NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- "Soft."
It's a four-letter word no football player wants to hear, but it's a word Titans tackle Taylor Lewan used on Thursday to describe the team's offensive line play from a year ago.
"To be brutally honest, I think we were soft," Lewan said. "And I think (offensive line coach) Bob Bostad would say the same thing. That's one thing he's definitely been preaching this offseason. We want to be tough, we want to road grade, we want to run that power like no one's ever done it."
During last year's 2-14 season, the Titans struggled across the board.
They had some big issues up front, because of injuries and inconsistent play. The offensive line allowed 50 sacks, and the Titans had trouble running the football on most Sundays. Because the Titans were behind early in games, they oftentimes had to abandon the run early.
Lewan, a first round pick out of Michigan last year, said things have to change in 2015.
"As an offensive line, it starts with us," he said. "We have to be the foundation of this offense, the foundation of the team. And if we work together, play a little dirty, a little over the line a little bit, a little crazy, and work together, then I think we'll be real successful…
"(We want to) completely harass, bully defensive linemen. Kind of go after guys all the time. I'm not saying hurt people or anything like that, that's not how I want to play football. But if you have an attitude about you…We can be an offensive line that nobody wants to play against."
Speaking to reporters later in the day, Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt seemed pleased to hear about Lewan's approach. He took it as a sign the group has bought in to what coaches have been talking about on the heels of last year's season.
Offensively, Lewan said the Titans have the skill players to be successful. It's up to the offensive linemen to make sure they're successful, he said.
"I want that rugged, blue-collar offensive line and we're very capable of doing that,'' Lewan said. "We just kind of have to have an attitude and play, and get a little chirpy every once in a while…To me, that is the way to play offensive line, keep your mouth running and back it up with your actions."
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)