Tennessee Titans strategy for resting veterans may not be their best option

Tennessee Titans tackle Taylor Lewan (Mandatory Credit: The Tennessean)
Tennessee Titans tackle Taylor Lewan (Mandatory Credit: The Tennessean) /

The most important thing for every NFL team is to come out of training camp without any major injuries, and that is as true for the Tennessee Titans as it is for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Right now the big story in Titans training camp is the addition of Julio Jones and everything that goes along with that. Is he practicing? How much is he doing? How does he look? Is he worth the trade? Is he going to be the top receiver on the team?

Long story short, no one knows exactly what Julio Jones will be doing for the Tennessee Titans because the coaching staff is being very careful with him. Wednesday was the second day in a row where Jones hasn’t practiced, and there is no reason to expect him to return any time soon.

The important thing to remember is, this is the right way a great team should handle a star veteran. Mike Vrabel and his staff are dealing with this perfectly, and it actually works out better for the Tennessee Titans.

Now, rookies like Dez Fitzpatrick and training camp star Racey McMath have a chance to get snaps with the first-team offense and the coaching staff can get a good idea of how their development is going.

Here’s where resting veterans hurts the Tennessee Titans

Another veteran getting a lot of rest is three-time Pro-Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan. Again, no one should have an issue with slowly ramping up Lewan’s workload because when he is on the field he is one of the best offensive tackles in the NFL.

However, the ripple effect is much different for the Tennessee Titans when you talk about the offensive line instead of the wide receivers.

Right now, the offensive line is completely shuffled.

And you might read that and assume that Kendall Lamm is playing right tackle and David Quessenberry is playing left tackle since Lamm was brought in to compete at right tackle and David Quessenberry played more snaps at left tackle than anyone else on the Tennessee Titans roster in 2020.

Unfortunately, you would be wrong because this video clip shows Quessenberry (#72) playing right tackle while Lamm (#71) playing left tackle.

The shuffling doesn’t stop there because Mike Vrabel also said that second-round rookie Dillon Radunz was playing ‘multiple positions‘ due to injuries.

Now is the time to experiment because the Tennessee Titans will have plenty of time to do more of what works and cut out what doesn’t as they get closer to September. However, resting Lewan is slowing down the process of figuring out who the starting right tackle should be.

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Ultimately, this is shaping up to be a battle between veteran addition Kendall Lamm, re-signed Titans Ty Sambrailo and David Quessenberry, and rookie Dillon Radunz. The time crunch means that the smart money is on Kendall Lamm, but until the Titans get Lewan back it is going to be hard to tell.

Again, there is no ‘right’ answer here because Taylor Lewan’s only concern should be returning to Pro Bowl status starting Week 1 of the regular season. However, that may mean that the offensive line won’t be quite as good as it should be early in the season since Nate Davis won’t get a great chance to build chemistry with the right tackle until the games actually matter.