Some players would have their confidence shaken by a season as disappointing as the one Chris Johnson is coming off, but the Tennessee Titans running back appears to have morphed that disappointment into bravado.
Last week, Johnson said he still considers himself to be the best running back in the league despite his admittedly subpar showing in 2011.
With that in mind, perhaps it's not surprising Johnson tells us this week he feels a kinship with Miami Heat superstar LeBron James, considered by many to be the NBA's greatest player.
"I kinda put us in the same category," Johnson said Tuesday at Titans minicamp. "He gets a lot of criticism just like I do. I like how he bounced back the year after he got a lot of criticism. Came back, got MVP and hopefully can get his team a championship.
"He just gives me motivation to bounce back for this year, seeing the things that he came back and did, proving the naysayers wrong. I kind of look at him as a guy like me."
It's important to note the pressures facing Chris Johnson and the pressures facing LeBron James are two completely different beasts. James has the weight of the world on his shoulders Tuesday night as he opens the NBA Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Gaudy personal statistics are only one part of the equation for James -- he's expected to win a championship every season. Anything less is considered failure.
Johnson is expected to rush for about 1,500 yards and score some touchdowns. If the Titans don't make the Super Bowl, the fingers don't get pointed at him. To James, Johnson's existence would feel anonymous.