Expect Tennessee Titans offensive line to struggle early

Aaron Brewer #55 Tennessee Titans
Aaron Brewer #55 Tennessee Titans / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

Training camp is underway for the Tennessee Titans, and one of the position groups everyone is most eager to watch is the offensive line. It has been quite poor in the past few seasons, and everyone hopes that the new pieces will give them a boost in 2023.

Unfortunately, it would appear as though things have not started well for the guys up front. Since the start of training camp, it has been pretty clear that this offensive line hasn't gotten off to the best start against a talented defensive front that only got better by adding offseason-star, Arden Key.

First of all, it is literally the first week of training camp and the Titans have not even put on pads, so it is hard to read too much into what has happened so far. There is still plenty of time for this offensive line to stack some good days, especially when they have to start thinking about thudding up with Derrick Henry.

That being said, your expectations are not very realistic if you think days like Friday were a total fluke at this point in the new season.

Tennessee Titans offensive line will need ample time to gain chemistry

Of all the position groups for the Titans, the offensive line has undergone by far the most amount of change this offseason. Let's take a look at what it looked like last year and contrast it to the current iteration.


LT: Taylor Lewan/Dennis Daley
LG: Aaron Brewer
C: Ben Jones
RG: Nate Davis
RT: Nicholas Petit-Frere


LT: Andre Dillard
LG: Peter Skoronski
C: Aaron Brewer
RG: Daniel Brunskill
RT: NPF/Jamarco Jones/John Ojukwu/Jaelyn Duncan

I mean, wow is about all you can say when looking at the turnover on the offensive line. The only returning guys are Brewer, who will play in a different position, and Petit-Frere, whose six-game suspension will only complicate matters.

It shouldn't surprise anyone that this offensive line is struggling against a very talented Tennessee Titans' defensive front early in training camp. Not only is the defensive line talented (and deeper than people realize) but there is no cohesion in the offensive line yet.

The only significant change made on the defensive side was essentially replacing Bud Dupree with Arden Key, and adding back Harold Landry from a torn ACL. But two of their anchors, Jeffery Simmons and Denico Autry, are still there, so they have hardly had to make an adjustment in years now.

Even if NPF did not get suspended, it would hardly change the situation at hand, especially considering that he is only a second-year pro and far from proven. Given the general nature of the offensive line, replacing four out of five starters in one season is an incredibly difficult task.

It is all but the backbone of any team's offense, and a spot where chemistry -- which is not something that builds overnight -- is critically important. You have to go through several practices and games before things truly run smoothly, and the Titans just have not had that opportunity yet with their new guys.

Look at the Cincinnati Bengals last year -- the talent on their offensive line drastically improved in the prior offseason, and it was expected to fix near all of their issues. But they struggled mightily in the beginning due to so many moving parts, and they got better but not truly consistent as the season went on.

A late-season injury to La'el Collins undoubtedly impacted them when they were starting to gel, but their case still proves that when you replace nearly every player on the offensive line, fixing it is still a long process.

Even if the Titans avoid mistakes in replacing Petit-Frere during his suspension, it is not going to make them struggle any less. And there is a chance that they still have some issues when he comes back.

But the good news is that by going up against the Tennessee Titans defensive line in preparation for the season, they are getting some of the most effective practice and experience they can get.

And what is encouraging for them is that the organization seems to have some faith in the current group. They had enough cap space to go out and pay George Fant what he wanted, but they opted to sign Chris Hubbard, who has not been a viable starter in years and may not even beat out guys in the current group.

Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean that Ran Carthon and Mike Vrabel think that their in-house guys are going to dominate from day one, but they certainly think the ability is there. While it will take time for things to come together, the coaching staff and front office both seem to believe that this group is good enough to block for Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry in a crucial season. Let's not be so quick to jump to conclusions if they struggle for the remainder of training camp, and even a chunk of the season.