Shonn Greene Will Star in Complementary Role with Tennessee Titans in 2013

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IMarch 13, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 21: Shonn Greene #23 of the New York Jets reacts after he scored a touchdown against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on October 21, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The Tennessee Titans made an exceptional free-agent signing on Wednesday, bringing in former New York Jets running back Shonn Greene to play behind superstar Chris Johnson. 

According to's Rich Cimini, the Titans agreed to a three-year, $10 million deal with Greene, who's rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons. 

Greene likely won't be carrying the ball 276 times like he did a season ago, but instead, play a complementary role alongside Johnson, carrying a bulk of the short-yardage load for the Titans and helping to cut back on the wear and tear that No. 28 receives in 2013 and in the years to come.

Titans general manager Ruston Webster hit the nail on the head (via, saying, "He is a nice complement to Chris and an accomplished back in his own right. He is a tough and physical runner who has rushed for 1,000 yards each of the last two years."

The 27-year-old Johnson averaged 4.5 yards per carry in 2012, but has failed to live up to the tremendous hype he created back in 2009 after rushing for 2,000-plus yards (5.6 yards per carry) and 14 touchdowns.

Having a 1,000-yard rusher behind him in Greene in 2013 will take loads of pressure off Johnson's shoulders, as he will have a talented teammate to help carry the burden, and with it, Tennessee's run game.

The Titans' rushing attack struggled mightily a year ago, ranking just 21st in the league, averaging a tad over 105 yards per game on the ground. But adding Greene gives them another dimension this coming season as the 5'11", 226-pound back offers the sort of power and physicality that Johnson lacks.

Whether he's bowling through tacklers to move the chains on 3rd-and-short or punching the ball into the end zone down on the goal line, Greene is more than capable of doing Tennessee's dirty work on the ground.

Now, Johnson can focus on being the breakaway speed-rusher and dynamic receiver out of the back field that made him into a superstar a few years back. 

The Greene addition also gives Tennessee depth in the back field. The Titans now have two dependable backs who have both proven time and again that they are capable of rushing for 1,000 yards by themselves. 

While many will make this signing about the Jets and their inability to field a championship team, the focus should be on the Titans and the brilliant move they made to ensure that they field the best running back tandem in the NFL in 2013.


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