by Terry McCormick
February 21, 02013
INDIANAPOLIS _ Chris Johnson has never missed a game in his five years with the Tennessee Titans.
And following a preseason holdout in 2011, the club rewarded his production with a $53 million extension (including a $9 million base that was guaranteed two weeks ago).
But now the Titans don't want Johnson, who had 1,243 yards rushing in 2012, shouldering the load of the running game by himself.
General manager Ruston Webster and Coach Mike Munchak both said Tennessee will shop for a complementary change of pace back either in the draft or free agency this off-season.
“I think we definitely look in that area. Chris Johnson has been so special and people don't see that has hasn't missed a game and hasn't missed a snap. His first playoff game was the only time he has had to come out of a game. He doesn't miss practice,” Munchak said. “The mission is two-fold: Don't overuse him, but don't cut down on his touches, but maybe throw to him more out of the backfield and find different ways to use him to get him out in space, along with running back, like when (Javon) Ringer was healthy or with LenDale, that can take over the game in another way. That's what we're in need of, and that's what we'll be looking for.”
Added Webster: “I think that's something that we'll look at, maybe a situational-type guy who can come in in certain situations and close the game in short yardage and just give us a change of pace, something different,” Webster said here Thursday.
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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com