4. Out: Blocking tight ends and traditional fullbacks. In: Versatile tight ends and jumbo tackles.
For years Tennessee Titans fans had a designated blocking tight end who would get 100 yards or so as a receiver, but whose job was basically to be an extra offensive lineman.
In fact some fan favorites were guys like Craig Stevens and Anthony Fasano who were primarily blockers who always seemed to thrive when they were targeted. However, we may be moving away from those types of players with the Tennessee Titans.
This probably seems counter intuitive since Arthur Smith has been the tight ends coach for nearly a decade, right? I mean, why would the former tight ends coach change the makeup of the position that he had a hand in building since his time started in Tennessee?
The answer to that is easy, the best “blocking tight end” the Tennessee Titans have is Dennis Kelly.
Don’t believe me? Just look to 2016 where the Titans acquired Kelly and used him as the tight end in jumbo packages to great effect. Coincidentally, that season was the most productive offensive season that the franchise has had with Smith on the roster.
You know who else was on the roster during that time? Jalston Fowler.
Now, you may see Fowler’s name and think that he was a traditional fullback but you would be wrong. In college Fowler finished his final two years with seven receiving touchdowns which is a huge number for a running back, much less a fullback.
So it shouldn’t surprise anyone to hear that the Tennessee Titans are beefing up David Fluellen and trying him at fullback during OTAs and training camp. He could be a sneaky factor on this team thanks to the new look that Arthur Smith will bring.
TL;DR: The offense is most successful when using a 6th offensive lineman and an athletic fullback rather than using those spots on blocking tight ends and traditional fullbacks.