NASHVILLE, Tenn. —First things first: Jeremiah Poutasi might've lost his starting job, but he hasn't lost his confidence.
The Titans rookie offensive lineman isn't walking around Saint Thomas Sports Park sulking these days.
"My confidence is very high right now,'' Poutasi said. "I still have confidence in myself, and know what I can do. I have people believing in me, and I believe in myself. As far as confidence, I feel if I had to go in at right tackle and if I have to go in at guard, I'll play well at either."
A third-round pick out of Utah, Poutasi began the season as the team's starting right tackle. He had his moments, both good and bad, something he freely admits. Poutasi was replaced in some games, and eventually in the starting lineup when the team moved veteran Byron Bell to right tackle for the November 11 game at New Orleans.
The Titans began working Poutasi at left guard in practices, but the team started Joe Looney three straight games before putting rookie Quinton Spain in the starting lineup last Sunday vs. Oakland, when Poutasi was inactive for the first time as a pro. Poutasi was in uniform, but didn't play in a few games prior to being declared inactive.
"It is a humbling experience, but there is nothing wrong with learning more than what you know. It is part of my role,'' Poutasi said. "Obviously I want to get in there and play, but the right time will come when I get in there. My role right now is to make sure I know everything and if something happens I know what to do."
Titans interim coach Mike Mularkey shuffled the offensive line after taking over for Ken Whisenhunt. He said Poutasi was inactive on Sunday because veteran Jamon Meredith is currently better suited to step in at all the offensive line positions because of his experience.
Mularkey said Poutasi has handled things "extremely well."
The Titans select Utah OT Jeremiah Poutasi in the third round (#66 overall) in the 2015 NFL Draft.
"We're not down on Jeremiah,'' Mularkey said. "We're just trying another rotation to see if they can shorten the line and get our run game going, number one, first, and keep this quarterback upright for the remainder of our games."
Poutasi (6-5, 335) said he's learning while working on the scout team in practices.
Poutasi played at both left and right tackle in college at Utah, but in the long run thinks he might be better suited to play guard in the NFL.
Teammates and coaches have told him to "Keep your head up, keep playing,'' he said.
"I was happy, a rookie starting at the start of the season -- it's every rookie's dream. And I told myself I was going to do the best I could (at tackle). I have the same mindset at guard,'' Poutasi said
"I feel like I am a versatile player, but to be honest, I feel like guard is my home. It feels more natural to me. I still have a lot to learn at that position, a lot of technique things to learn, but I feel comfortable at it."