Johnson ready to carry the load

Titans running back Chris Johnson now has his big contract, and now it's time for the Titans to...

Titans running back Chris Johnson now has his big contract, and now it's time for the Titans to make the post-season.

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:53 PM ET

With his holdout over and his contract set in stone, it’s time for Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson to set some public goals.

They aren’t much different from the ones he set and fell short of in 2010.

“We haven’t been to the playoffs in two years, so I want to get back to the playoffs, hopefully win the Super Bowl here,” Johnson said Friday night. “I’ve got a lot of team goals. We haven’t been in the post-season so that’s the big thing this team hasn’t done, and I always got that goal to rush for 2,000 yards again.

“I don’t think expectations can be any higher than that.”

In his rookie season in 2008, Johnson rushed for 1,228 yards on 251 carries for a 4.9 yard average and scored nine touchdowns. The next season he had his monster year when he rushed for 2,006 yards on 358 carries for a 5.6 yard average and 14 TDs.

Last season, a year in which the Titans nearly broke apart and struggled throughout, Johnson gained 1,364 yards on 316 carries for a 4.3 yard average and 11 TDs.

With more than 300 carries in each of his past two seasons, Johnson has proven yo be a durable workhorse and he wants that work load to continue.

“I’d like to get all the reps, that’s just the type of player I am,’’ Johnson told the Tennessean. “At the end of the day, it is more than just about the big contract and getting all the money. That’s the business side.

“But the type of player I am when I am out there on the field, I want to be the best and when it is time to win I want the team to count on me. I want to put the team on my shoulders and steer us to victory.”

Johnson should get his wish as he remains the Titans biggest offensive threat.

BACKUP BATTLE

Usually the battle of just who will be a team’s backup quarterback is of no interest other than to the family of those involved.

But that’s not the case in Denver. You can thank Tim Tebow for that.

At the start of the Broncos training camp there was plenty of buzz regarding the possibility of Tebow having a legitimate shot at being the starter over incumbent Kyle Orton but that goofy scenario failed to gain much traction and sanity finally prevailed.

But whatever Tebow does is a big ta-do and so began the battle of the backup between Tebow and Notre Dame grad Brady Quinn.

This battle is going back and forth like a ball in a tennis match.

In the Broncos final preseason game on Thursday, Tebow had the better night but in two of the pre-season games, Quinn was by far the better of the two.

Quinn is the more polished of the two. He stays in the pocket longer and is a more accurate passer. Tebow is a better scrambler and has that ‘wow’ factor that can’t be quantified.

But we’re talking No. 2 here, not being the starter.

So far, new head coach John Fox isn’t divulging his plans.

“I have mentioned that we will more than likely not name a two or three, because I believe it’s a competitive issue,” Fox said.

Which leaves Tebow and Quinn in the dark.

“I don’t know,” Tebow said when asked about the situation. “I’ve never gone through something like this before, so I’m not really sure.”

“I just worry about what I can control. I’ve gone out there every day with a great attitude, great effort and great work ethic. If I do that, I know I’ll improve every day, and I’m not worried about what everybody else is saying.”

No. 2 and trying harder?

Nobody knows.

PRYOR NO PRIORITY

As expected, the Raiders didn’t allow rookie quarterback Terrelle Pryor to see any game action in Oakland’s preseason finale Friday night against Seattle.

Pryor was dressed for the game but was resigned to a cheerleading role along the sidelines.

Rookie head coach Hue Jackson didn’t think it would be in Pryor’s best interest to take part in a series or two.

“I thought about it, but there was so much pressure and having to call plays that he hadn’t had a chance to practise,” Jackson said after the game. “I didn’t want to put him in an uncomfortable situation. I don’t think that’s fair to the kid.”

Pryor, the former Ohio State quarterback, will now be placed in a sort of limbo for the next five weeks as he was suspended by commissioner Roger Goodell and won’t be able to practise with the team. In the interim, he will be restricted to attending team meetings and can work out at the Raiders training facility.

That would seem to put him completely behind the 8-ball and all but insure that he won’t be used in game action at any point this season.

Pryor was obtained in the third round of last months supplemental draft. As it stands now, Kyle Boller and Trent Edwards are the backups to Jason Campbell.

TRESSEL HIRED

Just to keep the Buckeyes in the news comes the report that the Indianapolis Colts have hired disgraced coach Jim Tressel to be a game-day consultant.

Tressel’s primary duties will be to monitor plays that can potentially be replayed.

Tressel lost his Buckeyes gig due to his involvement surrounding Pryor and other players who were involved in a memorabilia-for-tattoos and cash scandal.

PLAYOFFS?

Mike Williams is a believer.

Entering his second season with Tampa Bay, Williams is strictly bullish on the chances of the Buccaneers this season.

“We’re a young team, but we’re guaranteeing the playoffs,” the wide receiver gushed the other day.

A playoff guarantee?

That’s pretty ballsy stuff when you consider that last year the Bucs placed third in the tough NFC South despite going a surprising 10-6. It marked terrific improvement under second-year coach Raheem Morris as they finished back of the 12-4 Atlanta Falcons and 10-6 Saints.

In his rookie season last year, Williams showed great promise as he hauled in 65 passes for 964 yards and caught 11 touchdown passes.

While the Bucs are a team that is considered to be one of the teams on the rise, they may well take a slight step backwards in 2011.

Last year they didn’t beat any team of note, save for a meaningless final regular-season win over New Orleans, which rested most of its starting players.

And this season the Bucs face a far tougher schedule.

It’s nice to believe in your team and set high goals and all that but by guaranteeing a spot in the playoffs, Williams may be reaching beyond what he can grasp.

 


Videos

Photos