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Titans-Packers: A Review of Dexter McCluster's Runs

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Incredibly limited sample size, but McCluster showed some flash against the Packers.

Frederick Breedon

Not a whole lot of analysis to this post.  "Review" should be interpreted loosely.  A lot of times, these sorts of GIFs find their way into the comments thread for discussion.  There were enough, though, that I thought I'd go ahead and put the images up for the rest of the world to see (read: those of us that aren't constantly buried in the MCM threads).

Dexter McCluster had only 3 runs against the Packers.  Admittedly, we can't draw meaningful conclusions from these carries.  It is, after all, only 3 carries.  So, there's the obvious caveat that this shouldn't necessarily be projected forward long term.  That said, it's the pre-season.  And, I'm a fan desperately clinging to glimpses of hope that we have running backs that play differently than Chris Johnson.  In that sense, two of these plays really jumped out at me.

Mccluster_run_1

McCluster's first carry of the game.  It's 3rd and 12 and the Titans run a draw.  What I love is McCluster's willingness to hit the hole with aggression, get vertical, and seek out contact.  There may be an opportunity to cutback once he gets to the 50.  Maybe it's just a desire to see a guy that's not running like Chris Johnson, but I like that Dexter is willing to lower his helmet and fight through contact.

Mccluster_run_2

We run power here.  McCluster again gets downhill in a hurry.  If not for Warmack fumbling around with his footwork, this might have resulted in a handful of yards, as it would have isolated him against a corner.

Mccluster_run_3

Zone run.  This was the play that really jumped out at me.  Chris Johnson doesn't make this play, ever.  He would have bounced it to the sideline for 4 yards.  McCluster gets vertical once he finds a small crease.  Great pad level allows him to keeps his balance through contact and fight for an additional 6 yards.

No doubt McCluster is a "tweener", and he will play the Danny Woodhead role in this offense.  However, there does appear to be enough talent (or instincts) to run the ball between the tackles when needed.  At 5'8", 170 lbs, I'm not sure it would be wise to make him a feature back, but he may prove capable of giving a valuable change up and carrying the ball efficiently 5-10 times a game.