Biggest storyline coming from Tennessee Titans OTAs

NFLPA Rookie Premiere Portrait Session
NFLPA Rookie Premiere Portrait Session / Michael Owens/GettyImages

Heading into the Tennessee Titans OTAs it seemed like the biggest story was going to be the development and potential of rookie quarterback Will Levis, but that hasn't been the case.

Levis has had good days and bad days, which is exactly what you would expect from a rookie quarterback. When there is a great clip of him throwing people praise his quick release and his arm strength, and when he struggles people either panic or berate the people that panic.

If he had been a consistent "winner" or "loser" in OTAs it would be one thing, but the lukewarm start isn't the biggest story.

That hype has been put squarely on the shoulders of third-round rookie running back Tyjae Spears.

At this point, we all know about the medical question marks that Spears has, and while that topic dominated press conferences, it wasn't really why fans questioned the pick in the first place. The backlash of the Spears pick has less to do with the player, and more to do with the position.

With Treylon Burks, Kyle Philips, and a questionable group of backups, how could the Tennessee Titans have three top-100 picks and still manage to walk away with the same group of receivers that they walked into the draft with?

Well, if you listen to any interview that people on the Tennessee Titans payroll have been a part of, they are quick to mention that Tyjae Spears isn't "just a running back" and that he is going to play multiple positions for the team.

Some of this has been backed up by beat writers who have said that Spears has looked good in practice and has looked explosive in space. On top of that, they have mentioned that he has lined up at running back and in the slot, and coaches have confirmed that he is going to be given a chance to return punts and kicks as well.

In fact, I believe the second practice clip of OTAs that the Tennessee Titans posted was a video of Spears catching a pass (presumably he lined up in the slot) with the backup offense:

That buzz has continued to build, and after weeks of reading about his usage and then hearing interviews back that up, the Tennessee Titans certainly seem to think that he is going to be more than just a running back.

In fact, there have been rumors about the Tennessee Titans using more empty sets on offense in large part because of how they believe Tyjae Spears can line up at wide receiver on one play, and then the team can run the hurry-up and get a different look on offense with him at running back.

Given this team's dependence on the play-action pass to create any sort of explosive play, I have hated the idea of an empty backfield. However, if they are going to add a hurry-up element to this offense then that changes the conversation. Against hurry-up offenses, defenses tend to get more conservative which means it is easier to figure out where you want to throw the ball before you snap it. Combining that with the abbreviated play calls that Ryan Tannehill can tag at the line of scrimmage, and suddenly the Tennessee Titans offense has the upper hand.

Still, for all of this to work they need a running back that can effectively play in the backfield and as a slot receiver. That is something that Derrick Henry has never come close to in his career, so if Spears can do it then it would go a long way towards justifying spending that pick on a running back instead of a receiver.