Chris Johnson took a big step backward last season, but it didn't do anything to lessen his confidence.
Johnson, who was recently ranked 100 on the NFL's top 100 players of 2012 list, feels that people are overreacting with their skepticism, and that he's actually the game's top running back.
"I feel I am still the best back in the league, and I have no problem saying that," Johnson told The Tennessean. "None of the active backs have done anything that I have done in the first four years, even though I had a bad year last year. So I still feel like I am the best back in the league."
Johnson rushed for a career-low 1,047 yards and four touchdowns last season while averaging a career-low 4 yards per carry. That comes on the heels of a season in which he rushed for more than 2,000 yards, and was regarded by many as the best running back in the NFL. N
ow, however, Johnson is view far less favorably, as Adrian Peterson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Ray Rice, Arian Foster, Darren Sproles, Marshawn Lynch and Willis McGahee were all ranked ahead of him on the top 100 list.
"I know it is one of those 'what have you done for me lately?' situations," Johnson reportedly said. "People are not going to look at me as the No. 1 running back in the league. There are people out there who aren't going to give me the respect I deserve. But at the end of the day it doesn't matter what anybody else thinks."
Johnson, who Titans coach Mike Munchak said has been working hard this offseason to improve on his down year, doesn't think another 2,000 rushing yards is out of the question.
"I want to go for another 2,000 yards," Johnson said. "I want to be the first back to go for 2,000 yards twice, and I think it can be done. It doesn't matter what anybody else thinks. I think it can be done."
It's obvious Johnson can talk the talk. When the 2012 season kicks off, we'll see whether he can once again walk the walk.
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