Starting OLB Brian Orakpo will be forced to missed time with a shoulder injury suffered during the first week of Training Camp.
Rookie Harold Landry will benefit from quality reps with the starting defense.
Landry immediately filled in for Orakpo and had a daunting task ahead of him. He lined up against the highest paid OL (currently) - Taylor Lewan.
Lewan is easily one of the top-five players at his position. He now has a contract to back it up. After piecing together two solid Pro Bowl seasons, Lewan is aiming to prove he is worth every penny of his new deal.
This bodes well for Landry.
Although Orakpo reportedly will only be out for a week, every snap with the 1’s plays to Landry’s development. Lewan is providing Landry with an accurate dose of what to expect during the regular season.
In looking at the Titans regular season schedule, Landry will face some of the top tackles in the NFL. In the NFC East alone, an active Landry’s snap count will include in game trench wars against the Eagles’ tandem of Lane Johnson and Jason Peters, Dallas’ Tyrone Smith and La’el Collins, Washington’s combo of Trent Edwards and Morgan Moses and new addition Nate Solder - who jumped from the AFC East to the NFC East Giants this offseason.
With HC Mike Vrabel in his ear and OLB Coach Shane Bowen helping to refine Landry’s game, the rookie is in good hands.
Landry has a high respect for both Orakpo and OLB Derrick Morgan. The veterans have already taken Landry under their wing and have provided him with the example of how to be a pro.
It will be interesting to see how much mileage Landry will build during his time running with the starting defense. If his game grows exponentially in the coming weeks, he may develop into a player the Titans cannot keep on the sidelines for too long during games.