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Titans continue showing faith in Dennis Daley

The Titans decided to stay the course at left tackle

Tennessee Titans v Buffalo Bills Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The Tennessee Titans defeated the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, improving their record to 4-2 and a perfect 2-0 in the AFC South while completing the sweep over the Colts in the process. The Titans sit comfortably atop the division. Head coach Mike Vrabel and Co. made several adjustments during their bye, but the most anticipated and expected change didn’t come to fruition.

Analysts and fans alike wondered if Le’Raven Clark would replace Dennis Daley at left tackle. It didn’t happen. The Titans were particularly secretive throughout their week of preparation for the Colts showdown. Daley was only officially revealed as the starter prior to pre-game kickoff when he took the field alongside the other four starting offensive linemen.

“Le’Raven Clark has experience, which is something you target at this point in the season,” Vrabel said when general manager Jon Robinson signed Clark off the Philadelphia Eagles’ practice squad in late September. Vrabel somewhat added to the intrigue surrounding Clark late last week.

“Clark is working hard and we continue to evaluate him,” Vrabel said on Wednesday October 19.

Whatever that evaluation period included, Vrabel and his staff didn’t feel like Clark was ready to provide an upgrade. It’s worth acknowledging Daley’s struggles carried over into this Colts contest. He was credited with giving up four pressures, two hurries and one sack, via Pro Football Focus. Colts defensive end Yannick Ngakoue froze Daley with an inside move that led to a second-half sack on Titans starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

Daley’s 33.8 pass-block grade is the NFL’s lowest among tackles with at least 100 snaps, per PFF. Daley has been credited with allowing a sack in three consecutive contests. Daley did score a slightly grade as a run blocker on Sunday (54.5). In the 74 snaps Clark played for Philadelphia during the regular season last year (all at right tackle), the No. 82 overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft posted a PFF overall grade of 61.1 — 44.1 in the passing game and 71.2 as a run-blocker.

Daley continues to deliver below replacement-level play at left tackle. All signs now indicate the Titans won’t be inserting Clark into their starting lineup in an attempt to better protect Tannehill’s blindside. It’s Daley’s job for the time being.