PFT has a report, from an anonymous "source with knowledge of the situation", that in his pre-game speech Mike Munchak called out several Titans offensive linemen by name. After what I saw on Sunday, I'd say it worked.
It still wasn't a great game from our O-line by any stretch of the imagination, and there were plenty of issues with pass protection and penetration on some running plays. What was noticeably different, however, was the aggressiveness of the offensive line. My bet is that their aggressiveness was thanks in no small part to getting a taste of Thorchak's Hammer on a rainy Sunday morning.
Several knowledgeable people and former players have noted that this unit hasn't had the same nasty streak since perennial 'dirtiest player in the league' contender Kevin Mawae wasn't re-signed. They've been great in pass blocking (outside of the last few weeks), but struggled to dominate in the running game... and by struggling to dominate I mean failing at being better than the bottom five run blocking lines in the league. This week I saw lots of blocks being sustained much longer than usual, and the Titans finally winning at the point of attack.
Jimmy and I raved on MCM Radio about how decisive and confident Chris Johnson looked running the ball, and how the result was a 190 yard performance that wasn't buoyed by two 80 yard runs like we'd usually see. He was consistently successful, and he got 190 yards efficiently. A big part of the reason why, in my opinion, is that the offensive line won the point of attack. Their extra aggressiveness probably resulted in some pressing that led to blockers getting beat and the Bucs getting penetration, but when they did make their blocks the holes were right where they were supposed to be. What makes me think that? It looked to me like CJ had about 1/5th of the cut-backs he usually has to look for because the line isn't creating the hole that's supposed to be there.
Of course, it helps that The Bucs are awful against the run. But, if the Titans' O-line, especially the middle three, learned a lesson on Sunday then our running game might be able to sustain some success against better defenses. That's going to be even more important as Hasselbeck and the passing game struggle to get out of their own slump.