No matter how tightly contested a position battle is as you head into training camp, fans usually have a good idea of which player is the man to beat. However, the Tennessee Titans left guard battle seems like a complete mystery right now.
As OTAs and minicamp played out, it seemed more and more likely that Jamarco Jones was going to win the starting guard battle. One of the reasons why that looked likely was that he had experience with Mike Vrabel going back to his days in high school and at Ohio State. So when Vrabel brought him into the fold, he did so knowing the type of player that Jones is.
That wasn’t the biggest reason why Jones looked like the favorite. His best quality was his availability because Aaron Brewer had missed a lot of practice reps due to an undisclosed injury. Usually sitting on the bench or working half-speed is not a great way to make your dreams come true if you are fighting for a starting job in the NFL.
Despite all of this, it appears that Aaron Brewer still has a chance to win this job. Not only that, but Jim Wyatt actually views him as the favorite to win the job.
What is the Tennessee Titans’ plan?
I have been someone who has argued that Aaron Brewer should get a real chance to win the starting left guard position. Regardless of whether Rodger Saffold, Ben Jones, or Nate Davis missed time, Brewer was the first man off of the bench to replace them.
The Tennessee Titans coaching staff clearly thinks that he is good enough to be their primary backup inside, and the offense has done well when he has gotten on the field. While he may be undersized, he has great quickness and his effort on second-level defenders has created creases for Derrick Henry in the past.
Still, it is hard for me to understand how Jamarco Jones can practice for the dozen or so practices that go on during OTAs and minicamp, without at least being viewed as the favorite or co-favorite to win that job.
Maybe it isn’t all negative and Jones has taken a while to pick up exactly what Titans OL coach Keith Carter is asking him to do, but either way, it doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence in the free-agent pick-up.
It should be noted that Mike Vrabel is incredibly faithful to his guys, especially if they are veterans. If that is the case, then Jones might have to prove that he is a clear upgrade over Brewer when the pads come on before he really has a chance to win that battle.