Historically, the Tennessee Titans haven't been regarded as a dynamic or versatile offense. Most of the late 90's to early 2000's generally featured running back Eddie George plowing through defenders, and Steve McNair either using his legs to scramble or rolling out to connect with his favorite target, Frank Wycheck.
With the addition of running back Chris Johnson in 2008, the Titans had their first legitimate playmaker, a genuine home-run threat with the type of track speed rarely seen, even in the NFL. The gamble to select Johnson with the 24th overall pick proved to be a successful one, as Johnson has rushed for 6,888 yards over the first five years of his career.
In his second season, Johnson won the NFL rushing title with 2,006 yards (only the seventh player ever to break 2,000), and in the process surpass Marshall Faulk's record of total yards from scrimmage with 2,509. He was named the NFL's Offensive Player of the Year in 2009.
This offseason the Titans have made all the right moves, addressing many of their most pressing needs. Perhaps the only surprise was their pick in the second round of the 2013 draft when they elected to go with WR Justin Hunter, as opposed to selecting a defensive lineman or cornerback. Hunter was projected as a late first or early second-round pick, so by no means was he a reach.
With Kenny Britt seemingly back to full fitness, the addition of Hunter in the draft as well as free agency acquisitions TE Delanie Walker, WR Kevin Walter and RB Shonn Greene, the Titans boast depth, speed and an abundance of talent at all the offensive positions. It doesn't appear as though Tennessee will look to part ways with Nate Washington, a prudent decision on the team's part. Washington was the Titans' leading receiver in 2011 and 2012 (receiving yards), offering not only a reliable pair of hands, but the ability to stretch the field with his speed.
The Titans will also look to second-year wideout Kendall Wright to contribute heavily. Wright led the team with 64 receptions and was tied for the league lead amongst rookies with Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon.
Admittedly, a great deal of the team's fortunes rests on the shoulders of third-year quarterback Jake Locker. He's shown flashes of brilliance at times, and his athletic ability is rivaled by few in the league, but he hasn't been able to string together enough consistent performances. An injury-riddled season last year didn't help, either—Locker dislocated his shoulder twice and was forced to sit out for a lengthy stretch of games, which only served to curtail his progress.
With an offensive line that is expected to be one of the best in the league, Tennessee will not only open holes for the dangerous Johnson but will also give Locker ample opportunities to make decisive plays with his legs.
As long as Locker can remain upright and healthy and Kenny Britt can return to his early 2011 form, this will be a Titans team that should be near impossible to stop.
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