Carimi On Titans: Why Even Throw The Ball?

The Derrick Henry freight train is making a stop at Arrowhead Stadium this weekend

The DA Show
January 15, 2020 - 10:05 am

The Tennessee Titans have had a straightforward gameplan the past couple of weeks: give Derrick Henry the ball and pound teams into submission.

It’s been highly effective. Henry has recorded 30+ carries for 180+ yards in three straight games, and the Titans are back in the AFC Championship for the first time since 2002.

Former All-American offensive lineman and Outland Trophy winner Gabe Carimi loves what the Titans are doing. In fact, it has him hearkening back to his college days at Wisconsin.

“We kind of set the standard in the NCAA for running the ball, and watching the Tennessee Titans, that’s exactly what they’re doing,” Carimi said The DA Show. “That’s the difference-maker between them and the Texans. They were able to lean on that run game. When they were ahead, they were able to stay ahead.”

Henry rushed for 182 yards in a 20-13 win at New England, and he rushed for 195 yards in a 28-12 win at Baltimore. Ryan Tannehill has thrown for 160 yards combined in two playoff games.

“I don’t know if it’s a little bit of luck on their side, but they definitely had really good field position in the beginning of the football game,” Carimi said. “I don’t know if the luck is going to run out coming down to Kansas City. But I really am rooting for them. I love the story, I love the run game, and I’m going to be rooting for them.”

Carimi said that offensive linemen absolutely love running the football.

“Oh, yeah,” he said. “When they didn’t have an answer for it, when you were gaining four-plus yards [per carry], why even throw the ball?”

Carimi remembers a game against Michigan in which Wisconsin ran the ball on almost every play, even on 4th-and-6 – and converted.

“It was probably my favorite run game I was ever able to be a part of with Coach Chryst there,” Carimi said. “We had Montee Ball, we had John Clay, we had James White – we just had a trio of running backs my senior year. Montee Ball was four yards short from having three 1,000-yard rushers. Linemen don’t get a lot of praise. You only see them when they do bad things. But when you can hang your hat at the end of the game and see that, you know you had really high rushing yards for your running back and low sacks for your quarterback, that’s where you feel like you accomplished something good that day.”