Stop me if you have heard this one before, but there is a chance that the Tennessee Titans aren't optimizing the talent on their roster.
Over the years Mike Vrabel has been partial to guys like Johnathan Joseph, Rashaan Evans, Matt Dickerson, Geoff Swaim, David Quessenberry, Dennis Daley, etc. when there have been better options behind them.
It is hard to figure out why he makes those decisions, but whether it is because they are better in the classroom, they have a better/longer relationship off the field with Vrabel, or because they are just guys that he believes in, he has made those decisions.
One guy that he has been standing on the table for over the last two seasons, is Aaron Brewer.
As a guard last season, Brewer was an unmitigated disaster. Every now and then he would execute a reach block really well or seal off a linebacker, but for the most part, he just didn't have the functional strength to deal with defensive tackles coming right at him
To be completely fair to Brewer, he has been better this season as a center. I wouldn't call him an above-average starter, but he is rarely the biggest problem on the offensive line.
The problem is that Brewer is at his best when the Titans are zone-blocking, and that has been a small part of the offense this season. Instead of the outside zone runs that Arthur Smith popularized in Nashville, Tim Kelly is calling more gap scheme runs.
That might not sound that different, but while zone scheme runs prioritize quickness and getting to landmarks faster than the defender, gap scheme runs prioritize combo blocks and getting bodies on bodies. In those situations, it helps to have bigger, stronger linemen who can create space on contact and then quickly figure out when to climb to the second level.
If that is what the Tennessee Titans want to do, then they are using the wrong center.
Temporary upgrade for the Tennessee Titans offensive line
Corey Levin was one of the best backup interior offensive linemen in the league last year and when he had to come in to replace Ben Jones he was fantastic. His performance gets forgotten because it happened in the middle of the eight-game losing streak, but it was something I brought up a lot this offseason.
Due to Aaron Brewer popping up on the injury report, there is a chance that Tennessee Titans fans will get a chance to see four-fifths of their optimal offensive line. If Andre Dillard goes out for some reason and either Nicholas Petit-Frere or Dillon Radunz gets a chance to play left tackle, then the upgrade will be complete.
Either way, don't expect this to be a long-term fix just because performance has rarely mattered when it comes to taking those starters out of the lineup. Still, if Brewer is out or on the bench for health reasons, it will be interesting to see how effective the Tennessee Titans offense is with Corey Levin at center.