Titans RB Dion Lewis Loves Making Defenders Miss
March 20, 2018 11:50 AM | Jim Wyatt
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Dion Lewis loves making would-be tacklers miss.

And his teammates love watching it.

The new Titans running back earned his nickname - "Jitterbug" - while with the Patriots because of his elusiveness.

"When you make a guy miss, it gives the team a boost," Lewis said. "It brings energy to the offense, and to the guys on the sideline. I really think it sparks a team. Even if it is a two- or three-yard run, if you can make two or three guys miss on that run, it kind of gives the offense momentum.

"In a game, when I make a move on a guy and make him miss, I start feeling myself a little bit, and that's when I'm at my best."

Lewis is a hard man to tackle.

Just ask the Titans who played in last year's playoff game against the Patriots. The 5-foot-8, 195-pound Lewis racked up 141 all-purpose yards in that contest -- 62 rushing yards on 15 carries, and he also caught nine passes for 79 yards.

In the last eight games of the 2017 season, Lewis led the NFL in rushing yards (625), with an average of 5.12 yards per carry. Compared to all backs with 150 or more rushing attempts, his per-carry average of 4.98 yards led the NFL in 2017. Lewis led the Patriots with 896 rushing yards on 180 carries (5.0 average) last season, with six touchdowns. He had a pair of 100-yard games in 2017 - vs Buffalo (129) and Miami (112).

Lewis thinks his pairing with a bruising back like Derrick Henry should be double trouble for defenders.

"I think it will be a huge challenge for defenses," Lewis said of the one-two punch with Henry. "You have a guy a lot bigger than me (in Henry), and then you have a guy like me who is quick and can break tackles, too. So I definitely think it will keep the defenses on their toes with who is in the game. He is hard to tackle, but when I get in the game you can't think I am easy to tackle because I am not. I think we'll be able to work together and use each other's skill set to benefit each other."

As for the nickname, Lewis credits former Patriots teammate Julian Edelman for giving it to him.

In a Reddit post referring to Lewis a few years ago, Edelman posted a video of the 1984 Wham! hit "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," which starts off with the lyrics: "Jitterbug ... Jitterbug ... Jitterbug ... Jitterbug."

"I remember one of my first weeks there working out, I knew he was a great player so I just tried to push him in every drill," Lewis said of Edelman. "And he kind of noticed and said "You're pretty fast man.' Ever since then we had a little bond.

"Smaller guys always work hard. So we've always had a little bond. He's a great player. Just to have a guy like that speak highly of you, that really means a lot. Now I want to continue doing my thing in Tennessee."

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