Chris Johnson may not be realistic about the type of player he is now, but his position coach certainly is.
"He's got some miles on him," Jets running backs coach Anthony Lynn said of Johnson. "So, we're going to have to be strategic in how we use him, and when we use him, to keep him fresh so that he can be the explosive guy that I know that he can be."
Johnson is entering his seventh season and hasn't missed a game since 2008. That year was also the last time Johnson finished a season with fewer than 300 touches. That's a ton of work for a player right around 200 pounds, and the effects began to show up last season. He averaged a career-worst 3.9 yards per carry and had to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery during the offseason, which forced him to miss all OTAs.
I do love honesty from a coach. It's rare these days.
It will probably serve the Jets well to unleash Johnson at certain times, not put the team's ground attack on his shoulders. He still has big-play skills, but perhaps he can no longer handle the rigors of being a full-time starter in the NFL. For the Jets, that's a not a worry, because they have Chris Ivory to get the tough yards, and Bilal Powell can work on passing downs. In all, this is going to be a committee attack and everybody knows it. I actually think Ivory could lead this group in carries, and Johnson looks like he should be a low-end RB2 in 12-team leagues.