Next up on our trip around the Tennessee Titans position by position by position as we head into the 2013 offseason is a look at the running back position.
I admit it. Normally, I follow a very standard schedule when I do these positional analyses. Quarterback comes first, then running back, and so on. I started with quarterbacks this offseason, though, then didn't follow up with running back. No, I decided to push it off and wait for other positions just in case, just in case, just in case, they decided to go ahead and cut Chris Johnson by last Friday, when $9 million of his $10 million base salary for 2013 became fully guaranteed. No, I did not expect that to happen. I did not even think there was a realistic chance of it happening. I thought the chances of CJ getting cut were so remote it wasn't even worth writing a post about the possibility. And so it came to pass that Chris Johnson was still on the team.
Ever since the bye week of the 2009 season, the running back position for the Tennessee Titans has been all about Chris Johnson. In 2012, he had 276 carries, while every other running back on the Titans roster had 42. That's 87% of the workload, right in line with what he'd been doing. In the 58 games since that bye week that led to a turnaround in that season's fate, Johnson has had 85% of all running back carries for the Titans. In an NFL where backs who don't get all the work are increasingly prevalent, the Titans are one of the teams standing against the trend.
With Johnson returning, will he continue to play the same role in 2013, and what will the rest of the running back corps look like?