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Only Dickerson and Edgerrin James had more yards from scrimmage through their first two seasons than Johnson (3,997).

Johnson immediately started lobbying the Titans to make him the highest paid offensive player in the NFL and stayed away from the team during the offseason. With the NFL’s labor deal in its final year, he didn’t get his wish.

The Titans did shuffle incentives Johnson already had satisfied but wasn’t due to be paid for until 2012 into this year, adding approximately $1.5 million to his base salary of $550,000 _ enough for Johnson to report to training camp on time. He knows another big season will force the Titans to pay him the more than $30 million in guaranteed money that he really wants.

Johnson followed the same workout plan that he used to reach 2,000 the first time. He stuck around the Orlando condo he shares with Jaguars receiver Mike Sims-Walker, a friend since grade school. In their free time, they stayed busy adding tattoos and even flew an artist up from Miami. Neither knows how many he has.

“Just a matter of liking tattoos and liking art,” Sims-Walker said. “They’re kind of like addictive. Once you get one, you want another and you keep going from there.”

Another of Johnson’s ambitions: be as well known as Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan. He shot commercials with his Nike and Powerade endorsements and has been on 17 different magazine covers now and counting. Johnson doesn’t feel he should change his dreadlocks, gold teeth or tattoos just to fit what others think companies want.

“As long as you the best running back in the league and perform on the field, it’s going to be hard for companies to shy away from you,” Johnson said.

Coach Jeff Fisher likes how his running back performs on the field. He also doesn’t mind that Johnson sets big goals because he knows how tough it is for defenses to catch the 5-foot-11, 191-pound back. Not only is he amazingly fast, Johnson is even more dangerous because he can change direction in the blink of an eye.

“It causes them to adjust their angles and flatten out,” Fisher said. “When they flatten out, then they subject themselves to being vulnerable to the cutback. If you protect yourself from the cutback, he will run by you.”

Arizona cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie trained some with Johnson before the draft, and the two friends visit often in the offseason. He thinks Johnson can break Dickerson’s record.

“He’s patient, and he has the ability to explode real fast,” Rodgers-Cromartie said.

Titans tight end Bo Scaife has watched defenses try to prepare for Johnson’s speed, which Scaife calls impossible because no one is as fast as the running back. Scaife never thought anyone could rush for 2,000 yards in consecutive seasons until being around Johnson.

“I do think he has a legitimate shot of going for 2,000 again, separating himself from all the other players is his speed. He can take one from 99, 100, so I don’t know too many guys in the history of the league that have been able to do that like he can. I’m very confident he can do it,” Scaife said.

Titans fullback Ahmard Hall, who has the locker right next to Johnson, believes topping Dickerson’s mark is within his teammate’s reach. He noted the Titans spent so much time passing during their 0-6 start that Johnson didn’t get as many carries as he might in the first few weeks this season. He also thinks Vince Young will keep defenses from focusing solely on Johnson.

And all the big talk? Hall firmly believes in the ability to speak something into existence.

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