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Breaking down Chris Johnson's struggles

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The consensus is that he has been too hesitant and that the line is not blocking well enough. "The Titans' interior offensive line and fullback haven’t played as well, the guards in particular," one high-ranking NFL personnel man said. "Johnson isn’t pressing the hole with as much confidence and hasn’t been as decisive on his cuts, but a lot of that is controlled by what movement you’re able to get up front to create some creases." Former NFL offensive line coach Larry Zierlein watched the Titans’ loss to the Steelers. "The thing that struck me in that game was that Chris Johnson was very indecisive, particularly when running the outside zone/stretch play, which I believe is their signature play," he said. "That play can go inside or outside but the runner must decide by his fourth step, based on his key of the defensive end, whether he is going inside or outside. It appeared to me that he was pre-determining to go outside and running laterally well beyond his fourth step. And when that wasn’t there, by the time he took it back inside the backside pursuit had closed that off, too." Space: Right guard Jake Scott said there are not regular busted assignments up front, that Johnson is the same and what’s going on "is not him." Get him into space and he’s as dangerous as ever. The thing is, Johnson’s rarely been in space. To get into space he first has to get through traffic, and so right now how good he can be running in traffic is the biggest question. I’d like him to spin, dive and squirm to turn a no-gain into a yard and to turn a 1-yard run into a 2-yard run. That may be the start of a turnaround as much as a home run. And he’s got to do some of that to make up for what’s been insufficient blocking. "Oh, the run blocking has been hideous," said Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders. "The total opposite of the pass blocking. Dead last in our Adjusted Line Yards stat. But Johnson doesn't seem to have the same burst, either. He doesn't have the long highlight runs he normally gets, even when he is able to get a hole." **So basically we have a perfect storm of fail when it comes to our running game. Everyone is doing just enough for it not to work correctly.

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