Can’t Nobody Touch Me

Chris Johnson on battling Adrian Peterson for history, and why he's the best back in the NFL

Greg A. Bedard
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GREG BEDARD: After seeing what Adrian Peterson did last year, returning from ACL surgery and rushing for 2,097 yards, and after seeing the investment Tennessee made in its offensive line to become a run-first team, do you envision yourself and Peterson getting into a McGwire-Sosa-like battle to challenge Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record of 2,105 yards?

CHRIS JOHNSON: That would be real fun. What a lot of people don’t understand is, I rushed for almost 1,300 yards last year with two or three different offensive lines starting every other week. I overcame a lot of things, and I still was able to be a top player and an elite back. By beefing up this line and putting players around me, and going back to a running offense—we were basically a passing offense last year—that will be a cool thing.

BEDARD: Who’s the best back in the game, and why?

JOHNSON: Myself. I can do so many things, I can bring so many things to the team. The thing about it, I didn’t just rush for 2,000 yards [in 2009]—I also had 50 catches and more than 500 receiving yards. So I actually broke the yards-from-scrimmage record. There’s nobody in the league that has done that to this point.

BEDARD: Did you try to do too much last year?

JOHNSON: At the end of the day I’m a playmaker, so I’m going to try to make plays. So as far as doing too much, I don’t think so. Somebody has a Barry Sanders way—”He’s doing too much…”—no, he’s just trying to make a play. Any time you’re the playmaker on a team, you have to make things happen. The wins and losses are going to be put on your shoulders. I’ll never be a guy that just gives up on a play.

Check out the rest of The MMQB’s 3Q series.

James Alfonso
James Alfonso

Did you have a translator for this interview?


hasnt run with the same energy after his 2000 yard season. he used to brake tackles and then absolutely fly out of a crowd of defenders. i really enjoyed watching him back then. some guys cant keep the fire going though when their ego outweighs reality. i stopped watching him when he started blaming his offensive line for his own failures. what type of effect did he think that would have on their attitude toward blocking for him?

Will10 1 Like

Nobody can't touch me either


CJ has the talent, that can't be denied but I've never paid attention to him off the field and as a person. Reading his answers to the three simple questions, this fool loves to talk about himself. Anything for the stats, nothing to show for victories. People ARE forgetting you this and did that, you're slowly rolling your way out of relevancy. Stop talking about the past and focus on helping your team move back into mediocrity.


Don't forget, this is the guy who never won a major track meet (and yes, he was in plenty), but swears to this day that he's faster than Usain Bolt. He is a joke now, everything AD isn't, nothing that AD is.

DannyCarrao 1 Like

So arrogant.... Hugely high percentage of runs for less than 2 yards, half his games under 50 yards. Just another high strikeout, boom or bust power hitter. I'm thinking Dave Kingman (yes, I know that shows I'm old!)..


Top 5 talent. He's no AP but running back has so many things that factor in. He could be number 2 after this year just as easily as number 15. Excited to see him behind a good OLine.