Training camp is right around the corner. The 2013-14 NFL regular season is fewer than two months away. What can Tennessee Titans enthusiasts expect from their team as they prepare for those meaningful games that begin in September?
Over the next few days, Titan Sized will give a brief preview on each position. What are some storylines heading into training camp and preseason games? Are there any jobs up for grabs? All players listed are from the roster at titansonline.com.
We’ve covered quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers. It’s time to glance over the tight ends.
2013-14 Tennessee Titans Training Camp Participants: Offensive Linemen
No. 1: How Healthy is David Stewart?
Coming off a gruesome leg injury last December, some doubt has crept into the minds of fans on whether Stewart will have enough time to properly recover before training camp and preseason games. Although Mike Munchak has insisted that Stewart’s absences are precautionary, offseason interviews with Eric Winston and Barry Richardson (whom they eventually signed) could indicate otherwise.
Reading in-between the lines? It’s far too early to give up on the 30-year-old offensive tackle. At the same time, it’s good to have a backup plan—just in case.
No. 2: Fernando Velasco vs. Brian Schwenke
Here’s possibly the most intriguing position battle in training camp. Velasco vs. Schwenke will compete for the starting center job. Expect the loser of this battle to serve as the top replacement at guard or center. If Levitre or Warmack were ever injured, Velasco could move over to their spot and Schwenke would sub in at center.
No. 3: Chemistry
From weakness to strength? This offseason, the Titans revamped their offensive line when they added two offensive guards whom many have argued as the top free agent and the top prospect from the 2013 NFL Draft. When Week 1 rolls around, Levitre and Warmack should both find themselves on the frontline. If Schwenke beats out Velasco, that’s three new bodies on the interior of the offensive line.
Top free-agent guard, top guard prospect and top center prospect. Along with bookend tackles (Roos and Stewart), what could go wrong? Their ability to adapt to a new offense and/or NFL-style game will determine how quickly they gel together and start dominating opposing defensive lines.
No. 4: Depth
There are seven offensive linemen whom I’d consider as locks to make the 53-man roster: Roos, Levitre, Schwenke, Warmack, Stewart, Velasco and Stingily. Otto is pretty close.
That doesn’t leave much room for anyone else. Guys like Turner, Spencer, Studdard and Richardson are all fighting to keep their professional careers above water. One, maybe two of those players make the team. If I’m Alvester Alexander, I’m feeling pretty good because I know my offensive line will go all out toward the end of those preseason games.