Friday, November 8, 2013
Big reason to screen more: Brian Schwenke
By Paul Kuharsky
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- In the Tennessee Titans' first four games, Chris Johnson caught four passes. And one of them was a freelance flick from Ryan Fitzpatrick when he was in a jam.
In the next four, Johnson’s caught 14 for an average of 12.5 yards.
The team has done better getting him the ball as a pass-game outlet.
Still, offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains is reluctant to say the team intends to throw more screens to Johnson on a regular basis.
“It was really based on the front (against the Rams) because those guys rush so well, they’re going up the field and they are aggressive that way,” Loggains said. “We had some success with the screen, it gave us a chance to get the ball in 28’s hands.
Against the Rams, Johnson had a 20-yard catch, fullback Collin Mooney had a 22-yard catch, and running back Shonn Greene a 28-yarder.
Those three receptions accounted for 38 percent of the Titans’ passing yardage.
But the degree to which the Titans are going to screen is a game-to-game deal that Loggains said is “based on the opponent we’re playing.”
I think the Titans should go into every game intending to throw the ball to Johnson at least three times. It can’t hurt, and there is potential for things to open up for him when he gets the ball a different way and in space.
For the past two games there has been a giant new element in the screen game: 322-pound rookie center Brian Schwenke, a top heavy player who is quite nimble for a man of his size and has shown he’s very effective when he can move out of the tackle box and block people on the move.
“I love screens, screens are so fun,” Schwenke said. “I feel like it’s the kind of play where you can go out there and score immediately. So much can happen on a screen. You can be on your 5-yard line and get a 95-yarder. I think screens are fun, explosive plays. I don’t know what their plans are as far as that part of our game, but I’m always happy when they are called.”