Tennessee Titans GM Jon Robinson says he believes Taylor Lewan
On Ian Rapoport’s podcast, Tennessee Titans general manager Jon Robinson made it clear that he believes left tackle Taylor Lewan’s story.
Tennessee Titans general manager Jon Robinson has confirmed that he believes left tackle Taylor Lewan that he didn’t knowingly take a banned substance that now has him facing a four-game suspension.
Lewan tested positive for the banned substance, Ostarine, and announced he was facing a four-game suspension on a video posted to his Twitter account last week.
Of course, there are those that don’t believe Lewan’s side of the story, but his GM is not one of them. Robinson said so as a guest on the podcast of NFL Network’s Ian Rappoport, called “Rapsheet and Friends.”
“I believe Taylor. I’ve worked with him now for three-and-a-half, almost four years. He works extremely hard. This team’s very important to him, his teammates are important to him.”
Robinson went on to say that he believes the banned substance was indeed in Lewan’s system, but that he didn’t knowingly ingest it.
“Was something in his system? Yes. Did he knowingly take it? I believe no. I’ll see what the league says, I haven’t received any notification yet.”
The Titans’ GM also talked about replacing Lewan for now, saying the team has guys who have “taken Sunday snaps” for the Pro Bowl left tackle during injury before. He mentioned right tackle Dennis Kelly, as well as right guard Kevin Pamphile.
While he didn’t totally rule it out, Robinson doesn’t envision the team making a move to add to the position. He very much sees the solution being an in-house one, barring something unforeseen coming to his desk at some point.
“I don’t think we’re going to actively go out and go after somebody. If somebody becomes available that we think can help our football team and can be apart of the long haul here—the 16-game season—but we feel like we have a deep enough position group there, specifically at left tackle, if something does come down to kind of ride the wave there.”
Jon Robinson can fill the void from within
At this point, bringing another player in to compete for left tackle seems unlikely. The Titans have multiple in-house solutions to fill the void left by Lewan for the first four games of 2019.
Kelly is clearly the No. 1 option, as he was ranked as the No. 18 tackle in the NFL last season when playing on the right side, per Pro Football Focus. And, as Robinson mentioned, Pamphile covered for Lewan during Week 1 last season, and did so admirably.
Granted, you don’t simply replace a talent like Lewan at the most important position on the offensive line, but the Titans are far better off than most teams would be in this same situation.
Former Titans defensive back Bernard Pollard might have called Lewan a liar, however Robinson obviously doesn’t subscribe to that idea, nor does anyone who knows the kind of standup guy that the Michigan product is.
It just doesn’t fit the overall narrative of the man Lewan has become during his five years in the NFL. Simply saying he cheated the league would be extremely short-sighted, especially when you consider Lewan has already been paid and proven as a top-notch left tackle.
Unfortunately, based on the league’s policy, not knowingly taking a banned substance doesn’t matter. Lewan will still be suspended if no new information comes to the surface, and the Titans will have to navigate the difficult waters of four games without their best offensive lineman.