Titans sign USC’s Stafon Johnson and Oregon’s LeGarrette Blount

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.

THE VERDICT

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.


Topics: LeGarrette Blount, Stafon Johnson

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  • Brian

    Apparently Blount has turned it around considerably after the suspension. Between that and having a kid, I guess he got he got motivated to get his act together and really worked his ass off in the classroom and in practice. Supposedly he was going to graduate with a Poli-Sci degree this quarter.

    • Nick Ewing

      I hope you are correct Brian! I would love to see Blount come in, work hard, and stay out of trouble. His size would make him the perfect ‘change of pace’ running back to lighten the workload on Chris Johnson.

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  • TNTitan89

    These guys are fighting for the 3rd and 4th running back spots behind Javon Ringer. They might eventually unseat him, but it won’t be this season. Besides being a 5th-round pick, Ringer has a year in the system, giving him a head start that will keep him ahead of the other guys come week 1.

    • Nick Ewing

      It’s tough to say. I feel like Ringer being ahead of Stafon Johnson makes sense because you are correct, Ringer does have a year under his belt. Blount is such a wildcard that I wouldn’t be suprised if he took the backup job. He went undrafted but I consider him a second/third round talent who fell in the draft because he appears to have head problems. That being said, I also wouldn’t be suprised if Blount is cut by the end of rookie camp for fighting!

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  • http://www.myyahoo.com/barry'stennesseepage.com barry stricklin

    you said lagarrette was lazy ,why do you think we shipped lendale out . and i see where he got better after the incident ,i think lagerrette will be our back of the future . there is no pressure on him , look at chris johnson he is a pain right now and if he doesn’t fall in line we can get another legarrete blount.

  • http://bloggingdirty.com Troy Heinzman

    Barry – while it’s good to see Blount turn his life around and not let that embarrassing incident define him, we should be careful with the expectations. He went undrafted for a reason and comparing him in any way to your 2,000 yard back is hyperbolic.

    Chris Johnson is an incredible talent, arguably the best in the league and might be the best the Titans have ever had (time will tell). If #28 wants to make sure he has a little something extra in his pocket after dominating the league in 2009, I’m all for it. Running backs have short careers – he needs to get his while he can.

    That said, I do like the idea of a Thunder and Lightning approach with CJ and Blount. It could help extend both players’ careers.

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