The Tennessee Titans ranked last in the NFL in time of possession in 2012. The coaching staff is determined not to let it happen again.
Despite the drafting of early-round receivers Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter the past two years, offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains emphasized that the Titans are "definitely going to be a run-first team" in 2013.
"It comes together because the head coach and the general manager around here think only three things happen when you throw the football, and two of them are bad," Loggains said via the Tennessean. "We want to be able to run the ball when we want to and when we need to."
Swallowed up too often behind the line of scrimmage because the interior of the offensive line couldn't generate a push, Johnson had fallen into the bad habit of failing to trust his eyes.
With the additions of veteran guard Andy Levitre, first-round guard Chance Warmack and fourth-round center Brian Schwenke, the Titans' offensive line joins the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' secondary as the most improved units in the NFL.
Although Johnson will work in a tandem attack for the first time since the halcyon "Smash and Dash" days with LenDale White, he's excited for the opportunity to line up in different spots and work more in space after two years in Chris Palmer's unimaginative offense.
Loggains made it clear that Johnson will remain the focal point of the rushing attack. "CJ is a franchise running back, and I'll be the first to say that," Loggains said. "Shonn (Greene) will be a change-of-pace back that's going to come in."
No longer throwing his teammates under the bus, Johnson is ready to "step up as a leader." The Titans have done their part. It's a put up or shut up season for the artist formerly known as CJ2K.
Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.