Dexter McCluster Latest to Lead Versatile Rushing Attack

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In a Week 1 win at Tampa Bay, running back Bishop Sankey led the way in the running game. 

In Week 2, a lot of the pre-game buzz centered on running back Terrance West, who was traded from the Browns to the Titans just a few weeks ago.

But it was Dexter McCluster who busted onto the scene in Sunday's 28-14 loss to the Browns.

McCluster had a team-high 98 yards on 10 carries against the Browns, nearly getting his rushing total from a year ago (131 yards) in one game. Sankey (12-42) and West (3-10), meanwhile, had relatively quiet days.

Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt offered praise for McCluster on Monday. McCluster said the plan going in was to get him some touches.

"Coach came to me early in the week and told me to be ready for some opportunities early in the game, and I got some opportunities and tried to make the most of it,'' McCluster said.

"We kind of went with who was hot at the moment – running back by committee, that's our identity right now.

"It is not going to change the way I work. If the opportunity is there, I'll try and make the most of it."

Through two games, the Titans are averaging 145.0 rushing yards per game as a team. That's way up from a year ago, when the Titans managed just 90.4 yards per game.

Sankey, who had 74 yards in the opener, leads the team with 116 yards. McCluster has 106 yards after two games, while West has 51.

Whisenhunt acknowledged the jump from one year to the next.

"But I am really not willing to say we're doing anything a lot better yet,'' he said. "Two games doesn't make us better. We're working at it, the backs are running well, and certainly Dex had a big day (Sunday) and last week Bishop had a big day. I think we have different packages we use, and last week we got into a little groove with the one that Dex had. To his credit, he ran really well, and last week Bishop ran well.

"… Our guys are doing a much better job of trying to be physical inside the line and our backs are doing a better job of staying on their course. Hopefully we'll continue to be productive."

So which back will lead the way this Sunday against the Colts?

Whisenhunt said everyone will have to wait to find out.

"You know, I think there's some value in the versatility of the different packages,'' Whisenhunt said.  "I hope if Indianapolis is looking at us and they're saying, 'What are we going to prepare for? Are we going to prepare for Dex? Are we going to prepare for Bishop?'

"And hopefully, if that's the case, maybe it take a little bit away of getting a bead on something and helps us be more versatile."

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