Earlier this week new Titans owner Tommy Smith said that the Titans were using Chris Johnson the wrong way. Smith mostly meant that the Titans should give Chris Johnson more carries and try to use him in different ways. I think that there is something to the idea that the Titans should change the way that they use Chris Johnson, but not the way that Tommy Smith might think.
The right way to use Chris Johnson
The Titans should be using Chris Johnson in a different way, but they should be giving him less carries not more. Chris Johnson should be used primarily as a decoy on the outside. Chris Johnson should never leave the slot position in the base formation.
The idea is that Johnson would be out there for around 20 plays, primarily running routes that running backs run, but from a different part of the field. This should change the way opponents defend the Titans offense. Chris Johnson running primarily dump off routes with the occasional streak or drag would give the Titans another spark. Also when he gets defensive back coverage, then the Titans can start motioning CJ into the backfield and use a read option offense.
The wrong way to use Chris Johnson
Chris Johnson is not an every down back, and really he shouldn't be taking the majority of the snaps. When he gets tired he isn't motivated and he just dives at the ground. That almost always puts the Titans into terrible 2nd and 3rd down situations. Using him as a between the tackles, power style running back is wasting his talent and hurting the offense.
Another way that the Titans shouldn't be using Chris Johnson is as a target over the middle. That Texas route they like him to run almost inevitably leads to a drop. Johnson hears footsteps and just doesn't feel the need to complete the catch, and it is just another way that he takes the Titans out of rhythm on offense.