Tennessee Titans offensive line looks like it could be special
By Will Lomas
The Tennessee Titans offensive line could take a huge step forward in 2019.
You may not realize it yet (because I didn’t at first either) but what we saw from the Tennessee Titans last night should have you very optimistic about the future.
Let me take it back a step and talk about why the starting offensive line didn’t obliterate the Philadelphia Eagles defensive line last night. That is largely because arguably 60% of the potential starters on the OL didn’t start last night.
The starters that did play (ignoring the Taylor Lewan suspension) were Ben Jones and Jack Conklin.
Jones showed quickness and power that was a lot closer to his 2017 form than what he showed in 2018. Everyone struggles with different injuries throughout the year, so it is possible (or even probable) that injuries hampered his season last year which is why the Tennessee Titans made no effort to replace/upgrade from him.
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Conklin showed his strong anchor that made him so successful in his first two seasons, which was a huge positive. Last year he couldn’t anchor like he wanted too, which he has even said himself.
There is even a play where Conklin gets into his pass set like he is going to be passive, only to quickly shoot his hands right into a rusher. Imagine running full speed blindly and then running directly into a forklift and you have a pretty good idea of what it looked and felt like for that guy.
(Side note: Dennis Kelly also did fine, but that isn’t what this article is about)
So with the starter at center (or maybe right guard) and right tackle locked in, why should you be so positive about the offensive line as a whole.
Well, I have the perfect play to show you. This play is everywhere and you can see exactly how amazing Taylor Lewan looks right now:
What you also may notice is that backup center Corey Levin (#62), gets up to the second level with a great seal block on the linebacker opening up a HUGE cutback lane.
Don’t think this went unnoticed either, this is what Tennessee Titans HC Mike Vrabel said about Levin and this play today:
I think the combination of Lewan-Saffold-Levin-Jones-Conklin is very much a possibility for this offensive line right now, which would be an outstanding group.
You get the athleticism upgrade at center without losing the veteran savvy and technique of Jones. Additionally, you also get to put your youngest player between two experienced guys who should elevate his play and let him be a little bit more aggressive getting up to the second level.
This allows guys like Nate Davis and Aaron Stinnie to get more coaching and more seasoning to see if they can develop into starters without giving them a trial by fire with Marcus Mariota‘s health on the line.
All of that is adding up to a really intriguing preseason storyline that I am watching very closely. For now though, you have to be extremely excited by how all the different parts are looking.