O-Lineman Brian Schwenke Working on his Game in OTAs


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Brian Schwenke doesn't have to look far to find competition on the field, and in the Titans locker room.

Only Schwenke, who's headed into his fourth NFL season, doesn't view things that way.

He's good friends with new Titans offensive lineman Ben Jones, who is expected to start at center this fall after playing previously with the Texans. Schwenke began the past two seasons as the team's starting center, but injuries cut those seasons short.

"Ben is awesome,'' Schwenke said Jones. "We have a good group. It is not about competing in my mind. It's about getting on the field and playing the best football you can play, no matter the position. It is just about going out there and being the best "you" you can be. That's something I can control, and I'm going to work as hard as I can to be the best player I can be."

Schwenke, who has started 25 games at center over the past three seasons, continues to recover from an injury.  The popular offensive lineman dislocated his left ankle in the team's loss to the Dolphins last October. He was taken off the field on a cart, his lower leg in an air cast, after being tended to by medical personnel on the field at Nissan Stadium. Then came surgery.

Schwenke's been practicing in OTAs, although Jones has been with the first unit.

"First, I have to get back to 100 percent,'' Schwenke said. "I am pretty much there, but I don't know if I could play in a full game right now. If we had a game tomorrow, it would be a rough game for me, quantity-wise, the number of plays.

"But it feels pretty good, and I'm getting closer. It doesn't feel like it did before I hurt it. It gets sore after a couple of days, but that's a part of the process."

A fourth-round draft pick by the Titans in the 2013 draft, Schwenke's 2014 season was cut short because of a knee injury.

Schwenke said he's been working this offseason at both center and guard, a position he played in college at California. He said he likes the attitude of the team's offensive line, which includes another newcomer in rookie tackle Jack Conklin.

"I played three years of guard at college,'' Schwenke said. "I don't want to say you lose it after not doing it, but it takes time learning the nuances of the position. But it's a lot of fun. I enjoy the game.

"It is a good group we have (at offensive line). We are all meshing well. Sometimes you have a situation where guys don't mesh as well as they should and guys butt heads, but I don't think there is any of that going on. We are all working hard and trying to make each other better."

Titans veterans and rookies take the field for Day 5 of OTAs at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn, AP)

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