Titans burning question: Is WR upgrades plus exotic smashmouth a winning formula?

The
Tennessee Titans
‘ surprising decision to retain Mike Mularkey for
Marcus Mariota
‘s second season was a concerning one, especially when Mariota appeared to be regressing early during the 2016 season. A bigger surprise? Identifying Mike Mularkey’s offense as something that should scare the rest of the NFL.

When Mularkey promised to unleash his “exotic smashmouth” on opposing defenses it felt like an elaborate joke was being played on the rest of us. 

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“(Opponents) are going to know we are going to be very hard to defend, and it is going to be a physical football game,” Mularkey said back before 2016 began. “When it is all said and done they are going to know they have been in a fight.”

The Titans added
Jack Conklin
and
Derrick Henry
in the draft and traded for
DeMarco Murray
, but they were coming off a year where they averaged 18.7 points per game with Mariota as a rookie. Tennessee was going all in on the running game in 2016 and it seemed like a questionable move with Mariota poised to develop into a franchise quarterback. 

It was anything but that. The diversity that the scheme provided for Tennessee was reminiscent of the
Carolina Panthers
in 2015, a team that was going to run the ball against you, but hardly did so in a simple way. The question now is how the Titans can incorporate their new receivers,
Corey Davis
and
Eric Decker
, to make the offense even more dangerous.

One way that stands out immediately is in rushing formations that can still be utilized as a method of attacking via the air. Against the
Green Bay…

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