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Jets' Chris Johnson: I still can be a 2,000-yard back

Five years removed from his titanic 2,000-yard outburst, New York Jets running back Chris Johnson says he can reach those heights again in 2014.

"I'd just retire and not play anymore if I didn't feel like I was still capable of being a 2,000-yard back," Johnson told Seth Walder of the New York Daily News on Tuesday. "I know I have the ability."

Yet another sound bite perfectly suited for our burgeoning offseason tropes file.

During that distant 2,006-yard campaign back in 2009, the former Tennessee Titans star led the league with an outrageous 5.6 yards per carry. Johnson's not the same explosive back today. The occasional home run was tempered last season by his inability to make tacklers miss. Durability issues also helped sink Johnson's once-stellar yards per carry mark to a paltry 3.9.

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Jets running backs coach Anthony Lynn won't shy away from riding the "hot guy," but New York saw enough from the hard-charging Chris Ivory last season to fully explore a committee approach that promises to keep Johnson's numbers at bay.

It's not unusual for today's hyper-confident pro athlete to ignore the progress of time. Set to enter his age-29 campaign, Johnson has the opportunity to lead New York in carries, but his run as a featured-back warhorse -- a guy you center the entire offense around -- belongs to the world of yesterday.

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