Rookie T Jeremiah Poutasi Quietly Effective in First Start

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Marcus Mariota made one of the most discussed rookie debuts in NFL history on Sunday.

Heck, quarterback's historic performance landed him on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Well, another Titans rookie also made his first career start in Tampa Bay, and he's hardy been talked about.

But for Jeremiah Poutasi, that's a good thing. It's considered better for offensive linemen to go unnoticed.

"I feel like I did well,'' Poutasi said. "There's a lot of things I can improve on, but overall, we got the win, and Marcus came out healthy. And really that's all that matters."

A third-round draft pick out of Utah, Poutasi played in all 59 snaps at right tackle in Sunday's 42-14 win over the Buccaneers. He was whistled for a false start in the first quarter, but his name wasn't called again the rest of the game.

After pulling the majority of the offensive starters in the fourth quarter, Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt left Poutasi in the game so he could get more experience.

"I thought he was physical, and I thought he worked hard in the game,'' Whisenhunt said of Poutasi.  "There were some things in the run game I thought really showed up well, I liked seeing. As you would expect, some of the protection things we have to continue to work on and get better. But he is making progress for a young player, definitely you can see a lot of good things. We just have to focus in on some of the things he is not as good at, not as proficient at, and continue to work on those techniques."

The Titans select Utah OT Jeremiah Poutasi in the third round (#66 overall) in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan on Monday watched film of Poutasi, and said every game should be a learning experience.

"I think he played well,'' Lewan said. "There's a lot to improve on, some little mistakes here and there, some technique stuff here and there. It's a lot faster. Preseason is one thing, and you think OK, this is the NFL and I can hang. And then the lights come on and the people are there and it's a while different game.

"This is my second year -- that was my seventh start. It's not lot I'm the Peyton Manning of the offensive line or anything like that. I am still learning, too. But I think he did a good job. As long as he continues to grow and doesn't get too far ahead of himself, then we'll be all right."

Poutasi, 21, said he felt some pre-game jitters against the Buccaneers, but settled down after the first drive.

On Sunday, he'll make his second career start at Cleveland.

"Now that I have my first start out of the way, I know more of what to expect,'' he said. "Once I got the first drive out of the way, and as we started scoring, the game got slower. But I have to keep working hard and keep trying to get better.

"I know there's a lot of things I need to improve on."

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