Veteran Lineman Tim Lelito Fitting in with Titans


NASHVILLE, Tenn. –Work hard, play hard.

Tim Lelito has quickly learned the mindset of the offensive linemen in Tennessee, and he believes it fits him perfectly.

"It's an awesome fit -- I love it,'' said Lelito, signed by the Titans in March after playing his first four seasons with the Saints. "The style of football is what I like. And I also like that once we are in the building we are going to work hard, but we are going to play hard, too.

"Obviously guys going to the Preds games, hanging out on the weekends, going to each other's house and playing games, it is awesome. It's a fantastic group."

The Titans signed Lelito to compete in the interior offensive line, and this offseason he's worked at right guard and center.

Lelito (6-4, 315) has played in 63 games over the past four seasons, with 24 starts. He played in all 16 games last season for New Orleans, and started seven games. Lelito started 13 games in 2015.

Josh Kline and Quinton Spain ended the 2016 season as the team's starting guards, and they've worked with the first group this offseason alongside starting center Ben Jones.

A week after former Titans lineman Brian Schwenke signed with the Colts earlier this offseason, the Titans added Lelito, who has registered starts at left guard (12), right guard (4), center (3) and as an extra tight end (5). For the 2015 season with the Saints he started 13 games, including 10 at left guard.

"He is coming along," Titans coach Mike Mularkey said of Lelito. "It is all new to him, a new system. He has some things he needs to correct and we're going to work on his weight, get his weight down a little bit. But he fits our style of player, there's no question. It's why we brought him here in the first place. We need to get him more reps."

Lelito acknowledged he's still learning in Tennessee, but said he's adjusting to the new system, new coaches and teammates. He said he loves offensive line coach Russ Grimm's no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is approach.

"He's a fantastic coach," Lelito said of Grimm.

Lelito said he's been impressed with third-year Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota. In New Orleans, he blocked for a 17-year veteran in Drew Brees.

"A lot is different, and it is my first time going through (learning a new team) -- obviously I was in New Orleans for all four years," Lelito said. "But even when I was in New Orleans the turnover rate was high down there, as it is with any team.

"I'm just getting used to the system and used to the guys. It is pretty easy because we all hang out together as an offensive line. It is a fantastic group. I couldn't be anywhere better."

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