Titans see unlimited chances for Ringer to limit CJ's workload

Monday, September 19, 2011 at 3:49pm

Javon Ringer showed Sunday that he does more than just take carries from Chris Johnson. The third-year running back can take meaningful carries and make them count – even on the scoreboard.

Ringer’s 10-yard touchdown run on a fourth-and-1 early in the fourth quarter put the Tennessee Titans ahead to stay Sunday in their 26-13 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.

“It’s the idea that we all have confidence when he’s in there something good can still happen,” coach Mike Munchak said. “It’s not, ‘Oh, CJ’s not in the game; we can’t run the ball.’ … On the fourth-and-1 it just happened that way that [Ringer] was out there and he makes a great play.”

Ringer finished the game with 21 yards on five carries and two pass receptions for 30 yards in his first game action in more than a month. Five of those seven touches came in the second half when the Titans outscored the Ravens 16-3, and the two catches were a career-high.

He also had a 12-yard run on the go-ahead touchdown drive and started the next possession, which ended with a field goal, with an 18-yard pass reception.

“Just having a good, long layoff it kind of felt good … to not just go in there but the opportunities I had were a real blessing,” he said.

Munchak said the issue of how many touches Ringer would get this season was one of the first addressed after he assembled his coaching staff.

That group decided that Johnson’s workload the last two seasons --- averages of 337 rushes and 47 receptions – was counterproductive. Thus, the decision was made to try and reduce those numbers.

The idea is that Johnson, the NFL’s offensive most valuable player in 2009, would have a better chance to stay healthy and productive throughout the entire season.

Then, of course, injuries cost Ringer much of his preparation time. He missed the final three preseason contests and the regular season opener with hip and back injuries.

“I wanted to take advantage of the preseason games and of camp and everything with the new offensive coaches and everything,” he said. “Everything was going so well the first two weeks and then even that first drive things were going so good and then – boom – I’m out for the rest of the preseason.

“Then when I finally started to come back again, like last week, in trying to compensate for my side I kind of aggravated my back. So then I had to sit out another week.”

Consequently, his ability to lessen Johnson’s load against the Ravens was uncertain. Johnson had 65 total yards on 27 touches (24 rushes, three receptions – the most since he had 30 against Indianapolis in the 13th game last season.

“If I get tired and need a breather I come out, Javon come in and do what he got to do,” Johnson said. “Javon is a good player so we don’t feel like there’s no drop-off when he comes in the game. So, it’s just the whole situation of how we rotate.”

It is likely he will rotate in even more over the coming weeks.

“He’s a guy that can make plays, and I’m excited he’s healthy,” Munchak said. “…I’ve always been a big Javon Ringer fan. I think he runs hard. He’s smart. He can play third down for us. He’s a good blocker. He’s a great complement to Chris. So we’re very confident when he’s in the game.”

5 Comments on this post:

By: serr8d on 9/20/11 at 5:36

The idea is that Johnson, the NFL’s offensive most valuable player in 2009, would have a better chance to stay healthy and productive throughout the entire season.

Oh, he's healthy, all right. At least, his wallet is healthy. Moribund and obese I'd say (his wallet, not his person).

It's the productive aspect of this equation he's yet to deliver on. And given the season is 1/8 over, he's got some real catching up to do in the remaining 14 games.

By: fdanshep on 9/20/11 at 6:13

Last week I commented that Johnson would not get 50 yards against the Ravens- I was wrong, he got 54. This contract will go down as one of the biggest busts since Jayne Mansfield.

By: TITAN1 on 9/20/11 at 8:28

So says fdanshep's crystal ball. I'll wait and see.

By: kenwinter on 9/20/11 at 8:50

One or both of the following explain Chris Johnson's lack of production. He's not hitting the hole fast enough or the line is not blocking for him.

No running back in the NFL approaches the line of scrimmage as slowly and searchingly as CJ. Of course, when he sees lots of running room, no one goes to it faster.

But the holes do not appear to be there - or they're too small for his liking. Time and again, CJ stutters and changes course as defensive bodies pile up the entire middle.

Which is the greater problem, I don't know. But the films will document both.

By: dargent7 on 9/20/11 at 11:21

The biggest bust was that tub of lard Haynesworth getting $100. million and taking a power.
Giving Peyton Manning $90. million for 5 years was a bone headed move too, considering he's on his 3rd neck surgery and 1st spinal fusion. And he's 36.
Collins at 38 was a great move for the Colts, too. The GM should be fired.