Slumping running back Chris Johnson insisted Sunday that he isn't the source of the Tennessee Titans' anemic ground game after he was booed early and often by the home fans while being held to 18 yards on 10 carries during a 41-7 loss to the Houston Texans.
"I feel like I've been back," Johnson said, refuting reports from Titan Insider that he wasn't in good enough shape to start the season after a contract holdout. "I feel like my conditioning and me missing camp, I can't say that's the problem with the running game."
Since signing a four-year, $53.5 million deal before the season started, Johnson has 93 carries for 268 yards, just a 2.9-yards-per-carry average. Johnson said he was frustrated with the running struggles and that those who know football can tell what the problems are.
"If you are watching the game and you can't tell what's going on with the run game, then I'd say you really don't know football," Johnson said, according to the Tennessean.
"I'm very confident that I've been doing the things that I've been having to do," Johnson added. "It's a situation where I continue to say that I can't do anything but keep running hard and working hard and doing what I can for this team."
"I think when you lose like that, you should re-evaluate everything," he said. "But there are only so many things you can do to change it. We like Ringer, but is that the answer? I don't think so. I don't think all of a sudden we're going to block better because of that."
Even Ringer agreed.
"People in the stands look at C.J. and they think, 'OK, outrun this guy, break tackles.' But you can't if thereâs no room there," Ringer said, according to The Tennessean. "I am not trying to deliberately point the finger at anyone, but we need to work better as a team."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.