Jan 3, 2010; Seattle, WA, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (28) rushes against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half at Qwest Field. Tennessee Titans tight end Bo Scaife (80) looks to block for Johnson. Tennessee defeated Seattle, 17-13. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE

Tennessee Titans: Blocking Isn't CJ's Strength

To be fair to Chris Johnson, the Tennessee Titans aren’t paying him for his blocking skills really. He makes the big bucks because he is an elusive back that can pull off some ridiculous runs.

Having been fair, now I’m going to be critical. Blocking is one of a running backs jobs. Sometimes he’s asked to stay back and help keep the QB from getting clobbered.

Needless to say, today’s article is taking a look at PFF’s “Three Years of Pass Blocking Efficiency: Running Backs” where Chris Johnson comes in as one of the worst back’s in the league, though the Vikings’ AP isn’t too far behind him.

Via PFF:

Rank Name Current Team Pass Protects Sacks Hits Hurries Total Pressure PBE
1 Jonathan Stewart CAR 182 6 5 14 25 88.87
2 Jerome Harrison DET 105 4 1 6 11 91.19
3 Reggie Bush MIA 130 3 4 7 14 91.35
4 Maurice Morris FA 121 4 0 8 12 91.74
5 Knowshon Moreno DEN 143 2 2 11 15 91.78
6 Chris D. Johnson TEN 251 1 2 24 27 91.83
7 Toby Gerhart MIN 108 1 1 9 11 92.13
8 Adrian L. Peterson MIN 212 3 6 12 21 92.22
9 Rashard Mendenhall PIT 148 4 3 7 14 92.23
10 Beanie Wells ARZ 149 3 3 8 14 92.45

As you can see from the list, he was asked more than any of the other running backs to stay back in protection. He’s also the only feature back back up by those top five and one of only three up there (unless you want to count Beanie. That’d make four).

There’s no denying CJ needs to improve in that area. This offseason he has added some muscle and has been with the team for all the workouts. Hopefully we see a better CJ this year, not only in terms of blocking but also in running.

Last year left us all with a lot of questions about him. You know he’s planning on answering them. I’m just curious to see if the answer we get is the one he wants to give.

I sure hope so.


You can find me on Twitter @JustinLStewart

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  • Drake

    The Titans knew Chris Johnson would probably never be great at blocking because he is so small.

  • seagle1

    I’m sorry but I don’t see where the deficiency is. Out of 251 pass attempts he allowed 27 hurries? So in essence, 1 out of every 10 pass attempts he allows a pressure?

    Sorry,but that’s pretty good, actually that’s very good! Out of 251 pass attempts he allowed 2 sacks?!?!?!?
    Sorry, I don’t see that as a weakness, for a small guy he’s not afraid to stick his nose in someone’s chest to protect his QB.
    I’ve actually always been
    Impressed with his blocking, the fact that he stayed in on many 3rd down plays as a rookie shows the coaches also had faith in him.

  • http://www.justinlstewart.com/ jstitansized

     @seagle1 I’ve never been impressed with his blocking. Every now and then he can bump a defender but too often they get the upper hand on him and make it by him with relative ease.

  • http://www.justinlstewart.com/ jstitansized

     @Drake MJD is pretty small and he does a pretty good job.

  • Pingback: Tennessee Titans: Blocking Isn’t CJ’s Strength | football-feed.com

  • Drake

     @jstitansized Maurice Jones-Drew is a bit heavier than Chris Johnson; Maurice Jones-Drew is 205 lbs while Chris Johnson is 191 lbs, so that has to play some sort of role in him being a better blocker than Chris Johnson. Being built smaller is a gift in itself, thus Maurice Jones-Drew seems good at anything; Maurice Jones-Drew is 5’8 whereas Chris Johnson is 5’11. On the other hand, Chris Johnson was a former  trackstar. Therefore, he was probably brough in to mainly make cuts. 

  • http://www.justinlstewart.com/ jstitansized

     @Drake True. Chris Johnson has also added weight this offseason and is now over 200 lbs.

  • Drake

     @jstitansized Oh, that will impact his blocking much more! Having a guy that fast and can block good enough will be a dream!

  • http://www.justinlstewart.com/ jstitansized

     @Drake Ha ha ha. We’ll just have to wait and see how much of an impact it makes. I think his technique needs some work.

  • seagle1

    @jstitansized @Drake Pass protection is easily his biggest weakness but for the amount of plays he is in the field for I think he is more than adequate, let’s not forget that we allowed the fewest sacks in the league last year and CJ was a big part of that.

  • Drake

    We also had/have the best OL in the league.

  • Drake

     @seagle1  @jstitansized  @Drake We also had/have the best OL in the league.