NASHVILLE, Tenn. —Jeremiah Poutasi won't lie – he had some concerns heading into his rookie season.
"Coming in, I was expecting it to be tough. The first day I arrived here in Tennessee I was hoping for the best, but bracing for the worst,'' said Poutasi, a third round pick by the Titans in the 2015 NFL Draft. "It's tough, and it was a rough year. The most eye opening thing is anything can happen in the NFL. I found that out."
After starting 35 games in three seasons at Utah, the Titans drafted the big offensive lineman in May, and inserted him as their starting right tackle at the beginning of the year. Poutasi had some positive moments, but he also had his share of struggles.
The 6-foot-5, 335-pounder was replaced in some games, and he was eventually bumped from the starting lineup when the team moved veteran Byron Bell to right tackle for the November 8 game at New Orleans.
Poutasi didn't play in five games in the second half of the season.
"My rookie season was up and down,'' Poutasi said. "I am looking forward to next season, trying not to be on that roller coaster of going up and down. I want to be consistent. I learned a lot."
Something else Poutasi learned: he's a guard in the NFL.
The Titans began working Poutasi at left guard in practices in the second half of the season, and he felt comfortable.
The Titans select Utah OT Jeremiah Poutasi in the third round (#66 overall) in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Titans interim coach Mike Mularkey shuffled the offensive line after taking over for Ken Whisenhunt in early November. He said Poutasi handled things "extremely well," and agreed he looked good at guard. The Titans started three different players – Bell, Joe Looney and Quinton Spain -- at left guard in 2015, opposite right guard Chance Warmack.
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.
"I feel like I am going to be at guard,'' Poutasi said. "I love it there. The technique is different, but it feels natural to me."
After a season of training, and the experience he gained as a rookie, Poutasi said he'll be ready.
"Confidence wise, I feel like I can play with the best,'' he said. "I am not down on myself, I gave it my all. Obviously I still have work to do, there's things I need to improve."