Chris Johnson thinks he has a case to make for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This week he argued it on the Talk of Fame Network.
Many, including Johnson, believe he was the fastest runner in NFL history after having run a then-record 4.24 40-yard dash at the 2008 combine. Two years later he rushed for 2,006 yards and gained a NFL record 2,500 yards from scrimmage and he didn’t stop there.
In his 10-year career, Johnson rushed for over 1,000 yards each of his first six seasons before a combination “curse of the Jets,’’ whom he went to after six seasons in Tennessee, and injuries derailed him. But he officially retired a Titan this week after signing a one-day contract and immediately began thinking he had one more stop to make – the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.
“I don’t know the criteria but if I was a judge, if you look at the numbers, I think I am,’’ Johnson told co-hosts Ron Borges, Rick Gosselin and Clark Judge.
Johnson just missed rushing for 10,000 yards (9,651) and never came close to winning a Super Bowl but he would argue through no fault of his own. The year he rushed for 2,000 yards, for example, “we didn’t even make the playoffs. The Super Bowl is more of a team thing.’’
Johnson is right about that. In his only playoff game the Titans lost to the Baltimore Ravens 13-10 but Johnson averaged 6.55 yards a carry (11 rushes for 72 yards), scored a touchdown and gained 28 yards on his only reception. Obviously the outcome of that game didn’t turn on anything he didn’t do that day.
During Johnson’s visit to Talk of Fame he also recalled the day he raced a cheetah at Busch Gardens in Florida and how it jumped the fence the day before he toed the line against it. What might have happened if that cheetah was chasing him during his NFL career?
“I’d had 10,000 yards my first season,’’ Johnson joked.
To hear Johnson make his full Hall of Fame argument as well as listen to Titans’ long-time beat man Paul Kuharsky discuss what it was like to have a crowd of over 600,000 people jamming downtown Nashville last week for the NFL Draft tune in to your local SB Nation Radio station or downloading our free podcast at iTunes or the TuneIn app. Or you can listen to this show and all or past shows and interviews by going to our website, talkoffamenetwork.com.