Jordan Bean | Sacked
Published: Monday, September 24, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 24, 2012 07:09
In many cases the number 1.1 indicates a player at the top of their sport. If a NHL goalie had a 1.1 goals against average, that would be stellar. A 1.1 ERA by a Major League Baseball pitcher is a rare feat. A 1.1 handicap by a golfer would be impressive.
When does the number 1.1 not make the cut? For one, when we’re looking at yards per carry for the highest paid member of an NFL team.
That’s right. Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans has a meager 1.1 yards per rush through the first two weeks of the season. CJ2K, as he was called after his 2009-2010 campaign when he rushed for more than 2,000 yards, has managed to rush for a grand total of 21 yards on 19 carries.
To put this in perspective, his quarterback, Jake Locker, has rushed for 11 more yards than CJ.
Don’t worry though — Johnson is not to blame.
In a recent post-practice interview Johnson was quoted saying, “I wouldn’t sit here and say I’m to blame
, but I’m not the guy to sit here and point fingers and things like that.”
Wait a second. So he’s trying to tell me that he’s not responsible for his own performance, but he’s not going to blame anyone else either? Who is left to take the blame, then?
I, for one, am sick of players who can’t take a little self-responsibility. While an unsatisfactory performance will happen from time to time, a lack of self-accountability for one’s actions is never the answer.
It’s not as if the teams he played against the last few weeks were the 2000 Ravens and 1998 Chargers, the two statistically best rushing defenses in the Super Bowl era. They played the Patriots and 2012 San Diego Chargers — two quality opponents who are known more for their offense than defensive.
Johnson is failing to realize the concept of a team. He cannot run a single yard without the raw force of his offensive linemen colliding with and pushing back the equally strong players on the defensive side of the ball.
In shedding the blame from himself, he is essentially putting it on those teammates who are going to war for him in the trenches every play. He’s lucky that the linemen don’t “accidentally” let a defensive back slip by them and lay a mammoth hit on him to teach a lesson. They, unlike him, realize that the team is bigger than the individual and would never do that.
CJ, once the most feared running back in the game, has been quick to point fingers at everyone but himself.
If I were building a team, I would want players with the determination to succeed but also the humbleness to accept failure and grow from it. Excuses are signs of weakness and lack of maturity.
Great teams have great leaders who do not place the blame on their teammates. They absorb the criticism because they know that — correct or not -— when the team succeeds they will be the one that gets the credit.
The highest-paid player on the field for a team is its de-facto leader. Johnson should be the guy the others look to when they need a big play or motivation, not the one who calls them out when his own personal play is suffering.
If it were up to me, I would tell him to give the money back if this kind of performance keeps up. His play is dragging down the team and the money could be better served in the hands of someone who is earning it.
Chris Johnson, either earn the money you’re under contract for or get off the field, but for now — you’re sacked!
Jordan Bean is a freshman who has yet to declare a major. He can be reached at Jordan.Bean@tufts.edu.