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Titans coach Mike Vrabel believes Tennessee's running back duo will be a problem for opponents.

The former linebacker refused to tip his hand when asked how he would defend Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis himself.

"I would have rather not tackled Derrick Reggie White Jersey , and I would have rather not covered Dion" in the open field, said Vrabel, who played 14 years in the NFL.

Vrabel made it clear that how the Titans divvy up the workload between the running backs will depend on how coaches want to attack each opponent. The 2015 Heisman Trophy winner , Henry brings a bruising style while displaying speed in the open field. The 5-foot-8 Lewis is much smaller next to the 6-3 Henry but flits around in open space making defenders miss.

"Man, I thought he was gone that one that he caught, like he was skating," Henry said of his new teammate. "But that's Dion. That's what he does: make people miss. He has quick feet and get him out in space he can be dangerous."

As a first-year head coach, Vrabel and his new offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur have a pair of running backs that together could be the franchise's best duo since Chris Johnson and LenDale White combined for 2,001 yards in 2008. That season the Titans started 10-0 and finished with a league-best 13-3 record. The Titans' top two backs in 2009 combined for 2,287 yards with Johnson getting 2,006 himself.

Henry backed up DeMarco Murray the past two seasons, though he led the Titans with 744 yards rushing last year despite starting only two games. He showed off his speed with a 75-yard touchdown run while also taking a pass 66 yards for another TD.

Coming from Alabama where he left as the school's all-time leading rusher, Henry also has been very much a team player. Looking at Lewis, Henry said he thinks they can be very good together.

"We're two different styles of back like he's quick, he has good wiggle," Henry said. "He's good out of the backfield catching the ball and I'm downhill physical so I think we complement each other well."

The Titans signed Lewis to a four-year deal in March after seeing the running back up close in their divisional playoff loss to the Patriots. Lewis ran 15 times for 62 yards and caught nine passes for 79 yards helping New England rout the Titans. For his career, Lewis averages 4.8 yards per carry with 10 TDs rushing, and he has five more TDs averaging 8.1 yards per reception.

Lewis showed off just how elusive he can be in last weekend's 30-14 exhibition loss to Tampa Bay. He caught both passes thrown to him, taking one 16 yards. Marcus Mariota said Lewis makes it easy on quarterbacks with his body language and how the running back executes his routes.

"It causes a lot of problems for the defense," Mariota said. "Anytime you can have an advantage Laken Tomlinson Jersey , you got to try exploit that as much as you can. Dion provides that for us, and you see once that guy gets the ball in his hands he's tough to tackle. Any which way that we can find to get him the ball is going to be beneficial for us."

The Titans hope this running back tandem provides a boost in both the run and pass game. Tennessee slumped to 15th last season with 109.7 yards rushing and ranked just 23rd averaging 224.4 yards passing per game.

Lewis knows exactly what he can do once he gets the ball in the open field.

"They brought me here to make plays in space and be the player I am, so whenever I get the opportunity to (do) that I just got to show my ability and be dependable," Lewis said.

NOTES: The Titans made some roster moves, agreeing to terms with a trio of linebackers in Jeff Knox, Nyles Morgan and Deontae Skinner. They waived LB Brandon Chubb, LB Davond Dale and OL Matt Diaz.

Follow Teresa M. Walker at teresamwalker When the Detroit Pistons hired Stan Van Gundy in 2014, owner Tom Gores called it the most important decision his organization had made.

Van Gundy didn’t make it to the end of his five-year contract, and now the Pistons need a plan for a future without him. Multiple plans, perhaps.

Van Gundy’s ouster leaves Detroit with no coach and a leadership void in the front office. That’s what happens when a team entrusts one person with so much authority, then decides to move in a different direction. If healthy, the Pistons may have the talent to reach the playoffs next season, but the franchise’s long-term strategy is the more pressing question.

The team announced Monday that Van Gundy wouldn’t be back as coach or president of basketball operations. There was no news conference – just a release in which Detroit said it would begin the search for a new head of basketball operations and a new coach. Gores spoke highly of Van Gundy while saying the team needed a change to reach the next level.

”I have nothing but respect and love for Stan. I think he is a great coach and a great man, and his presence and leadership helped move this franchise forward,” Gores said. ”Although we did not get the success both of us wanted, his efforts and leadership have put the franchise in better shape today than when he came on board.”

The Pistons made the playoffs under Van Gundy in 2016, the first time they’d done that in seven years, but had a difficult time building on that. Gores took over as owner in 2011, and this is now his second big attempt to reshape the team’s future on the court. Here are a few things to watch:

TELLEM’S INFLUENCE

Former agent Arn Tellem, now a vice chairman with the Pistons Pierre Garcon Jersey , was brought in by Gores in 2015. He is credited with playing a major role in the team’s move back to downtown Detroit this past season. Tellem has worked on the business side of the organization while Van Gundy headed basketball operations, but Tellem certainly has enough experience with enough facets of the NBA that he could be someone for Gores to lean on during the transition.

SPLITTING RESPONSIBILITIES?

Gores said last month he still saw value in one person having coaching and front office authority, but the setup the Pistons had with Van Gundy is rare in the NBA. For example, Doc Rivers used to have dual roles with the Los Angeles Clippers, but last offseason, Lawrence Frank took over responsibility for basketball operations, leaving Rivers to focus on coaching. Some of Van Gundy’s harshest critics have cited the team’s decisions in the draft and free agency, so Detroit may not be eager to give the next coach too much control over the front office.

THE ROSTER

After acquiring Blake Griffin in a blockbuster deal in late January, the Pistons still weren’t able to make the postseason. A December injury to point guard Reggie Jackson was a major culprit, and it’s easy to imagine the team improving if Griffin, Jackson and Andre Drummond are all in the lineup for a full season. The Pistons, however, took on a big contract with Griffin, and dealt a protected first-round pick to the Clippers in that trade. Barring another major deal, it may not be easy for them to upgrade the roster in the immediate future.

FAMILIAR NAME

With the Detroit front office in a state of flux, Chauncey Billups is the subject of some speculation. Billups, a popular member of the Pistons’ 2004 NBA title-winning team, had discussions with the Cleveland Cavaliers last offseason but did not join their front office. Perhaps there is a better fit for him in Detroit.



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