If it wasn’t clear after the signing of Shonn Greene early in free agency, the Tennessee Titans are going run-heavy in 2013. Greene, who could start on some teams, will join Pro Bowl running back Chris Johnson to form what could be the best RB duo in the league next season.
At first, Johnson was not thrilled about the team’s decision to bring in another back, but now it sounds like he’s made peace with it. He claims that he’s now a team-first guy, who is committed to being a leader. If true, this is great news for the Titans. Johnson needs to realize the opportunity he has in sharing the backfield with Greene. They should compliment each other’s styles well, while keeping their legs fresh at the same time. In theory, adding Greene should somewhat extend Johnson’s prime.
Part of the reason Johnson has come out and made these comments, is because offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains recently reiterated that the team will indeed have a ‘run-first’ mentality.
“It comes together because the head coach and the general manager around here think only three things happen when you throw the football, and two of them are bad. We want to be able to run the ball when we want to and when we need to.”
This is the right decision to be a run-first team for two key reasons: (1) Tennessee has some good receivers, but no great receivers. The backfield is clearly more of a strength for the team. (2) Running the ball first will only take pressure off of Jake Locker. The young QB is going into a crucial season, and any time the Titans can gain solid yardage on first and second down, it’s only going to increase the chances of success on third down. If all goes to plan, he’ll be put in more situations with a higher success rate on passing downs.
These recent comments from Loggains only confirm what most of us thought from the second the team inked Greene. It also must be noted that the Titans went out and seriously upgraded their offensive line this offseason with guards Andy Levitre and Chance Warmack. These two key blockers are even more reason the Titans will stay committed to the ground game in 2013 and beyond.
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