TRAINING CAMP PREVIEW: OFFENSIVE LINE
In camp (17): T Taylor Lewan, G Rodger Saffold III, C Ben Jones, G Nate Davis, T Kendall Lamm, T David Quessenberry, T Ty Sambrailo, OL Dillon Radunz, C/G Aaron Brewer, G Cole Banwart, T Paul Adams, T Christian DiLauro, OL Chandon Herring, T Brandon Kemp, C Daniel Munyer, G Adam Coon, OL Elijah Nkansah.
Offseason developments: The Titans signed Lamm, formerly of the Browns, early in free agency to compete for the starting spot at right tackle. The Titans also re-signed Sambrailo, who stepped in as a starter last season before suffering a knee injury. In the second round of the NFL Draft, the Titans selected Radunz, who played in college at North Dakota State. The Titans claimed Nkansah off waivers following his release from the Colts, and the team also added DiLauro, who has bounced around the league. Following the draft, the Titans signed undrafted free agents Banwart (Iowa) and Herring (BYU). The Titans also added Coon, a former wrestler at the University of Michigan, to compete at guard. The Titans parted ways with tackle Dennis Kelly, who remains unsigned, and the team did not make a tender offer to Jamil Douglas, who has since signed with the Bills. The Titans also did not re-sign Marshall Newhouse, and he remains a free agent. Brewer spent the offseason working his way back to good health, but he'll begin camp on the Non-Football Injury list. Lewan, meanwhile, didn't take part in offseason workouts while rehabbing his ACL injury from a year ago.
In the spotlight: Lewan. Lost for the 2020 season with a torn ACL last October against the Texans, Lewan had surgery and has been working his way back to good health ever since. Last month, Lewan provided an update, saying he's been doing change of direction, and some running, while strengthening the knee and the muscles around it. The Titans need Lewan to step in and regain his pre-injury form. A three-time Pro Bowler, Lewan has played in 90 regular season games, with 85 starts. So, will Lewan be on the field for Day 1 of training camp? While that remains to be seen, the important thing is getting Lewan healthy and ready to go for Week 1 of the regular season.
Battle to watch: The fight for the right tackle spot. Heading into camp, my sunflower seeds are on Lamm to be the starter at right tackle vs the Cardinals on September 12. But a lot can happen between now and then, of course. A six-year veteran, Lamm (6-5, 310) has appeared in 74 career games, with 27 starts between the Texans (2015-18) and Browns (2019-20). While he did a nice job this offseason in OTAs, he still needs to clean some things up from a technique standpoint to earn the starting spot. Quessenberry, who stepped in a year ago and performed well, will be among those trying to win the job. Sambrailo, who also spent the offseason rehabbing his knee, should return to the mix and contend himself once he's healthy - he was placed on the team's Physically Unable to Perform list just days before the start of camp. What about Radunz? Well, he's the future, but how quickly he enters the starting lineup remains to be seen. More on him coming now…
Keep an eye on: Dillon Radunz. During offseason work, Radunz worked all over the offensive line, from guard to tackle. Some of it was to get him comfortable playing all the positions (except center), and some of it was out of necessity since Davis and Saffold were sidelined for part of the offseason work. Either way, Radunz and the Titans should benefit from the experiment since he'll be better equipped to step in when needed. In camp, I'm expecting the Titans to work Radunz a lot at right tackle, and give him a chance to win a starting spot. Radunz is going to be a good player – he's long and athletic, he works hard, and he's smart. But he's still adjusting to the NFL and the competition, and his technique needs to improve, from his stance to being on time at the snap. The crash course begins next week.
Next: Tight ends.