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Scott: Jets might defend Johnson even on sideline

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The New York Jets plan to pay very close attention to Tennessee running back Chris Johnson on Sunday.

They'll send one or maybe even two defenders if he tries to line up wide.

"We might guard him on the sideline, too, just in case," Jets linebacker Bart Scott joked.

Good move, considering the huge game Johnson just turned in. He became the first player in NFL history to rush for a touchdown of longer than 90 yards, another for more than 50 yards, and a TD catch longer than 60 yards. That earned a request from the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his shoes from that game, with the cleats shipped to Canton on Wednesday.

Johnson set a career-high with 197 yards rushing and 87 yards receiving on 25 touches for 284 yards total, second in franchise history only to Billy Cannon's 330 yards on Dec. 10, 1961, against the then-New York Titans. Johnson's 91-yard TD run tied the longest rush in franchise history, a mark set by Sid Blanks on Dec. 13, 1964, against the renamed Jets.

The performance was overshadowed by the 34-31 loss to the Houston Texans. Titans quarterback Kerry Collins knows defenses will be watching Johnson closely every time he's on the field.

"He had a great game," Collins said. "He's a great player. It's going to be a challenge for us every week to find a way to get him the ball."

Johnson was the only rookie voted to the Pro Bowl in 2008, and he trails only Adrian Peterson of Minnesota for the league lead in yards rushing. Johnson is averaging an eye-popping 8.2 yards per carry with 31 carries for 254 yards.

"That's what one monster game will do for you," Johnson said. "Just got to be consistent."

Johnson will have no problem with motivation Sunday to try and follow up his big-play day when the Titans (0-2) visit the Jets (2-0). He only has to look across the field and see Jets coach Rex Ryan or Scott for a reminder of what happened last January when the two helped knock him out of the Titans' 13-10 playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

The running back had been carving up the Ravens with 72 yards on 11 carries and one catch for 28 yards. Then, he sprained his right ankle in the second quarter and couldn't return. Johnson said he can't say if the Ravens intentionally knocked him out of the game, but the result was the same no matter their agenda.

Baltimore isn't on Tennessee's schedule this season, so Johnson said Ryan and Scott offer the next best shot with the Jets.

"I can take it all out on them," Johnson said Thursday.

Johnson respects Ryan's defense from playing the Ravens twice last season. He knows finding running room won't be easy.

"You've got to read your keys and hit the holes and basically it's going to be a lot of plays where you get no yards. But then there's going to be some plays you have to take advantage of when you get the opportunity," the running back said.

That's what happened against Houston. Johnson was stopped for a 3-yard loss on his first carry and lost 4 yards on a short pass from Collins before taking a draw play on third-and-19 57 yards for a TD -- untouched using the speed clocked at 4.24 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the 2008 NFL combine.

No one noticed Johnson when he split out wide left last week, and only the knowledge that he would be Collins' first read on the play kept the running back from jumping up and down at the line. Johnson did wave for the ball after the snap, then raced up the sideline.

Titans coach Jeff Fisher said Johnson's knowledge of the offense has allowed them to add to what they can do with him. Johnson already has 10 receptions after having 43 all of last year. The coach calls Johnson a football player with track speed.

"And he's shown over a short period of time that if you get the ball in his hands in the right place, he can go the distance," Fisher said.

NOTES: Tight end Bo Scaife returned to practice Thursday, but was limited. It was his first practice since hurting his left knee in the opener Sept. 10. ... Left guard Eugene Amano (illness) did not practice. Fisher said the illness was not swine flu.

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