy such as Ringer is certainly capable of relieving some of CJ's workload with 5-10 carries on a weekly basis.
Hopefully, we'll see more of Javon Ringer in 2011.
The rest of the bunch
Outside of Johnson and Ringer, the cupboard is pretty bare at the RB position. Stafon Johnson showed some early promise before suffering a season-ending injury during the preseason, but it remains to be seen if he's on the team's radar now that the coaching staff has been revamped.
Possible offseason moves
Thanks to the team's regrettable decision of releasing LeGarrette Blount last September, the Titans lack a three yards and a cloud of dust type of back. As talented as Johnson and Ringer are, they're not the type of runners who can pound the ball inside in short-yardage situations on a consistent basis.
When and if free agency begins, there's one guy out there that I'd like to see the Titans take a good look at: current Ravens RB Le'Ron McClain. At 6'0", 260 lbs, he's exactly the type of bruiser that the Titans could use as their designated short-yardage sledgehammer.
Whether it's via the acquisition of a back such as McClain or perhaps in the middle rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft, I'm expecting the Titans to acquire a grinder in the running game this offseason.
Any thoughts/comments on the running back position? Feel free to provide your commentary below.