The Titans have opened OTA's, and while the rookies have had a chance to get going on learning the playbook and getting acclimated, this is their first real opportunity to mix with the veterans and learn the tricks of the trade, so to speak. Along with the other Titan rookies, they have been put through the gauntlet to learn all the plays and impress the coaches. Of all those players, Taylor Lewan and his first round status carry the brunt of that pressure.
"A lot of things were going through my head, but I just wanted to get out there and play ball and make sure I knew the plays...You know how to play football and know how to do specific things, so now it's just learning the little intricate details of the NFL and how guys work, how guys tick..."
- Taylor Lewan
To teach him those "intricate details," the Titans vets have been stepping up. In the same way that Michael Roos himself was introduced to the NFL, under the tutelage of Brad Hopkins all but nine long years ago, the Estonian native has come up to the plate to mentor Taylor Lewan, something he sees as a "part of his job". The early feedback has been very good.
"He's very energetic, he's intense, a hard worker and wants to learn, so he's eager and asking questions all the time...It makes it easier to teach when someone wants to learn that much."
- LT, Michael Roos on Rookie Tackle, Taylor Lewan
The Titans have a solid personnel group with talented rookies and veterans mixed in well. The front office has made leadership a priority over the past few seasons, and additions of vocal figureheads like Bernard Pollard, Delanie Walker, etc, speak to that decision favorably. With the NFL more competitive than ever, it's important to get the rookies hitting the ground running, and mentor-ships like that of Brad Hopkins to Michael Roos, and now Michael Roos to Taylor Lewan, can make all the difference in tipping the scale of close contests.
Let's hope the rookies, and Lewan in particular, can come along quickly, and get the Ken Whisenhunt regime off to a strong start in the 2014 season.