Just a quick thing before I head out to Cowboys practice (this is called, multitasking). So, I’m covering the Texans-Titans game this week on Sunday, and there are a lot of issues to hit (like this one). One, of course, revolves around the mysterious Titans’ running game.
The focus has been on Tennessee’s second-leading rusher, which — unbelievably — is Chris Johnson. The fantasy stud and player formerly known as CJ2K has just 45 yards rushing. That’s 66th in the league.
Yikes. What gives? He’s still fast. He’s still got skills. And he’s running behind a Titans offensive line that has allowed just two sacks of QB Jake Locker. What is the issue?
Titans RB Coach Jim Skipper explained yesterday. I asked, is it just one thing?
“That would be easy if it was just one thing, but it wasn’t one thing,” Skipper told me. “OK? It’d be easy to fix it if it was one thing. You could do it right there at the door. It’s a team, it’s a unit deal. We just gotta come out and play with more confidence and I think good things will start happening.”
Skipper hasn’t panicked and neither has Johnson. Fantasy owners might be freakin’ out, but not these guys. Skipper championed an “even-keeled” approach, saying it’s business as usual. Johnson isn’t injured, as far as Skipper knows, and he’s still the starter.
In practice, they have just gone back to work, back to basics.
“We try to focus in on the scouting report, come off, work hard, everybody get on their blocks, everybody get their run reads right, I mean, it’s business,” Skipper said. “That’s all you can do. Just put your head down and plow and keep working. So, we’re not trying to make this negative. The more you harp on it, the more you make it negative, the more it becomes like that. So, we’re not at the point where we’re trying to press. Our main focus is to win ballgames and running the ball good helps.”
Skipper points out that when it’s going good, the RB gets the most credit. When it’s going bad, he gets too much blame. Now? It’s on everyone to be better. Not that it’ll be easy against the Texans…
“Well, it’s a combination of everything,” Skipper said. “If it ain’t clicking, it’s a whole offensive thing type deal. … The main challenge (with the Texans) is, they’re 3-0 and they got a lot of confidence, we gotta match that confidence and it’s going to be a good football game.”