NASHVILLE – Running back Chris Johnson and offensive lineman Kevin Mawae shared some memorable moments together in Tennessee with the Titans.
They'll share another one this weekend in Canton – Johnson plans to make the trip to Ohio to see Mawae get inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He'll be joined by a big number of his teammates in Tennessee.
"Me and Mawae, we are good friends," Johnson said. "Ever since I got to Tennessee, we were always cool. The running back and the offensive line have to have a good relationship and we always had a good relationship. He always looked out for me, and I just want to be there for his big day."
Mawae played 16 NFL seasons (1994-2009), including four seasons with the Titans (2006-09). He began his career with the Seahawks and also played with the Jets before retiring after the 2009 season in Tennessee. Mawae was named to eight All-Pro teams, and eight Pro Bowls during his career while playing in 241 career games.
Mawae blocked for Hall of Fame running back Curtis Martin with the Jets, and for Johnson during his 2,006-yard season in Tennessee.
Mawae and Johnson were teammates for two seasons in Tennessee (2008-09). Johnson ran for 1,228 yards as a rookie, and then followed it up with the best year of his 10-year career.
"He was the leader of the offensive line," Johnson said. "We had our talks – the running back and the offensive line would meet up – and we'd watch these plays together. They knew how I liked to run certain plays, and I knew how they liked to block certain plays. It got to the point where we'd be in the room and you would hear Kevin Mawae correct another offensive lineman and be like: "You need to do this, because C.J. likes to do this or likes to do that.'
"It was just amazing how we came together. I felt like he was always looking out for me."
Johnson played in the Hall of Fame game as a player during his days with the Titans, and he later returned to Canton as a player with the Cardinals.
This weekend, however, will be special. Johnson said former Titans fullback Ahmard Hall and all of the team's offensive linemen from the 2,006-yard season plan to make the trip to the Hall of Fame as well.
"This will be the first time one of my actual teammates that I played with is getting inducted," Johnson said. "Me being a part of the (2,006)-yard season that he blocked for, it was amazing. A bunch of us want to be there to support him.
"I am very happy for him, that he's getting in. He played so long, and the way that I saw him work and the way that I saw him play on the field, he's so deserving. I just want to be there for him."
Former Titans center Kevin Mawae, who will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2019, is introduced at the 8th Annual NFL Honors at The Fox Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photos)
Titans Online looks back at the Titans career of Hall of Fame center Kevin Mawae, who played in Tennessee from 2006-09. (Photos)