What I mean by that is that if you are looking at the 2021 tape, it is easy to see that Taylor Lewan still has the tools to be one of the NFL’s better left tackles, but he just wasn’t himself.
I think we can all assume that the days where Lewan would come into a game with a head of steam and constantly get in the face of defenders are gone. After his first few seasons, he went from an energetic hot head to a more disciplined and much less aggressive style of play.
That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but that personality transcended what you typically saw from offensive linemen and he was one of the few linemen in the league that you could picture clearly when his name was brought up.
Lewan was always great at sealing an edge, getting into his pass sets, and working up to the second level, but he was a fan favorite for getting in Richard Sherman’s face and jawing at defenders from Jacksonville.
However, it wasn’t all sunshine in rainbows back then either as fans quickly grew tired of the penalties that Lewan would draw. For the record, there were a lot of penalties on Lewan that were terrible calls that had more to do with his reputation than the so-called infractions that actually occurred.
In the last few years, Lewan has moved away from being enemy number one for so many refs in the league, and that is a direct result of his maturation as a player.
Over his first five years as a starter, Lewan averaged more than 13 penalties per season, which is just a staggering amount of flags. However, Lewan has just 4 penalties in the last 19 games, including 0 flags in 2020 when the Tennessee Titans started out 5-0 in the games where he played before his injury.
Which Taylor Lewan is better? The young, brash tackle who was infamous for what he did after the whistle even at times when it hurt the team, or the older more mature tackle who is very good when he is healthy even though he doesn’t set the tone of the offensive line anymore.
Well, why not both?
Will the Tennessee Titans finally get the best version of Taylor Lewan?
Last week, Buck Reising had long-time NFL coach and current Tennessee Titans broadcaster, Dave McGinnis on his radio show to talk about some of the news and buzz going around about the team.
After talking about how much stock they put in lists like the ones ESPN has been posting the last few weeks, Coach Mac talked about what he has seen from Lewan this year. You can find the full quote in the episode linked above, but he says that Lewan seems to be much happier this year and after an offseason of working out instead of rehabbing, he looks better than he has since 2019.
We are going to see how true that is when the pads come on, but think about the implications of what that would mean. The Titans could get him back with the mind and maturity of the guy who has played very clean football over the last two years, with the athleticism and functional strength of the guy who made three Pro Bowls in his first four years as a starter.
If the offensive line is this team’s biggest question mark, then having Taylor Lewan playing his best football in years would make everything a little bit easier.
Dillon Radunz would get a boost because Lewan could be on an island and the Titans could leave Hooper on the right side more often. Also, whoever wins the left guard job would have the benefit of being between a great left tackle and one of the better centers in the NFL in Ben Jones.
It would be a huge boost to the Tennessee Titans’ offensive line and the offense as a whole, so let’s hope that Coach Mac’s read on Lewan’s progress this offseason was on the money.