INDIANAPOLIS _ Chris Johnson bounced back and had a solid season for the Tennessee Titans in 2012, but the club is looking for additional options at the position this off-season.
Johnson recovered from a slow start last season to finish with 1,243 yards and on occasion showed his old knack for long runs with three touchdowns of 80 yards or more in 2012.
But as the Titans enter 2013, General Manager Ruston Webster and Coach Mike Munchak admitted they are looking for a change of pace back to pair with CJ2K – someone who can fill the old LenDale White role of being a short yardage or change of pace back in the Tennessee offense.
“I think that's something that we'll look at, maybe a situational-type guy who can come in in certain situations and close the game in short yardage and just give us a change of pace, something different,” Webster said here Thursday.
Coach Mike Munchak agreed with that assessment of Johnson, saying it is a fine balance between not wearing him out and using him to his full potential.
“I think we definitely look in that area. Chris Johnson has been so special and people don't see that has hasn't missed a game and hasn't missed a snap. His first playoff game was the only time he has had to come out of a game. He doesn't miss practice,” Munchak said. “The mission is two-fold: Don't overuse him, but don't cut down on his touches, but maybe throw to him more out of the backfield and find different ways to use him to get him out in space, along with running back, like when (Javon) Ringer was healthy or with LenDale, that can take over the game in another way. That's what we're in need of, and that's what we'll be looking for.”
That doesn't exactly bode well for Ringer, who is a free agent after being injured last year, or Jamie Harper, who has yet to make much impact in two years on the roster.
As for Ringer, who finished last year on injured reserve, Webster was asked if the door had closed on him.
“Not necessarily, but it's just like anybody else that has been injured. You have to take precaution there. You can't rely on guys who have missed time,” he said.