Tennessee Titans Father’s Day primer: Taylor Lewan 101
By Will Lomas
Tennessee Titans fans, wish a happy Father’s Day to your dad Taylor Lewan.
To get ready to read this article you need to know two things Tennessee Titans fans.
Firstly, Father’s Day is Sunday so act accordingly and rush to whatever store your dad likes and get him a gift or if you panic then get him a gift card.
Secondly, if you are a Tennessee Titans fan and you refer to “dad” you are most likely referring to:
1. Your actual biological father or the most prevalent male figure in your life.
2. Left tackle, Taylor Lewan (see clip below)
3. Your father-in-law
In that order.
With the table set, let’s take a look at the man, the myth, the dad: Taylor Lewan.
Where is he from?
A lot of people associate Taylor Lewan with Michigan because that is where he went to school, but Lewan is from Arizona. According to Bussin with the Boys, Lewan actually played the majority of his high school career at nose tackle before finally switching to offensive tackle late.
After dominating at OT he took part in a stars challenge at USC where he really wanted to go, but after a bad series of reps with Pete Carroll looking right at him that dream went up in smoke quickly.
Luckily for everyone he found a perfect home at Michigan where he took to the attitude like a fish to water. He added weight from the 240 lb range all the way up to the brink of 300 lb.
He took off and despite dominating for most of his career he decided to stay for his senior year in college where he ended up being big man on campus winning his second consecutive Big 10 offensive lineman of the year award and second consecutive All American honors.
Which leads us to the draft.
Where he was sure he was going to be drafted
BWTB (again) gave a great look of “Dad” where he said that he was positive that he was going to go to the Atlanta Falcons, but when the draft actually happened they ended up taking Jake Matthews with their first round pick.
After his prayers being answered and avoiding the Detroit Lions, he landed with Tennessee Titans in what was a pretty surprising move all thing considered.
At the time the Titans had Michael Roos and David Stewart, both of which were staples when people would discuss the best players on Tennessee’s roster in the late 2000s and early teens.
I actually really liked Lewan in the process and thought his attitude and demeanor was something that had worked in Tennessee before as you can see in this tweet from 7 years ago:
As the process continued I did get a little bit scared of Lewan as a prospect, just because of some off the field questions and concerns about leverage. Still, the attitude, run blocking, athleticism, and his length were never in question.
There are a lot of problems with drafting for BPA instead of drafting for need that no one really talks about. In this instance, the success of Michael Roos and David Stewart hurt the perception of Taylor Lewan.
At this point in their careers, Titans fans were used to having savvy veterans as their bookend who almost never got beaten cleanly. So when you have a rookie come off the bench to fill in for one of those guys, he has big shoes to fill.
However, in year one he looked great. He was constantly winning his matchups and as the rest of the offensive line seemed to get worse, he just got better and better.
Ultimately injuries really hurt his finish to 2014 and much of his 2015 campaign but the talent was definitely still there and thank goodness Jon Robinson was brought in because he made sure that the Titans didn’t screw up that draft.
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The Rise of a Legend
With Jack Conklin opposite him and Russ Grimm as his OL coach, Lewan quickly rose to become one of the top-5 left tackles in the NFL.
He had the athleticism, length, power, and aggression that every already knew about, but his technique got better and with help on the OL he finally had a chance to be the leader in a stand out unit.
If 2016 was when he rose up to that lofty level, then 2017 was when he really made a name for himself as an individual. Lewan had been aggressive forever, but maybe his most defining moment as one of the stars on the Titans roster, was the Seattle Seahawks game.
The Titans were on their way to an upset victory over the powerhouse Seahawks, when Richard Sherman came in quickly on the sideline as Marcus Mariota was running out of bounds and tried to lay a lick.
Sherman missed Mariota by an inch if that, but it did’t matter to Taylor Lewan as he came in and stuck his face right in Sherman’s face. If Sherman was Johnny Ringo coming to “play for blood” then Lewan was Doc Holliday because that’s just his game. (If you don’t know that reference, it is essential for Father’s Day, go check out Tombstone but here is the specific scene.)
The video of the event is right here on the Titans website if you want to check it out.
Lewan had established himself as a tough guy, but not in the same way he had before. He was ready to go all out and punish anyone he had to, but he wasn’t driven purely by emotion he was calculated and knew exactly when he needed to turn it up to 11.
What is Dad up to now?
When Lewan isn’t locking down the left side of the offensive line or going to Pro Bowls, you can find him on the aforementioned BWTB podcast and on Twitter.