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Content: The Tennessee Titans have a definite New England Patriots influence these days. Running back Dion Lewis believes the Titans’ acquisition of ex-Patriots like himself and cornerback Malcolm Butler says more about their talent than their background. ”I wouldn’t say (they’re trying to replicate New England here)  Youth Matthew Tkachuk Jersey  ,” Lewis said Thursday. ”I’d just say they’re trying to bring good football players here – good, smart football players. I’m just happy they thought I’m one of those players to help.” The Titans announced their latest free agent additions Thursday after both players came in and signed their new multi-year deals. The Patriots’ connections in Music City began prior to the 2016 season, when the Titans hired Jon Robinson as the team’s general manager. In the 2017 offseason, Robinson signed starting cornerback Logan Ryan, a former Patriots starter. A few months ago, the Titans made Mike Vrabel – a former Patriots linebacker – the team’s head coach, and then agreed to terms with Butler and Lewis on Tuesday. ”The New England Patriots are the New England Patriots, and the Tennessee Titans are the Tennessee Titans,” Butler said. ”But it’s all about having great players, great coaches  Ben Bishop Jersey  , no matter what organization it is. You know everybody has the same, equal opportunity in the NFL.” Lewis is looking forward to working in a backfield with one of Robinson’s first draft picks, 2015 Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry. The 5-foot-8, 195-pound Lewis said he’s used to sharing carries and that the 6-3, 247-pound Henry should make for a diverse running game in new offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur’s offense. ”I think it will be a huge challenge for defenses because you’ve got a guy a lot bigger than me, and then a guy like me that is quick and can break tackles, too,” said Lewis, who ran for a career-best 896 yards last season . ”So I definitely think it will make the defense be on their toes on who is in the game. I think that we’ll definitely be able to work together and use each other’s skillset to benefit each other.” Lewis also caught more than 30 passes in two of the past three seasons. ”It’s just using my quickness, using my smarts  Rasmus Ristolainen Jersey  ,” Lewis said. ”When I see a linebacker trying to guard me, I know I’m expected to win. So anything short of that is not acceptable to me.” Lewis, Butler and Ryan were all part of the Patriots team that won the Super Bowl after the 2016 season. Butler said he’s looking forward to re-uniting with Ryan after his former teammate encouraged him to join him. ”Me and Logan together, man, (it was) I got the fast guy and he got the biggest guy (in New England),” Butler said. ”We’ve just got great communication and chemistry over the three years we played together. He’s a good friend of mine.” — Brandon LaFell hasn't had much sleep since signing with the Oakland Raiders. Out of a job for more than a month after being let go in a somewhat surprising move by the Cincinnati Bengals, LaFell has been too busy trying to learn Jon Gruden's complex and wordy offense in hopes of being ready to play in next week's season opener. "It's a lot going on right now," LaFell said Wednesday. "Right now for me it's just leaving everything from Cincinnati out of my head and trying to refresh things with everything I'm learning now. A lot of the terminology is somewhat the same. I've grasped some of the same concept so far but it's a lot right now." That LaFell is in Oakland is a little mystifying. He signed a $9 million, two-year extension with the Bengals in 2017 and received a $1.25 million roster bonus in March. The Raiders didn't seem to have much need for another receiver either after signing free agent Jordy Nelson and trading a third-round pick to Pittsburgh for Martavis Bryant. It all changed quickly for both sides. Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis was quoted as saying LaFell was feeling the heat in training camp from some of the Bengals' younger receivers. LaFell responded by asking for his release, which the team did on Aug. 2. Coupled with Oakland's decision to release Bryant during final roster cutdowns  Authentic Teuvo Teravainen Jersey  , it created an opening on the Raiders for LaFell. "He's a good player," Gruden said. "He has played multiple roles and played well when he's played. We think he can come in and get ready quickly to make a contribution. He's got size that we like, he's an excellent blocker. He's going to give us some versatility and depth, which we need." The well-traveled LaFell has a resume that was certainly attractive to the Raiders. A third-round pick by Carolina in 2010, LaFell caught a career-high 74 passes for 953 yards and seven touchdowns and won a Super Bowl with New England following the 2014 season. Over the past two years in Cincinnati LaFell caught 116 passes for 1,410 yards and nine touchdowns. "A smart guy, a guy that's played with Tom Brady when I was in New York," Raiders safety Marcus Gilchrist said. "Crafty guy, big guy, can run for his size and can go up and get the ball. Can play in the slot  Torey Krug Jersey  , can play outside. You need a guy like that." LaFell arrived in Oakland late and spent his first practice on the scout team. He spent Wednesday's workout backing up Nelson. "It is crazy right now," LaFell said. "Luckily my receivers coach (Edgar Bennett) said for the first couple of days just learn the X so I'll be the outside receiver and rotating with Jordy whenever he gets tired. Hopefully, these first two weeks I can stay at X and just focus on learning that X spot right now and as the season goes on start moving me around." Bryant was let go, in part, because of his lack of versatility in Gruden's offense. That doesn't appear to be an issue for LaFell. "I've always felt like the more spots I knew, the faster I can play and the more time I can stay on the field," he said "A lot of guys are going to get tired and need to check out or check in here and there so the more spots I know I don't have to leave the game. I can just slide over, slide from outside to inside." __   Cheap Houston Texans Jerseys