NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans' starting five up front is now set.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt on Friday indicated the five starting offensive linemen at the end of the preseason will be the team's starting five for the regular season opener at Tampa Bay on September 13.
Veteran Byron Bell and rookie Jeremiah Poutasi started the final three preseason games at left guard and right tackle, respectively, for the Titans. Taylor Lewan is the team's starting left tackle, Chance Warmack is the team's right guard and center Brian Schwenke is the starter at center.
"Pretty much, it's set,'' Whisenhunt said.
A third-round pick out of Utah, Poutasi slid into the starting spot at right tackle when Bell moved from right tackle to left guard in Week Two and replaced Andy Levitre in the starting lineup. Levitre on Friday was traded to the Falcons.
On Poutasi, Whisenhunt said: "What's my confidence in him? I guess as much confidence as you can have in a rookie, in a young player. He is going to go against some pretty good pass rushers, some pretty good players now as opposed to preseason football, so the adjustment is going to be big for him. What I like about him is he is athletic, he has worked very hard, and he has gotten better over the three games he has played. We know that there's going to be times that he will struggle a little bit and we'll try and do some things to help him."
Bell, who spent the last four seasons with the Panthers, has started 56 of 62 games since 2011. All but one of those starts came at tackle, but Whisenhunt likes his size (6-5, 340) inside.
"He has gotten better, and Byron is bigger in there and he has done a nice job,'' Whisenhunt said. "We felt good about that move."