ORLANDO, Florida – Three years ago, Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan showed up at the Pro Bowl as the new kid on the block.
Veteran tackles Joe Thomas and Andrew Whitworth helped break him in back then, teasing him, and bumping him to right tackle. They had seniority, of course.
This week, Lewan is at his third straight Pro Bowl.
Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, his former head coach with the Titans, said Lewan knows the drill now.
"He doesn't do anything," Whisenhunt said with a smile. "Taylor figured the first time he actually had to pretend like he was doing something. Now he is a vet and he's like, I'm not doing anything."
Lewan laughed when Whisenhunt chimed in as he listened to Lewan being interviewed.
"He is not 100 percent wrong," Lewan said.
Some of the faces have changed since Lewan was first here in January 2017. On Thursday, Lewan posed for a picture with this year's tackles – Pittsburgh's Alejandro Villanueva and Kansas City's Eric Fisher. Thomas has since retired, and Whitworth, now with the Rams, is preparing to play in the Super Bowl.
Lewan hopes to be a regular at the Pro Bowl, but he said he'd rather be playing in the Super Bowl himself. Already Lewan's been selected to more Pro Bowls than some of the best tackles in Titans history, more than Brad Hopkins (2) and Michael Roos (1).
"It is unbelievable," Lewan said. "Being around all these great players here, it never changes how you feel about the game. And there's massive respect for everybody. … It is a blast. I am super-honored to be here and very humbled by it."
A first round pick by the Titans in the 2014 NFL Draft, Lewan has been one of the game's best tackles over the past three seasons. In 2018, he helped pave the way for running back Derrick Henry's first 1,000-yard season.
Over the years, life has changed off the field for Lewan as well. He still likes to have a good time with his buddies, but he's also now a family man, with a wife and 18-month old daughter. They were with him on the practice field on Thursday, part of his large contingent of family and friends.
Lewan even invited Titans linebacker Will Compton, who was outfitted in a "For the Boys" sweatshirt, to the Pro Bowl. The two signed autographs for fans at the fence following the AFC's practice at ESPN's Wide World of Sports.
"I hold myself to a high standard, and I think with that comes the opportunity to come to the Pro Bowl. I expect to be the best tackle in the league – that is my goal every single year. I am very happy about the last three years," Lewan said.
"Obviously you want to be in the Super Bowl, but this is an absolute blast."
Follow Titans offensive tackle Taylor Lewan and punter Brett Kern at the 2019 Pro Bowl in Orlando, Fla. (Photos: AP, Jim Wyatt, Lucas Stevenson, Ben Liebenberg, Logan Bowles)