Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt provides no clarity on running back situation

A look at the Titans as the NFL cuts begin
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Tennessee Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt took some questions during the team’s recent “Fan Forum,” where he spoke a bit on the running back situation.

Shonn Greene underwent a knee surgery and isn’t even a lock to make the roster according to NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal. Bishop Sankey was drafted as a potential plug-and-play starter, but Whisenhunt’s comments during the short session gives his take on the running back’s skill set.

“We’re going to use (Bishop) in a lot of different facets of our game. I think he has some of the skills that you can see as a potential third-down sub-type back,” Whisenhunt said.

“He’s good in protection, he’s got very good hands, he can get out and win one-on-one against coverage, which linebackers and potentially a safety if they’re in their sub defense and they have a safety playing down and trying to cover him, which is an exciting part of it, but I think one of the things you really like about him is some of the things you’ve seen him do first and second down, running the football, as what people would say, a normal running back: good vision, good inside-outside runner, has good speed, runs powerfully and he hasn’t been injured. He’s been very durable.”

It’s odd that Whisenhunt called Sankey a “third-down sub-type back,” then praised what he can do on first and second down. So he’s a durable back, who can pound the ball and get key yards on third down, but is also a strong enough runner to carry the load on first and second down.

That sounds like an every-down back to me, but the fact that Whisenhunt made it a point to separate the two and label the type of runner points to his uncertainty on the group as a whole.

Tennessee recently wrapped up rookie minicamps, so Whisenhunt got a good look at Sankey’s skill set in person. There’s no question the Titans staff loves what the running back provides, but it’s clear they don’t want to throw any labels out just yet. They won’t come out and call him an every-down back without seeing how he competes with Shonn Green and Dexter McCluster in camp.

Organized team activities will get started next week.

Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/Titans

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