NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Dick LeBeau knows defense. He's a defensive wizard with 57 years of NFL experience as a player and coach.
So what does the Titans defensive coordinator think of the team's offseason acquisitions on the offensive side of the ball?
"I think with those two running backs who weren't even here last year, they're going to make them a lot tougher to defend,'' LeBeau said of veteran DeMarco Murray, and rookie Derrick Henry. "To be totally honest with you, I don't look at one play of the offense (in practices). I have plenty of my own guys that I have to look at. I am looking at my guys and the position they are in.
"But I do know Murray -- I have played against him -- and I do know he is a great back. And the guy from Alabama, if you blink, he is a big guy who is really moving out here on the practice field. Those guys are going to help the team."
The Titans traded for Murray, and used a second-round draft pick to land the Heisman Trophy winner from Alabama.
Murray has received praise from his teammates following practices.
LeBeau said he's been impressed himself.
"I think just the way he is working out here and practicing, and when he touches the ball he is going all the way down to the goal line,'' LeBeau said. "He has shown them how a real pro practices. He is doing everything right. He is a real positive influence on us right now."
In addition to the backs, the Titans have added more pieces on the offensive side of the ball as well. The team signed former Texans center Ben Jones, and drafted tackle Jack Conklin in the first round of the draft. The Titans signed former Dolphins receiver Rishard Matthews, and drafted receiver Tajae Sharpe in the fifth round.
LeBeau likes the fact the Titans are looking to establish the run this fall.
"It's hard for them to hurt the defense if you're over there drinking Gatorade and (Murray) has the ball under his arm running for a bunch of first downs,'' LeBeau said. "So a good running game… I've said many times, a good running game and a damn good punter is the defense's best friend."
TitansOnline.com looks back at the first week of OTAs at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (AP Photos)