Shonn Greene is one of the numerous key additions the Tennessee Titans made this offseason. The team finally looks like it’s serious about getting back into playoff contention, and it seems like they want to do it via the ground game. While they do have a solid group of receivers in place, it’s their backfield that’s now at an elite level. They already had a Pro Bowl-caliber guy in Chris Johnson, now they’ve added a guy who’s rushed for over 1,000 yards each of the last two seasons.
Obviously though, something has to give. There just aren’t enough carries to go around. Coincidentally, both players had 276 rushing attempts in 2012, with Johnson outrushing Greene by 180 yards. The way people talk about Greene, you’d think he was some scrub that only rushed for 600 yards the past two years in New York, but I think hitting the 1k mark on a couple of bad teams, isn’t too shabby.
Greene’s carries will suffer the most, but Johnson will see a fair decrease as well. In total, the Titans had 378 rushing attempts a season ago, so as of right now, Greene would figure to get in the neighborhood of 100+ carries. During his rookie season, he carried the ball 108 times for 540 yards and two touchdowns. That put him at five yards per carry, which is a mighty impressive number.
As far as what fans can expect from Greene in 2013? I think his production will be similar, but slightly better than his rookie year. With strength being one of his main attributes, he’ll get plenty of goal line action, and his touchdown total should go up. For the combined backfield of Greene and Johnson, there’s no reason to think they couldn’t rush for 2,000 yards this season.
Johnson is not going to like splitting some of the time, but both players will benefit from the additional rest.
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