Titan’s fans! If you can read this… put… the panic button… down. Take a deep breath with me and understand that we’re in week four, and yes the running game isn’t blowing anyone away, but there is a clear reason as to why. So before you starting throwing out names and how they’re a “bum, bust, or waste of a pick” – like some tend to do prematurely – give me a second to talk you off the ledge.
I want to take a second and look back on the last year and what this organization has gone through. For the Titans, I wouldn’t categorize what has happened since the end of the 2017 year as a simple “change.” We’ve got some key pieces that are still here, but between the coaching and personnel changes, it’s been a big overhaul and we’ve got a clean slate. For me, so far, I am loving the Vrabel era and I am sure you are too. Now, to the running game. Two weeks ago, we saw Derrick Henry (who is now being considered by some a “Titans problem that they can’t solve”) take over on a few drives with his own rendition of the wildcat in a game that we were slated to lose against the Texans. For some reason, the successful runs that he had were cut short by the coaching staff and we have yet to see its return, even though the fans were left calling for more.
Let’s not forget the reason that Henry was asked to run the wildcat, which was his first time since a high school running back. The Titans offensive line has been through more changes than an emo kid with hair coloring. It’s just now week four and we’re seeing our full strength offensive line back together. For Kevin Pamphile, who is now on IR, and Tyler Marz, who upgraded to the team from the practice squad, to both be reliable players is encouraging but the first team offensive line is going to need some time to get their rhythm and get their play in sync. For anyone who has played the position, it’s not something that you just pick up and run with – it takes experiences in situational football to fine tune and give cohesive effort to open up lanes for the backfield. Not to mention, we’ve got a new offensive scheme, and new offensive line coach in Keith Carter so I am sure it will take the first team a bit to get rolling at full tilt.
Now for those who are calling for Dion over Derrick, let me ask you this. In 2018, why are we still asking for a one premier back style running game? Dion Lewis has shown his value in the passing game, but frankly he hasn’t done much better running between the tackles. Also, you’ve got to consider the defensive fronts that we’ve lined up against with Houston, Jaguars, and the Eagles are some of the best units in the league. So taking all things in to consideration, let’s take a step back, enjoy our current 3-1 record, and trust the new coaching staff, like we trust Jon Robinson.
My encouragement for anyone stressing out about the running game is to join our beloved Titans fan, Vincent Love, and shotgun a beer and wish “The Boys” good luck. The season is long and we’ve got plenty of time to work out the kinks.
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