The Tennessee Titans are locked and loaded with their running backs heading into the 2020 season. Derrick Henry will be the featured back once again, after signing a four-year 50 million dollar contract this offseason. Henry’s role with the Titans in 2020 is established, but behind him, the Titans will be looking for the rest of their running backs to impress during training camp to determine what type of impact they will make in the Titans offense.
Titans 2020 Training Camp Preview: Running Backs
Henry looks to keep improving in 2020
An average player would spend their offseason celebrating a rushing title and a new contract, Derrick Henry isn’t average. His offseason work out videos have been something to behold, and it’s truly a testament to his work ethic. When asked about what was the next step in his career Henry speaks about how he’s always trying to improve.
“Get better every day, continue to get better, continue to try to elevate my game each time I step on the field and in meetings. That’ll always be my focus.”
Henry is a man of few words when talking with reporters, but the one thing that he continues to harp on, is getting better. If Henry can improve on last season, there is no limit to how far he could take this Titans offense. The majority of his offensive line will be back in 2020. The continuity Henry has with them, could prove to be a major factor in games at the beginning of the season.
Darrynton Evans aims to impress in his rookie season
The Titans had one of the most run-heavy offenses in the NFL last season, and that’s expected to remain the same in 2020. Henry is set to be the workhorse, and rookie Darrynton Evans will look to supplement his role as the change of pace back throughout training camp. The Titans are expecting big things from the rookie after drafting him in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Evans will look to take on the role that Dion Lewis had before being cut by the Titans this offseason. Lewis spent two seasons with the Titans and never really impressed in his role. Lewis averaged under four yards per carry in his two seasons with the Titans. His lack of production and consistency meant it was time to move on for the Titans.
When the Titans signed Lewis they envisioned him having a much more significant role in the passing game than he did. Evans and Lewis share some similarities in their style of play, but Evans has the potential to be much more explosive than Lewis. Evans had the second-fastest 40 yard dash time out of any running back in the 2020 NFL combine. The Titans will look to utilize that speed by drawing up plays to get him in the open field.
If Evans can impress during training camp, he could earn himself a considerable role in the Titans offense. Last season for Appalachian State, Evans showed that he’s capable of carrying an offense rushing for 1,480 yards on 255 attempts. If he can relieve Henry of some carries later on in the season to keep him fresh, it could pay huge dividends for the Titans in the playoffs.
How many running backs make the Titans active roster in 2020?
Outside of Henry and Evans, fullback Khari Blasingame is also expected to make the Titans active roster. He spent the majority of last season as a rookie on the Titans practice squad but was activated to the roster for added depth multiple times throughout the season. Dalyn Dawkins, Senorise Perry, and undrafted free agent Cameron Scarlett are the other three running backs looking to compete for a roster spot.
Dawkins has spent the majority of his first two seasons in the NFL on the Titans practice squad. The coaches have been impressed with him, and this training camp, Dawkins may finally show enough progress to earn a spot on the Titans roster. Perry joined the Titans this offseason after spending 2019 with the Buffalo Bills. He’s bounced around from team to team throughout his career, and the Titans are his latest stop. He and Dawkins will be a battle to monitor throughout training camp.
Scarlett is the wild card in this group and could quickly overtake Perry and Dawkins if he flashes the potential that he did at Stanford last season. In his first season as the starting running back, Scarlett rushed for 840 yards on 201 carries. But, his ability in the passing game could be what separates him from the competition. He turned 25 receptions into 240 receiving yards and looked extremely explosive while doing it in 2019. If Scarlett doesn’t make the Titans active roster this season, he should be a lock for a spot on the Titans practice squad and could be called up over the course of the season.