CJ “It Is About Winning”

Chris Johnson answered some questions today and the full transcript appears below.  We normally filter these down but this is worth reading in its entirety.

On what was explained to him about his role this season…
Basically, it’s just a situation [where I’ll be] coming in and competing and just doing whatever [I can] to help the team win. Really, at the end of the day, I’m not coming in with too much of a concern about how the carries are going to be [distributed] or whatever like that. It’s a situation, from talking to Rex [Ryan], from talking to Marty [Mornhinweg], that they will put everybody in the best position to help the Jets win. That is what really matters at the end of the day to me, is going to a team, a winning program, that has a chance of being a contender.

On the biggest factor in signing with the Jets…
Basically just coming in and meeting with the coaches, and [seeing] the type of coaches [here]. Rex is an aggressive type of coach and I feel like I am an aggressive type of player. I like the type of style that Rex has. Coming in, (they made) me feel comfortable, I felt like I was at home. From the offensive coordinator to the offensive line to the quarterbacks, it just made me feel comfortable.

On what contributed to his decline in production last season…
There were a couple of different situations. I hurt my knee the third week of the season. There (are) just a lot of different things that went into it. I’m not the type of player that likes to make excuses. So right now, with this whole process, I’m just [moving] on from that whole situation and trying to get better and better every day and just trying to be a player this year for the Jets. I really don’t want to go back and talk about some of the situations that happened inside of the Tennessee organization. I feel like I have moved on and closed that chapter in my career and I’m just looking to keep things [moving] forward and being able to get to work with the Jets.

On wanting to show people he is still a good player…
Yes, of course, I know there (are) a lot of people out there that still believe in me, including the Jets, that’s why they wanted to bring me in. But there are still a lot of people out there who say what they’re going to say and feel how they want to feel, but I don’t see how people can say some of things that they say when you have a guy that rushed for almost 1,100 yards with a torn meniscus. But a player like myself, that’s accomplished so much in my career, it’s always great to have things to put a chip on your shoulder, to have things to motivate you. I think I can turn a bad thing, [with] what people are saying, into a good thing. For me, that gives me motivation, keeps me hungry and keeps a chip on my shoulder to prove those naysayers wrong, because no matter how good you are, no matter what things you do, I could have rushed for 1,500-1,600 yards last year for the Titans and if we didn’t make it to the playoffs, or we didn’t win games, there would still be things that would be said. There’s always going to be, no matter how well you do it, there’s always going to be that person that has something negative to say about you. So, it helps you keep a chip on your shoulder.

On the health of his knee…
I think my knee is getting better and better every day, I’m just continuing to rehab. I know I’m pretty close to just being able to just participate in football activities, so once the offseason workouts start and I really get in there with the Jets trainers, then we’ll see where I’m at and we’ll go from there.

On whether he spoke with other teams…
We had talked to a couple of teams, but once I got down to when I was ready to decide, I was choosing between two teams and it just came out to be the Jets were the team that felt was the best for me and more comfortable for me.

On this being a team on the rise…
They haven’t been to the playoffs in three years, but last year they were one game out from the playoffs and the year before those three years they were a playoff team that was close to the Super Bowl and all those types of things.  So they know how to win over there. The type of team that they had last year, they had a great defense and any time you have a great defense, that automatically gives you a good chance at winning.  So looking at the team, me going there means some more playmakers on offense.  We know as an organization that if we are able to put up some points then that would give us a good chance of winning, so I felt like I would benefit the most to come over there and try to help the offense.

On whether he is experiencing arthritis in his knee…
No, that’s not accurate.

On there not being a sign of arthritis in his knee…
No, I came there (New Jersey), had a physical and nothing was said to me about it.  I’m pretty sure if they had major concerns [about] my knee, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have passed the physical. Something would have been said to me, but there’s some (INAUDIBLE) how we handled that.

On whether the running backs catching passes in Mornhinweg’s offense appeals to him…
Of course that appeals to me.  I feel like that’s a good part of my game.  A lot of people, when they talk about me, they always love to talk about the 2,000 yards, but what they forget is I had 500 receiving yards also that year, so that’s going to be a part of my game and whatever the Jets want to do with me, and whatever Marty has planned for me, I’m willing to go out there and do it if it’s helping the team win.

On why he is confident that he can still play at a high level…
Because I know the type of player I am. I know it is a situation [where] once you run for 2,000 yards you are setting an expectation for yourself. Anytime you do not get the 2,000 yards, then it is a situation where people are going to say, “Oh is he the same guy?” But the reason I can say I am the same guy is because, once you run for 2,000 yards the whole focus is to stop you. If you look at the rushing leaders from last year I think [LeSean] McCoy had [1,607] yards and after that it goes down to [1,339], and there are a [five] guys with 1,200 and then 1,100. You have to think, I almost had 1,100 yards. I am not saying I am a middle of the pack guy but I tore my meniscus last year. I am pretty sure if I didn’t have to deal with that injury I would have rushed for well over 1,200 yards. I just know how I feel when I am out there on the field. Some Sundays I may have felt great and some Sundays I didn’t feel as good with the knee.  I just know I am a hard worker and I don’t feel like I have [fallen] off.

On past comments where he said he would want to share carries…
That was last year. This year, it is about winning and I wanted to come into a program where I think we can win. If that [sharing carries] is what the coach feels will help us win, then that is what we will have to do.

On what number he will wear this season…
I have not thought about it. I guess that is something I will get to when I figure out what is available for me to wear.

On if he has any concern that he will be hampered in training camp…
No, there is no concern.

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