LenDale White: Tennessee Titans’ breakout player of 2009?

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Is a big year looming on the horizon for LenDale White?

The Tennessee Titans began their journey to the 2009 NFL season by starting their offseason workouts this week. To the surprise of many, LenDale arrived with a sleek look that even Jenny Craig would be proud of, thanks to an impressive twenty-pound weight loss.

White’s decision to shrink his waistline couldn’t have come at a better time in his career.

With the expanding role of Chris Johnson and the pressure that comes with performing at an optimal level during a contract season, a svelter White has all the motivation in the world to accomplish bigger and better things in 2009.

White’s commitment to a more dedicated offseason regimen has been a source of enjoyment for Titans’ strength and conditioning coach Steve Watterson:

“He came in this offseason over 20 pounds lighter than he was last year at this time. He came in yesterday and today and both days have been excellent workouts…After Day 2, he’s holding strong.” 

Watterson’s singing of LenDale’s praises is undoubtedly music to the ears of Titans’ fans who have been impatiently awaiting White to round into good shape. 

LenDale is blessed with the quick feet of a tailback while possessing the stature of a fullback. However, his lack of adequate conditioning has undoubtedly played a key role in his inability to fulfill his vast potential so far in Nashville.

Of course, the pot of gold that’s potentially awaiting him at the end of the rainbow a.k.a. his contract season was without question a prominent factor in White’s decision to shed some pounds. A huge year will probably establish him as one of the more coveted running backs on the 2010 RB free agent market.

Unfortunately for White, there’s only one football to go around and if recent reports are true, Chris Johnson is going to be seeing a lot more of the pigskin in 2009.

Apparently, the Titans are committed to utilizing CJ more along the lines of your traditional feature back next year, with LenDale only being used in short-yardage situations. An increased workload for Dash equates to a lesser role for Smash, which could be a potential dagger in White’s bid to have a breakout season next fall.

Regardless of his number of carries next year, it’s a breath of fresh air to see White arrive in tip-top shape instead of his customary round one. A fitter LenDale can only be a positive for the Titans’ offense in 2009.  

Your turn, guys: Is White poised to have a breakout year?  

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9 Responses to “LenDale White: Tennessee Titans’ breakout player of 2009?”

  1. Seth Leonard Says:

    Not sure. He’s still young enough and hasn’t face a lot of injuries. I’d like to see some photos of his new persona

  2. wheels Says:

    I don’t think it matters what kind of shape he is in, he’s just not a top running back. He showed his true colors with his comments late in the season last year and he looked awful in the second half of the Ravens game. He has been lucky to play behind an excellent O line. I would be thrilled to get a decent year out of him and then let him go somewhere else.

  3. Bob Loblaw Says:

    Without a new CBA he won’t be unrestricted after this year.
    If Little does well he might not see 100 carries.
    I’m not holding my breath.

  4. Brad Says:

    I don’t know why everyone is going crazy over Little. I don’t think he is going to do much at all.

  5. Morgan Says:

    I’m going to have to disagree with the comments and say that Lendale White can definitly be a top flight back. He didnt have blazing speed in the past, but im going to put that on his weight.
    One thing I do know is that Lendale has great vision. He probably would serve better to a team that runs the zone blocking sceme, but with his hopefully added speed and his naturally good vision this could be his breakout year.
    Great read Drexel, I’ve been reading alot about the RB formally known as LenWhale and its good to see him finally put in some work. Loved him backing up Reggie Bush in college, gonna love him backing up Johnson.

  6. Drexel Perry Says:

    Thanks, Morgan. Like you, I’m also curious to see what a slimmer LenDale can do on the football field.
    With his contract year approaching, LenDale has all the motivation in the world to step up with a career year.
    Gonna be interesting to see how it all plays out.
    Thanks for commenting, guys.

  7. Bob Loblaw Says:

    I remember thinking the same thing this time last year. LenDale didn’t have much burst in ’07, and finally last offseason revealed that he was playing with a torn meniscus. I remember thinking that if he could put up 3.7 per carry on that, he’d be good for maybe 4.5 per when healthy. But until he ripped off that big one against KC, his ypc was hovering around the 3 mark. I know much of that is attributable to the situational carries he was getting, but still, I wouldn’t get my hopes up. That said, I hope you’re right.

  8. Will Says:

    Wasn’t 2007 LenDale’s breakout season?
    I’ve never quite understood the concern with White’s weight. Jerome Bettis was a very effective running back for many years, and he was a lot bigger than LenDale.
    Drexel, you are correct in assuming that White is in shape because this is his contract year. I doubt he will be a Titan in 2010, but he won’t be missed like Albert Haynesworth will be missed this season.

  9. Maynard76 Says:

    Most of the time Lendale is “3 yards and a cloud of dust” and reminds me of an out of shape version of Eddie George (at the end of his career). However. I think he is a great counter balance to CJ and could help insure that CJ has a longer, healthier career because he won’t have to carry the ball 30+ times per game. I would say a break out season would be one in which he averages 4.0 ypc, but I don’t see that happening.

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