Tennessee Titans' Top Five Plays from 2008

Blaize PenningtonCorrespondent IMay 28, 2009

NASHVILLE, TN - JANUARY 10:  Running back Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans throws the ball up in the air and celebrates with teammate center Leroy Harris #64 after Johnson scored on an eight yard touchdown run in the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game on January 10, 2009 at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The Titan's defense got a lot of talk last season, but what about the offense.

Well if you were wondering the offense was ranked 21st overall last season. However, they were seventh overall in the run.

So what plays did the Titans use that could make their run so successful even though they were not a huge passing threat?

There were five major plays that the Titans used last season that made a difference. These plays were run out of many different sets but all in all it was the same plays.


Stretch/Pitch to Chris Johnson

This play was completely designed to utilize Johnson's speed and his ability to get to the corner.

The idea is to have only one or no receivers on the field. This gets the defense to scrunch close to the center of the field.

The play would be designed to run to the side the receiver was not.

If the play was going left the right guard would pull and if the play was going right the left guard would pull. For those who don't know pulling is when a guard drops back and runs behind the offensive line acting as a lead blocker for the running back.

The fullback would then lead out in front of the guard to get a body on any linebacker who were trying to get into the backfield.

Either the tackle or tight end is supposed to get on the outside of the defensive end. With Johnson's speed it doesn't matter if the end gets inside the tackle, he's not catching Johnson.

From there it is a footrace to the corner. This was used twice in the Vikings game and both times it was for a touchdown.


Half Back Off Tackle Run

This play is designed to allow the running back to read blocks to get up the field. This play was run a lot last year regardless of if LenDale White or Johnson was in the backfield.

What made this play is the zone blocking scheme. Either the Center or Guard will abandon the man who is lined up across from them and slide to the side of the run. For simplicity sake, let's just say the play is designed to go to the right.

So the right guard will get on the outside of the defensive tackle and turn his body so he is facing left. This leaves the defensive tackle with only one way to go if he wants to avoid the block.

The center than slides to the right and pinches the defensive tackle. The left guard will do one of two things. Either he will slide slightly right to keep anyone from catching the back from behind, or he will pull and act as a lead blocker between the right guard and right tackle.

The right tackles job is to get on the inside of the defensive end and force him to go around to the outside if he wants to get by the tackle.

The fullback then leads the way through the hole. He is going to hit the first linebacker that comes through there. If the linebacker tries to go to the right to get around the fullback the halfback goes left and visa verse.

From there on its the halfbacks job to make a play and when you have a star like Chris Johnson, that happens very often.


Play Action Rollout

If the running game is going very well this play will work almost every time.

The key to this play is the line is all going to shift to the left selling the run. However, the right tackle is going to get on the outside of the defensive end and push him inward.

The handoff to the left is faked and Kerry Collins runs right. If there is a linebacker blitzing, he is almost always going to be off balance.

The fullback will stay on the right just in case someone gets through the line and reads the play. He will then do a block and release to the flats usually leaving him wide open.

The tight end will then do an out route to the right which in a zone coverage will leave either the tight end or the fullback wide open.

If there is a wide receiver on the right side, he will usually do a deep curl that is designed to be behind the tight ends out route.


Tight End and Wide Receiver Slant

This play is what the Titans used to beat the Bears when the Titans only had 20 rushing yards.

This play is probably the most simple of the Titans plays.

The Titans will have a tight end and a wide receiver on the same side of the field. Both the tight end and wide receiver do quick slants.

Then its up to the quarterback to make the right read.

If the route is run right the cornerback will not be a factor. If the outside linebacker bites toward the tight end the quarterback throws to the receiver and if the linebacker goes outside to help on the receiver, the quarterback throws quickly to the tight end.

This play was adjusted frequently to have Bo Scaife in the slot position instead of in the tight end position. This was actually more effective as the middle linebacker wouldn't be as able to interfere.


Ten Yard Out Curls

These were not necessarily a set play but rather in a mixture of many plays. It was more a route that was very successful for the Titans.

It would either be a tight end and wide receiver lined up on the same side or two wide receivers.

If it was two wide receivers the outside wide receiver would run ten yards and then run at a 45 degree angle toward the sideline. The inside receiver would run a corner route. This makes the cornerback stay on top to prevent a big play.

If a tight end is involved he will run a corner route which will almost always free up the wide receiver underneath.

The biggest variation is when a tight end would run a corner route the inside wide receiver would run a streak that faded to the inside. If the safety bit on the tight end it would leave the inside wide receiver wide open in the middle of the field.