- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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Cast in a lesser role, maybe Shonn Greene will be more a more impressive running back.
Cast in a bigger role, perhaps Sammie Lee Hill will be a more impactful defensive lineman.
Greene was a plodding back for the Jets, and while he topped 1,000 yards two years in a row for an anemic offense, he was not a very good lead back. He was very good, as John Glennon of The Tennessean notes, in short-yardage situations -- when the Jets faced second or third down and less than 3 yards to go, Greene got first downs on 23 of 26 attempts in 2012.
In Tennessee, that’s what the Titans will ask him to do: Convert short-yardage situations, and help the Titans control the clock in a 4-minute drill.
While I believe they could have found someone to fill that specialty role for less than $10 million over three years, perhaps it's a good thing they didn't wait for the draft considering their failure at the position in recent years. Outside of Chris Johnson in in 2008, they've bombed with fourth-rounder Jamie Harper, 2009 fifth-rounder Javon Ringer and 2007 second-rounder Chris Henry.
If just one of those guys was able to function in a capable complementary role, the Titans wouldn’t have had running back on their list of needs. They are probably better off getting a guy who’s shown he can convert in short-yardage. It's the yearly average of $3.33 million for a No. 2 running that concerns me. Let's see what he's guaranteed.
Hill should be an early-down run stopper who can penetrate some. At 6-foot-4, 329-pounds, he’s a bigger body than anyone the Titans have. He should be what the Titans hoped Shaun Smith was going to be when they brought him in a few years back.
He’ll take over the starting job vacated by Sen'Derrick Marks, an unrestricted free agent whose name we have not heard connected to any suitors yet.
The Titans are expected to introduce all four of their additions at a news conference at 6 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. CT, and I’ll share some details from there.