New York Jets running back Chris Johnson has been a major story ever since signing on with the team this offseason, and he has the chance to give the Jets a truly dynamic 1-2 punch in the backfield with underrated RB Chris Ivory, who was solid last season and is an explosive rusher who can make defenses pay with his power. Johnson, on the other hand, is the explosive back who can make home-run plays if he gets into space, though he struggles if the blocking in front of him isn’t there. Although Johnson ran for over 1,000 yards for the sixth time in as many seasons last year, he also averaged below four yards per carry. Some believe that his days of being a feature back are over, but new teammate Sheldon Richardson isn’t buying it.
Richardson, who was arguably the most impressive rookie in the league last year, stated, via the New York Daily News’s Manish Mehta, “He’s far from done. That 4.24 speed is still there, believe it or not. He’s still got it. It’s a highlight reel waiting to happen. And we need those explosive plays.”
The Jets are doing their best to take advantage of Johnson’s speed and explosiveness, as creative offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg has been flexing him out wide in training camp on passing plays in an effort to get him into space. Johnson slogged through most of the 2013 season with a torn meniscus that needed to be repaired this offseason, but he’s 100% now. If he gets at least average blocking and has most of his trademark explosiveness, then he could be a big part of this Jets offense. I wouldn’t expect way too much out of him, but I wouldn’t start dissing him as a “washed-up” player either; that’s just dangerous.