I originally was going to let this go by, but since the Jets organization was called out, I felt like addressing it.
In case you missed it, Chris Johnson was on the “Rich Eisen Show” recently, and some things to say about the New York Jets. Specifically, he said that he was lied to about the playing time that he was going to receive. Johnson believed he was going to see the ball a lot more:
“Basically, it was a situation where I was going there to be the guy or whatever,” Johnson said. “It was still said, yeah, both guys [Johnson and Ivory] were going to get playing time. I think it was like after the [third] game or something like that, it just switched over and I started getting less and less playing time, and not knowing where it came from.”
I am not going to even address the fact that Kellen Winslow Jr. addressed it later on Twitter, as written up here by ESPN Jets reporter Rich Cimini. That was just too silly, so I am going to stick to the topic of Chris Johnson.
First of all, it’s hard to believe that the Jets would promise Johnson he was going to do anything besides play, considering the fact Chris Ivory was coming off of a 2013 when he posted a career high in rushing yards with 833, and a 4.6 yards per carry average. The Jets had a player to be “the guy”, Chris Ivory. There was no way that, barring an injury, Chris Johnson was going to be anymore than the change of pace back, capable of hitting the home run any time he touched the ball.
But, for the sake of argument, let’s say that John Idzik lied to Chris Johnson and told them he would be “the guy”. It’s not impossible. We learned very quickly that John Idzik knew little to nothing about football and its players. Maybe he was lied to.
To say that he had no idea why he didn’t receive the playing time means that Chris Johnson is lying to himself. Johnson lost playing time because he isn’t the player he once was. He said that around the third game was where things changed for him. Let’s look at Chris Johnson’s games over the first three weeks, and see if we can determine what might have earned Johnson more time on the bench:
WEEK ONE: 13 carries, 68 yards, 5 receptions, 23 yards, one TD
WEEK TWO: 12 carries, 21 yards, 1 reception, zero yards
WEEK THREE: 10 rushes, 34 yards, no receptions
What about that group of stats would lead anyone to believe that Chris Johnson should be the guy? He ran well against a bad Raiders team, and did nothing over the next two weeks. Whether or not John Idzik was controlling things isn’t the point. We can all only speculate as to whether or not that is true.
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The point is, the reason Chris Johnson saw less playing time was because Chris Johnson didn’t EARN the playing time. Plain and simple. Just because a player with a big name sits on the bench, it doesn’t mean that there is a conspiracy that put him there. It doesn’t matter how loud Chris Johnson says it. My colleague, and someone I am proud to call a friend, Rich Cimini said it best:
He was the second-best running back on the team and the Jets finished No. 3 in rushing offense. Like a lot of once-great players, Johnson probably is having trouble accepting his new reality: He’s not the player he used to be. There’s no crime in that. The troubling part is when they blame others.
Now THAT is the point.