On twitter this week, Daniel Jereimiah had a tweet that really made me think about the Titans offensive line situation.
Best OL's in the NFL: 1) PHI 2) SF 3) TEN— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) June 4, 2014
I think the point of his tweet was to demonstrate that he thought Philadelphia had the best offensive line, but having the Titans at three is also a huge statement. Are the Titans really better than offensive lines like Cleveland, led by Joe Thomas and Alex Mack? Do they rank better than St. Louis who has a former great like Jake Long and a rookie with huge potential in Greg Robinson? I think the answer is yes, and all you have to do is look at the competition and talent the Titans have to see that.
The Titans will have an intense competition between Taylor Lewan and Michael Oher to find out who the starting right tackle is this season. Lewan is an outstanding blocker who can probably lock on, dive, and finish better than most tackles in the league already. His nasty disposition may be what Chance Warmack needs to regain his Alabama form (a line where he played with a similar guy in D.J. Fluker).
Oher on the other hand is a steady veteran who is unimpressive in any one category, but who is smart and will understand the work it takes to be a starter in the NFL.
Michael Roos will lock down the left side of the offense line, as well he should. Roos has been a stalwart blindside protector and deserves a chance to finish out his contract in his natural position.
Chance Warmack and Andy Levitre really had a good finish to their 2013 campaign. Both had trouble gelling in the new system, and I suspect another new offensive line coach may cause them to have some growing pains again. However, having an offensive line coach with fresh eyes on all of the talented linemen on this roster should be able to make a solid plan on how to use the unit.
The real competition (other than right tackle) on this team, is at center. Brian Schwenke is the incumbent, but (like we saw with Rob Turner last year), he needs to be on the field in the summer to play in the fall. UDFA Gabe Ikard will not take being benched lying down, and he does have some good qualities. With an offensive line brimming with talent, health will be a big factor in playing time. Whoever can emerge from camp healthy will have a chance to play next to some outstanding guards.