The Tennessee Titans are wasting little time finding a replacement for departed running back LenDale White, who was of course traded to the Seattle Seahawks this past weekend. The Titans will need someone to eat up some carries as they try not to overwork Chris Johnson so let the battle begin. Let’s take a look at the recently signed Stafon Johnson and LeGarrette Blount, both of whom were undrafted over the weekend and have been since signed by the Titans.
STAFON JOHNSON – USC
Stafon Johnson’s football career, as well as his life, nearly ended this past September. Johnson was in the process of lifting a 275-pound barbell, like you and I both do on a regular basis of course, when the bar slipped from his hand and crashed down on his throat. The damage was severe and Johnson underwent emergency surgery for a crushed vocal cord, adam’s apple, and torn neck muscles.
Johnson was a servicable running back at USC when he played but he was hampered by injuries. After leaving high school as one of the top running back’s in the nation he never met expectations at USC before the injury.
He seems like one of those guys who should have gone to a good school where he still would have had a chance of playing rather than USC and risking too much time on the bench.
I think it’s great the Titans are giving Johnson a chance to prove himself. It would be terrible for any top player to have his career cut short by an off the field injury. If Johnson has fully recovered from his injury and can stay healthy he has a good shot at the back-up running back spot.
LEGARRETTE BLOUNT – OREGON
It is well known that LeGarrette Blount was suspended after the first game of the 2009 college season for punching an opposing player in the face after the game. Blount was reinstated for the final game of the year but practically missed the entire season.
What many people may not realize is that it was not an entirely isolated incident. Blount was no model citizen before his rampage against Boise State last fall. Blount was suspended by former Duck’s coach Mike Bellotti on more than one occasion. The offenses included ‘not following team rules’ and ‘failure to fulfill team obligations’. It appears that basically Blount was lazy and was not a team player.
What’s interesting about Blount is that he was sensational when he played. He set a Oregon record with 17 rushing touchdowns in 2008. To me this is a classic case of having to decide whether the potential production on the field is worth the potential problems off it.
I think the Titans are going to choose Stafon Johnson as the back-up to Chris Johnson at running back. Blount might have had a more successful college career in terms of statistics but I see Johnson as a player who has something to prove and will be motivated to make the most of this chance. Blount is talented but he is also lazy. If we wanted a lazy back-up to Chris Johnson why didn’t we keep LenDale White? I am probably wrong on this one, maybe Blount is the better player. I guess I may be a little naive in wanting the Titans to consist of nothing but hard-working team players.