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CJ2K: Catch me if you can
NORTH CAROLINA-(BASN)-Every football coach knows that you can’t teach speed.
It’s a natural gift from God, which can turn a two-yard screen pass into a 60-yard touchdown pass.
It can turn a simple hand-off up the middle into a 70-yard sprint to the goal line.
And a routine kickoff, into a game changing thrill-ride. Just ask the San Francisco 49ers after they watched the Ravens Jacoby Jones return the opening kick-off to start the second half of Super Bowl XLVII 102 yards untouched for a touchdown.
Yes, speed, which according to Webster’s dictionary, is a noun that means rapid motion; or swiftness.
The word swiftness, in fact, describes perfectly the running motion of Tennessee Titans RB Chris Johnson a.k.a CJ2K, who ran a 40 yard dash in 4.24 seconds at the 2008 NFL Scouting Combine, which tied Randel Melendez for the fastest clocked-time in league history since 1999.
With that said, if Chris Johnson were a sports car, he would be a Lamborini, which is known to go from 0 to 60 in seconds, especially after he touches the football and breaks through the line of scrimmage and darts up the field, before cutting on a dime while leaving would be tacklers behind him.
And, as crazy as this may sound, Johnson, according to certain reports, due to his off season training with former Patriots assistant Tim Shaw, who has the incredible gift to make faster guys even faster, ran the 40 yard dash in an unbelievable 3.72-that was downhill, however. But, still, that’s amazing.
With that type of breakaway speed, along with his elusiveness, Johnson has placed himself in the same conversation with Hall Fame backs like the legendary Eric Dickerson, Barry Sanders, and the great Tony Dorsett.
Why? Because, despite making the playoffs only once in his rookie season in 2008, Johnson is only the eighth player in league history to gain 1,000 yards in their first five seasons.
Despite those incredible stats, the gold tooth smiling running back, who could easily be the face of the NFL, received harsh criticism from the fans in Tennessee after the 5’11″ 191 pound stick of dynamite missed all of preseason last season due to him holding out over contract disputes, which lead to him having the worst season of his career and the Titans finishing 6-10.
In defense of the 28-year old dreadlock running back, who despite a weak offensive lineman and no preseason action, still managed to gain 1,246 yards on 276 carries and six touchdowns last year.
Plus, with so many running back falling victim with so many near career-ending knee injuries, Johnson deserves every penny earned in the lucrative six-year, $55 million deal, which he is guaranteed to make $10 million this year.
Therefore, with an improved offensive line, Johnson should be on his way to another 2,000 year season and possibly another playoff appearance.
Currently, the Titans are 2-1. But, Johnson hasn’t broken a run longer than 23 yards so far this season.
Eric D.Graham, a graduate of Winston-Salem State University, where he received a B.A. in Mass Communication with a concentration in Radio and Television and a minor in History, with an emphasis in African-American Studies, is currently the Editor and Chief of Black Athlete Sports Network, where his articles appear daily along with his controversial cartoon character Bobbee Bee “The Hater.” Graham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org