Former Titans guard Andy Levitre is set to play in his first Super Bowl with the Falcons. Less than two years ago, he was considered a colossal bust in Tennessee.
In March of 2013, the Titans signed free agent guard Andy Levitre to a five year contract worth $39 million dollars. A stout and mobile pass blocker while with the Buffalo Bills, Levitre was expected to join forces with LT Michael Roos and G Chance Warmack and create an offensive line that kept QB Jake Locker upright.
Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Roos retired the next season, Warmack failed to live up to the hype surrounding him before the draft, and Levitre never came close to being as dominant as he was with the Bills.
Levitre continued to struggle immensely in 2014, his first year under new head coach Ken Whisenhunt. He surrendered six sacks, and continued to be a bit of a liability in the run game.
It wasn’t just Levitre who struggled in Whisenhunt’s first year as coach, as the entire offensive line was a bit of a train wreck. Then a rookie, LT Taylor Lewan struggled to stay healthy and was very inconsistent as a result. Additionally, RG Chance Warmack continued be lackluster, and RT Michael Oher was very overmatched in his only season with the Titans.
The Titans’ offensive line continued to struggle in 2015, but it was without Levitre. During the preseason, Levitre was traded to the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for a sixth round pick that was used last year to select G Sebastian Tretola.
The Falcons hoped that Levitre’s skill set of being a mobile pass blocker would be a better fit in new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s zone blocking scheme than in Ken Whisenhunt’s scheme, which works best with mauling lineman with brute strength.
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Less than two years after the trade, Levitre is set to play in Super Bowl LI. The Falcons have gone from having one of the worst offensive lines in the league to having one of the best, and the former Titan has been a big part of the transformation.
Atlanta’s offense put together one of the best statistical seasons in NFL history this season. The unit’s success was spearheaded by MVP Matt Ryan, and catalyzed by the offensive line.
Levitre is joined up front by LT Jake Matthews, C Alex Mack, RG Chris Chester, and RT Ryan Schraeder. They averaged a grade of 78.06 on Pro Football Focus, with Levitre receiving a grade of 84.4.
When asked by Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com about his time with the Titans, Levitre expressed great dissatisfaction. “It was frustrating to say the least. My wife got to see it when I got home every night. I was disappointed. I know what I am capable of, and to not be able to do it, it was frustrating for me. It was a rough patch.”
Levitre also attributed some of his poor play in Tennessee to various injuries. ““That was a rough patch for me from a health standpoint, overcoming those injuries. I know they weren’t anything that took me out of the season, but playing through those injuries and then getting surgeries, it really affected the way I played ball in a negative way.”
Just seventeen months after he sent packing by the Titans because he wasn’t even considered good enough for a team with a miserable offensive line, Levitre has an opportunity to reach the pinnacle of success for a football player and hoist the Lombardi Trophy.
He has revived not just the Atlanta offensive line, but his career as well.