Since the days of Eddie George in Tennessee, the Titans have relied on the power running game to chug the offense along.
That mantra carried over with Travis Henry, LenDale White and now the duo of Shonn Greene and Jackie Battle. But despite what has been said, personnel-wise, Tennessee matches up better as a spread offense than a standard ground game offense.
With electric running back Chris Johnson, wide receivers Nate Washington, Kenny Britt and Kendall Wright and tight end Jared Cook, the Titans never exactly lit up the aerial attack. Either they didn’t have a quarterback with the skill set to send the ball down the field, or the coaching staff opted to pound the ball despite the numerous options through the air.
The idea remains, though, that this could be the next wave of talent through Tennessee, possibly changing the idea that ground-n-pound is the way to go and instead falling in line with the norm in the NFL these days.
Jake Locker, an injury-prone quarterback that has shown flashes of brilliance, is surrounded by some incredible young talent. He’s got a solid arm and when given the time, could sling the ball last year.
Wright is now a stable possession receiver, lining up in the slot and racking up nearly 100 catches for over 1,000 yards last season.
Justin Hunter will get more play time as a second-year pro. His size (6’4″) allowed him to be a serious downfield threat without much time on the field, averaging 19 yards per catch for four touchdowns as a rookie. Nate Washington also remains a top option in the Tennessee receiving core.
Tennessee could target another receiver in the stacked NFL draft, or they could find a solid veteran pass-catcher out of the many available in free agency to bolster depth.
Tight end Delanie Walker was a mismatch on opposing linebackers and safeties last season. He could catch the ball in the flat or sprint with safeties. He’s what Tennessee wished Cook would have developed into.
The Titans also signed the versatile Dexter McCluster, who is a speedy offensive player that can run the ball or catch it out of the backfield. He’s a significant upgrade over Johnson in the passing game and should be a solid contributor at running back.
If Locker can stay healthy and build upon what was a successful first four games of the 2013-14 season, the Titans offense could finally develop into one of the more flexible units in the league.