NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In just four days, the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots will battle in Super Bowl XLIX from University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
Scottsdale, Ariz. native Taylor Lewan is on his way back to the Grand Canyon State Wednesday, but the convenient overlap with Super Sunday takes a back seat to the real purpose for the homecoming.
"I'm just excited to see my friends and family," Lewan said. "Obviously there's going to be a lot of Super Bowl parties that I've been invited to, and at first I was excited for that, but I'm really just excited to be home."
Titans Online looks at the 2014 season of Taylor Lewan, who became the first Titans/Oilers rookie to start at least six games at left tackle since Brad Hopkins in 1993. (AP Photos)
The Titans selected Lewan 11th overall in last year's NFL Draft. The next day Lewan flew to Nashville for his introductory press conference at Saint Thomas Sports Park. He then flew back to Arizona for only a day to gather his things before settling into his new home in the south.
With this week being Lewan's first extended visit to his hometown since joining the NFL ranks, it shouldn't be a surprise that Super Bowl festivities will be an afterthought during the trip.
There's no shortage of storylines going into Sunday's contest: Russell Wilson vs. Tom Brady, Richard Sherman and Darrelle Revis on the same field, Pete Carroll going against the coach that replaced him in New England…the list goes on.
None of those matter to Lewan, who said he wouldn't even be in attendance as the Seahawks attempt to defend their Super Bowl crown. He gave his two tickets to a high school buddy.
"I don't know if the Super Bowl is going to affect my trip much at all," Lewan said. "I mean the game is in Arizona, but that's not why I'm going."
Lewan will be on hand at one event this weekend – the PGA's Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale. He made sure to note that he had daily workouts already set up for each day he's in Arizona. Other than that, it's all friends and family for the Titans' starting left tackle.
This is the first time the Super Bowl has been in Glendale since 2008 – the game better known for David Tyree's helmet catch to help the Giants beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. Lewan remembers the game -- he was a junior in high school -- but he didn't go to that Super Bowl either, despite being just 20 miles away in Scottsdale.
Lewan said he has no plans to be in attendance at any Super Bowl until he's running out of the tunnel as a participant.
"Now that I'm in the NFL, it's like, 'Why would I want to go watch a game that I wish I was playing in?' I like watching the sport, it's fun, I watched all the playoffs," he explained. "It's exciting for them, but I'd rather just make it there myself."
Lewan did offer a prediction, albeit one that was swayed by collegiate ties more than x's and o's.
"I'm a Tom Brady fan," he said. "We went to Michigan, so you've got to support the alumni base. I have nothing against the Seahawks at all, but hopefully the Patriots win. The Seahawks have a great defense and Russell Wilson always gets it done somehow, but I'm pulling for the Patriots."
He wouldn't, however, commit to a score. Instead, he gave some groundbreaking analysis that only an esteemed football mind like Taylor Lewan could provide.
"I know one team will have more points than the other team," he said boldly.
He does have a point.