Titans' Johnson named Offensive Player of the Year

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 10:21am

Just as he ran away from NFL defenders this season, Chris Johnson ran away with the NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award on Wednesday, garnering 38 ½ of a possible 50 votes.

The Tennessee Titans running back finished the season with 2,006 yards rushing and became the first player in NFL history to have more than 2,000 yards rushing and 500 yards receiving in the same season. That accomplishment also broke Marshall Faulk’s league record for yards from scrimmage in a single season.

“It feels like a big dream. It is all hitting me now — what I have done this whole season. I can sit back now and say, ‘Wow, I really had a dream season.’ All of the hard work is really paying off.”

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees finished a distant second in the balloting with nine votes. The award is conducted by the Associated Press and voted upon by a number of sportswriters and sportscasters who regularly follow the NFL.

Johnson, in just his second season in the NFL out of East Carolina, was the focal point of the Titans offense, especially after the team’s 0-6 start.

Beginning with Tennessee’s embarrassing 59-0 loss at New England, Johnson strung together 11 consecutive 100-yard rushing games, including a franchise best 228-yard effort against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Nov. 1.

He also became the first player ever to have three touchdown runs of 85 yards or more in a season.

“He’s special. He has the potential to go the distance and change games and do those kinds of things,” Titans coach Jeff Fisher said of Johnson.

Johnson’s efforts also spearheaded a turnaround for the Titans, who shrugged off the 0-6 start by winning eight of their final 10 games to become the first team to finish 8-8 after such a bad beginning.

Johnson said he was somewhat surprised to win the award, but very pleased to have done so.

“I woke up this morning and got the call that I had won the award. I am very honored to get the award,” he said. “To be honest, I really didn’t think I would get it. It makes it even better, because I didn’t think it was going to happen.”

Johnson, 24, was unhappy last year at finishing behind Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan in the voting for Offensive Rookie of the Year. He gained 1,228 yards as a rookie.

So in 2009, he set his sights higher, including the goal of 2,000 yards rushing, something only five other running backs in NFL history had done. His efforts earned him a trip to the Pro Bowl as well.

This year, Johnson expressed disappointment over not getting any votes for the league’s Most Valuable Player Award, which went to Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning for the fourth time in his career.

“I didn’t even get one vote for the MVP out of 50 people, so why would they vote for me for offensive player of the year?” Johnson said. “And all five guys that got votes for MVP were offensive players.”

Johnson finished the season by gaining 134 yards against the Seattle Seahawks in the regular-season finale to go over the 2,000-yard mark.

He said the recognition of that accomplishment is beginning to bloom.

“It is starting to be like when I go out in Nashville. People are starting to recognize me as being a big player in the NFL,” Johnson said. “I can start to put my name up there with some of the big-time players in the NFL.”

6 Comments on this post:

By: TITAN1 on 1/13/10 at 9:27

Congrats, CJ! I hope you and the Titans have an even better season next year.

By: TitansFan035 on 1/13/10 at 10:22

Bud Adams get your wallet ready! C.J is going to break you and we all know you won't pay him that is the sad part about it!!

By: TitansFan035 on 1/13/10 at 10:23


By: bfra on 1/13/10 at 10:53

A well deserved honor! CJ is a pleasure to watch and adds to the enjoyment of the Titans' games.

By: wayneCaluger on 1/14/10 at 11:09

CJ savor the 2000 moment because, based on the four bargin basement players the Titans just signed for defense the offense will be lucky to get the ball based in the . Titans add to Roster article: Pago Togafau claimed off waivers from the Arizona Cardinals and signed three players to futures contracts, defensive ends Marcus Howard of Georgia and Jay Moore of Nebraska and Nevin McCaskill, who played at Hampton.

I guess Nevin McCaskill was signed as an offensive tackle since he played that position at Hampton and none of the NFL teams who cut him from their practice squad lists a position. The Titans motto is Quantity versus Quality as the try and develop top dollar free agent players for the other NFL teams. Just once I would love to see the Titans pick up or trade for a quality not over the hill or bench warming NFL player.

CJ the best of luck to you in 2010 and I hope you see the ball enough to get a thousand yards. If our opponents would take the same mind set replacing their Bullucks and Boschs in same manner as the Titans you may have been the first 3000 season yard player in the NFL.

By: TITAN1 on 1/15/10 at 1:29

Wayne, were you born to be negative or did you have to work at it? I think I need to get some more crow for you, although I doubt you will be around to eat it. The sky is falling, the sky is falling!