Titans DB on Leonard Fournette: 'He's a game-wrecker'


Leonard Fournette trucked defenders in the 2017 season opener like he was still in the SEC, on his way to a 100-yard rushing performance in the Jacksonville Jaguars' win.

Fournette runs with a ferocity and power few backs can muster, lowering his shoulder to put a boom on every defender willing to attempt a tackle.

The Tennessee Titans just got done facing one batter-ram back in Marshawn Lynch last week -- who plowed over Titans' 305-pound Jurrell Casey on one run -- and face Fournette this week.

"What have I seen on tape? I've seen the same thing since he was in college -- a powerful, downhill runner," Titans safety Kevin Byard said of Fournette, via the team's official website. "He's a no-nonsense, one-cut guy who wants to get downhill. It's a great challenge for the defense as a whole.

"He is definitely a back capable of getting 200 yards straight off power running plays. He is a game-wrecker, and we have to contain him."

Fournette's pounding success last week wasn't a fluke. He carried the ball 26 times and his longest run was 17 yards (meaning his 100-yard day wasn't based mostly on the success of one big play). Fournette faced 8-plus defenders in the box on 57.7 percent of his carries (highest percentage in the NFL in Week 1) and still churned out yardage. Much like Ezekiel Elliott last season for Dallas, Fournette proved he can be an offense-altering presence in Week 1.

Titans safety Da'Norris Searcy said taking down a back like Fournette requires a different mindset.

"But in the NFL, if you don't come with the preparation, the right mentality, they can make you look bad," Searcy said. "Even though (Fournette) is a rookie, so far what I have seen on film he can make all the runs, all the cuts, and he is very shifty to be that big. We have to come prepared and be ready to tackle."

Every defense will stack the box against Fournette, daring Blake Bortles to beat them. The rookie passed his first test. The second comes Sunday against a 0-1 division rival gearing up to take down the big back.