NASHVILLE, Tenn. —Offensive line coach Russ Grimm joined the Titans this offseason to bring a toughness – and stability -- to the team's offensive line.
Grimm arrived with 21 years of experience as an NFL coach. He's a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame class for his 11-year playing career with the Washington Redskins.
Here's Grimm on six topics dealing with the o-line:
The performance of rookie right tackle Jack Conklin**
"He's getting there. Obviously he is not there yet, we haven't had any (games). But Jack is a physical player, he is a smart guy, and obviously he is a rookie. So there's going to be some growing pains. But so far he is making good progress. He has a great attitude. … He's about right where we thought he'd be, right where we expected him to be. But there's still a lot of stuff he has to see."
On the importance of the offensive line
"I tell (the players), it's a different position. If you (get) your name in the papers, it's usually because we lost and something bad happened. You pick that paper up on Monday morning and it says the running back had 150 yards rushing or the quarterback threw for three touchdowns and you win, then you know you did your job. It is a different type of position, though, and a different mentality. But you have to build that group together. We are making progress. We are not there yet, we are making progress. But that's why you have training camp."
On the battle for the left guard spot**
"Right now, the thing is, we're going to start rolling some people in there. I tell them all the time: We are not playing a game for real yet. There's no exact starters now. … Once we get the offense all in, we'll start shuffling some people around and see what we've got."
On his days with the "Hogs" compared to today's game/players
"The stuff we did back then was a long time ago. These guys, they are football players, and they've played football for a long time. The game up-front really hasn't changed. I mean, (the NFL) makes the changes as far as the bump and run, and you can't hit somebody high, and you can't hit somebody low, but up front it is still the same."
On chemistry on the offensive line
"That's why you play the game. Offensive line, you don't necessarily play for yourself. I tell them all the time: You don't want to be the guy to let your buddy down. You may get a running back crippled, a quarterback crippled. You have a job to do and you better concentrate on it because if you don't do it somebody is going to get hurt."
On if he's seeing "mean and nastiness" from the offensive line
"We're not there yet. But the bottom line is you have to get the job done up there for everyone else to be successful. We'll get there."
Titans players take the field for Day 10 of training camp at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)