Don’t tell the Tennessee Titans that the NFL is a passing league.
The Titans want to bring the sexy back to running the football.
“If you look at Chance Warmack, nothing we can do is sexy with him on the line,” left tackle Taylor Lewan playfully told ESPN. “I think our backs can make running sexy again. They’ve done a good job. We’re just the guys here for them to make us look good.
“Everyone calls this a passing league, and we’re going to pride ourselves on run the ball. If that’s throwback, then that’s what it is, man. But I think that’s the way football should be.”
Tennessee plans to impose a new Thunder-and-Thunder backfield with DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry.
The two running backs enjoyed a productive preseason. Murray compiled 153 yards on 19 carries. Henry rushed 34 times for 216 yards.
Both running backs are enjoying the Titans’ smash-mouth football style.
Murray had a down year last season in Philadelphia where he never fit into Chip Kelly’s spread offense. The running back’s 702-yard rushing total in 2015 was the second lowest of his career.
The Titans’ downhill style is more to Murray’s liking.
“I feel like the coaches do a great job at putting us in position to make plays,” Murray said. “I think they are definitely using my strengths, and all the other playmakers’ strengths, to make some great plays for us, get us in good positions.”
Henry realizes the NFL has transitioned into more of a passing league. Yet, the 6-foot-3, 247-pound rookie is confident that Tennessee has the ingredients to be successful.
“We’re trying to make it smash mouth, but the league has evolved and it’s more of a passing game now, not much running game,” Henry said. “But you still need good running backs to have a great team.”
For the first time in a while there’s a good amount of national exposure around the Titans. A lot of that has to do with the emergence of Thunder-and-Thunder.