Each year, the NFL Scouting Combine is an opportunity for teams to assess the physical ability of college football’s best talent and determine where they should go in the draft. It’s also an opportunity for teams to establish a new identity by focusing on a specific positional group or physical attribute. Maybe a team wants to get taller in the secondary or reshape its defensive front or build out a new offensive line.
The Combine provides that opportunity for a fresh start, especially if a team has a new general manager. At his press conference on Tuesday in Indianapolis, new Titans GM Ran Carthon used an interesting metaphor for the football identity he wants to build.
Titans GM Ran Carthon on his philosophy for team building:
“It’s cute and sexy to play Golden State Warriors football in September and October when the weather is good, but the teams that play in January play tough defense and run the football” pic.twitter.com/cutGtyCh9W
— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) February 28, 2023
Carthon isn’t the first NFL GM that wants to build on tough defense and running football, but using the Warriors as a contrast for that identity is completely missing the point. Sure, the Warriors are a poor defensive team this season, but they’ve won four titles in eight seasons and were an elite defense for the majority of those years. If he wants an example of an NBA team that performed well early in the season but fails in the playoffs because of their offensive approach, the James Harden-led Rockets would be more apt.
When you trade away AJ Brown for relatively nothing and Derrick Henry is your only real offensive weapon, building on tough defense and running the ball is the only option. But if they like winning championships, Tennessee should want Golden State Warriors football as well.