The big question regarding the Tennessee Titans this off-season is what will the new offense look like.
Will it be more wide open? What sorts of elements will be incorporated to do as the challenge thrown at new head coach Mike Vrabel and offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur by GM Jon Robinson to “maximize” the talents of quarterback Marcus Mariota and the other players in the offense.
There isn’t a great deal to be gleaned from watching scattered practices or plays practiced against air, and even when something does catch your eye, the rules and regulations of reporting on it are such that not much gets out these days from St. Thomas Sports Park.
Still, there are clues here and there of what the Titans hope to do in 2018 to make their attack more potent. Running back Derrick Henry said the new system is completely different than what the Titans had run the past two years under Mike Mularkey and Terry Robiskie. Henry led the Titans with 759 yards rushing last year, but now will split the load with newcomer Dion Lewis in the revised system.
“It’s a lot different. It’s a whole different scheme,” Henry said after last week’s OTA work. “As far as running backs, it’s really based on the outside zone, guys staying on their tracks and reading your blocks one gap at a time and letting receivers get open and getting guys the ball to make plays.”
Sounds interesting enough, but the fact of the matter is the Titans’ players and coaching staff are still sorting through not only the offense itself, but what works and what doesn’t. And if it doesn’t work, why not?
“I think every year is different. Whether that’s going to a new team, or a new offense, or trying to add new plays, there’s always going to be things that are different. I think we can kind of move past that things are going to be different,” Coach Mike Vrabel said. “But, I think that patience is key to a point. I think that at some point in time, you’ve kind of got to – whether it’s with a player, or whether it’s a scheme, like, ‘OK, nobody is really getting it. So, we either continue to say keep running it and nobody is getting it, or do we throw it out?’ If it’s just the same guy making the same mistake, or maybe the same guy not getting it, then we’ve got to find a different way to coach that guy. But, if it’s eight or nine guys that maybe aren’t getting that scheme, then we probably ought to look at getting rid of it.”