Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans: Jamie Harper Needs More Touches Against Baltimore Ravens

ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 20:  Jamie Harper #23 of the Tennessee Titans carries the ball for yardage against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on August 20, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Ed Szczepanski/Getty Images)
Ed Szczepanski/Getty Images
Chad MintonCorrespondent ISeptember 15, 2011

After starting off extremely sluggish in the first half of their loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Tennessee Titans offense needs to shake things up a bit heading into their matchup against the Baltimore Ravens at LP Field.

No team wants to start the season 0-2, but that's exactly what the Titans are up against when they face a Baltimore team that held the Pittsburgh Steelers to seven points in their blowout win.

The Titans have to do something on offense to keep Baltimore guessing, and implementing rookie Jamie Harper more into the offense could be the answer.

Harper had only four offensive touches against Jacksonville, including a 21-yard catch-and-run that was really the only good offensive play in the first half.

Harper also added a nice six-yard rush to midfield on that drive. The drive ended up stalling at the Jacksonville 40-yard-line, but Harper clearly energized the offense on that drive.

Many of the great teams in the NFL use two-back systems now, and the Titans should be no different in their approach.

This doesn't mean that the carries need to be shared down the middle between the two players, because obviously the Titans didn't give Johnson such a hefty contract extension for him to split carries down the middle with a fourth-round rookie.

However, it's important to realize that the majority of NFL defenses adapt well to running backs and their strengths. Many defenses have learned how to guard against Johnson effectively, and changing the pace with a downhill bruiser like Harper would keep defenses guessing.

Even with Matt Hasselbeck expected to revitalize the Titans pass offense, it's still extremely easy for opposing defenses to plan for the Titans.

Harper proved in the preseason how valuable he can be for the Titans by starting three of the four games, and being very effective against defensive starters.

If anything, he earned a more vital role in the offense by what he did in training camp and preseason.

In a wide open divisional race, the Titans are going to have to take some calculated risks to make an improbable run at the playoffs. Mike Munchak should give Harper the chance to play a huge role in that.

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