"I feel I am still the best back in the league, and I have no problem saying that," Johnson recently told Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. "None of the active backs have done anything that I have done in the first four years, even though I had a bad year last year. So I still feel like I am the best back in the league."
That sounds ridiculous on the face of it, but Johnson did gain the most yards in the league over the past four years. Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and Jacksonville Jaguars spark plug Maurice Jones-Drew have certainly been more consistent and more complete as players. Johnson seemed to take offense that he was ranked by fellow players below guys like the Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch and the Broncos' Willis McGahee.
"There's a lot of backs now who probably didn't do anything the year before and then they rush for 1,500 yards and they are the top back," Johnson said. "It's crazy, really."
Johnson has changed his approach this offseason in response to his desultory year.
He could either right himself and get back on an all-time great path, or he could look like a player already on the decline at age 26.