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Chris Johnson of Tennessee Titans: I haven't lost a step

Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak acknowledged a year and a half ago that Chris Johnsonhad lost a step from his record-setting 4.24-second 40-yard dash at the 2008 NFL Scouting Combine.

It's a sentiment the cheetah-racing Johnson has been railing against ever since. Now that he's entering his age-28 season, Johnson insists his game is not on the decline.

"It's baffling to me when somebody can sit here and say I lost a step," Johnson told Pete Prisco of on Monday. "They don't know what they are talking about."

While Johnson has picked up a tendency to dance east to west at the line of scrimmage and no longer showcases the insane lateral agility from his first two seasons, we haven't noticed a drop-off in his long speed.

For those critics who believe he's no longer the "CJ2K" of old, Johnson is carrying a massive chip on his shoulder.

"If you really know football, and watch the game, you know I don't have to make any excuses. I am not that type of guy anyway. I've never been the guy who complains about the line or anything like that," Johnson said, apparently with a straight face. "You just roll with it. But look at the other backs in this league -- Adrian (Peterson), (Arian) Foster, (Jamaal) Charles. Look at their tapes, they have room to run."

That statement is a true head-scratcher. Justified or not, Johnson has thrown his offensive lineunder the bus on multiple occasions.

Now that the Titans have made major upgrades on the interior of the offensive line with an eye toward a run-heavy attack, Johnson once again is stoking the fires of a friendly rivalry with Adrian Peterson.

"I did it first," Johnson said of 2,000 yards. "Not one time did I sit back and say he did something that I can't do. ... He's a great back. But I can't sit here and say out of my own mouth that Adrian Peterson is better than me. All the things he's done, I've done the same things. I did them first."

To win over his growing coterie of critics, Johnson will need to overtake Peterson for the second time in his career to capture the league's rushing crown.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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