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Dec 22, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Shonn Greene (23) runs the ball against Jacksonville Jaguars safety Josh Evans (26) during the second half at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee Titans: Can Shonn Greene Be Top Running Back?


As we patiently wait to see what the Tennessee Titans will do with current number one running back Chris Johnson, the question of what happens upon his departure still lingers on. One that is interesting to look at is whether or not Shonn Greene can take over the number one running back role again as he had it for the New York Jets.

The Titans recently resigned Jackie Battle to a one-year contract securing the third running back in the rotation, but what is Tennessee doesn’t sign a free agent back? What if they don’t take a young gun in the draft? You are left with Shonn Greene at the top. Let’s assume that the Titans decide to roll with Greene this upcoming season and take a pass on backs in this year’s draft. Would fans feel safe with Greene running the ball?

A quick look at Greene shows a powerful running back that hits holes hard and creates running room on his own power, but doesn’t have the versatility or speed that CJ has. We see him fight for tough yards and he is dangerous in the red zone, but can he be depended on as the number one?

A quick look at his stats before coming to the Tennessee Titans show two consecutive 1,000 yard seasons and a combined total of 14 touchdowns across both seasons. Then, after coming to Tennessee, he had an injury that shortened his season to 11 games in which he only tallied 295 yards and four touchdowns. While the drop is concerning, blame some or most of it on an injury that limited him most of last season.

So the question remains…can Shonn Greene be the Titans number one moving into next season? I like to respond with a mixed answer. I do believe that Greene can be a vital number one for the Titans. However, he needs a back that complements him to help carry the load. This is where free agency and the draft can come in.

Bring in someone who balances out Greene’s ability, someone who offers speed, quickness, versatility and the ability to get into open space. A combination of number one backs that can make different aspects of the game happen when they are in the game.

With all of this in mind, I do believe that Greene can carry the load next season, as long as he has a little bit of help. Whether or not the Titans give that to him is the question. If the Titans do not give him some support, I still see Greene having some success, but not to the extent in which we could have seen it.

Agree or disagree with me on Greene? Think he will fall flat or shouldn’t be number one at all? What about drafting or signing a back? Tell me what you think below in the comments, on Facebook, or via Twitter @Titan_Sized or to me personally @NPitak.

(All stats provided via ESPN)

Tags: Featured NFL Popular Shonn Greene Tennessee Titans

  • Ian Hart

    I wouldn’t mind Greene as a bridge at the position until next season. He is a serviceable back as he has shown. I do think we could get a back to develop in the 4th round this year. It would be nice to get a 3rd round pick though, I personally like DeAnthony Thomas, he is quick and a good compliment to Greene and he also fills a need as KR/PR. I’ve also heard they’re showing interest in Tre Mason in round 2. I wouldn’t mind that too much depending on our 1sr round pick but I’d prefer a pass rusher in round 1 like Barr, Mack, or Ealy or even Mosley and maybe a tackle in round 2, very deep at that position this year.

    • Nick Pitakos

      Greene being the bridge is really the goal. Especially if we draft a young gun they can learn under Greene and share the load which would be a great situation for Tennessee.

  • David Stewart

    If he was, he wouldn’t be in Nashville