OAKLAND, Calif. – Sebastian Tretola earned his reputation as a tough and nasty football player, and he's proud of it.
Here tonight, he'll get a taste of the "Black Hole" – Oakland's rabid fan base at Oakland Alameda Coliseum – when the Titans square off against the Raiders in preseason game No. 3.
"Oh, it's going to be nasty – 100 percent,'' Tretola said with a smile. "But coming from SEC ball, you get used to hostile environments. Being from California, I know a lot of Raiders fans and it's as crazy as it can get.
"I wouldn't be surprised if they went and looked at biographies and if they know I'm from out there, I'll probably hear some crazy things. But I can handle it."
The Titans hope Tretola can handle something else – work with the first group at left guard.
Coach Mike Mularkey said he plans to let the sixth-round pick from Arkansas play with the first group on Saturday night. Tretola, who's from San Bernardino, has worked in the first two preseason games with the backups with Quinton Spain starting and Brian Schwenke being the first to replace him.
"I am ecstatic, obviously,'' Tretola said. "All these guys are NFL players, but obviously there's a big difference between ones, two and threes. I am ready to get in there and ready to show them what I've got. I've had a solid week of practice and I've worked my tail off for this."
Mularkey said Spain played just "average" last week against the Panthers.
By giving other players a chance with the first group, he hopes it motivates him. Spain, who is scheduled to start tonight, said he's been working to improve his technique.
Mularkey said Spain responded well in practices since the team inserted Tretola into the rotation as a starter.
"I'm anxious to see it in the game,'' Mularkey said of Spain. "He knows what we want from those guys up front. Let's see if he does it even more than he has been."
The Titans select Arkansas G Sebastian Tretola in the sixth round (193rd overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft. (AP Photos)