Mike Vrabel wasn’t the coach in charge of the Titans when they came up with the odd ‘exotic smashmouth’ football phrase, but he does still run a similar style of offense that former coach Mike Mularkey tried to get trending. That’s because the team still has a wrecking ball in the offensive backfield by the name of Derrick Henry.
The 6-foot-3, 250-pound Henry won the Heisman Trophy at Alabama and has since become a force for Tennessee. Last season, he had 1,059 yards and 12 touchdowns and had an ability to really wear defenses down.
Once they start to get tired, the Titans can switch things up and run at defenses with the shifty Dion Lewis. Listed at 5-foot-8 and 195-pounds, Lewis couldn’t be more different than Henry if he tried. He had 517 yards rushing in his first season with Tennessee and can also hurt teams as a receiver out of the backfield.
These two have the capability of taking over a game if they can start moving the chains with their legs. That makes defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson incredibly important.
Cleveland struggled last year to stop the run which had a lot to do with them giving Richardson a three-year, $36 million contract in the offseason. He’s a force against both the run and the pass, but they’re going to need him to set the tone in the middle and keep those running backs from getting into any real rhythm.