Tennessee Titan’s Offensive Line may be the strength of the 2014 Team. The players seem to be in place. Can they gel as a cohesive unit? That is what remains to be seen, and what makes a difference to an NFL Offensive Line.
Since moving to Nashville, the Titans offensive line has been the most unappreciated unit on the field by fans. We have been blessed when it comes to offensive lineman.
Under Jeff Fisher there was no misunderstanding that the Titans were going to run the football. As a matter of fact, they were going to run it right at you. They did so behind a strong group of offensive lineman that were coached by two pretty decent NFL lineman, Bruce Matthews and Mike Munchak. Running backs Eddie George and Chris Johnson added a little to that as well.
Head Coach Mike Munchak carried on that tradition in his two seasons as well, although not as effectively. Was it the line? Was it Chris Johnson? Was it scheme? That is for another day, but just suffice it to say it did not work consistently.
I expect that the starters will be Michael Roos at Left Tackle, Andy Levitre at Left Guard, Brian Schwenke at Center, Chance Warmack at Right Guard and Michael Oher at Right Tackle. Rookie Taylor Lewan could make it rough on Oher to start, but off the field issues may hamper his early season progress, and Oher’s large contract and experience will win him the job. This is a capable group!
The running game could be good with this group up front. They are big, and they are strong. Unlike the explosive Chris Johnson that is now in New York, the Titans will have a group of Running Backs that will be much more physical.
RB’s Shonn Greene and Ronnie Battle are physical, punishing backs. Rookie Bishop Sankey is a “between the tackles” type of back as well. Dexter McCluster may get some touches as a tailback, and he is the speedster of the group.
The running game will be extremely different from what we have seen the past few years. I believe it will be much more of a ball control offense.
With this line, and with this stable of hard nosed running running backs, I believe we will see fewer “negative yardage” runs, fewer “three and outs”, and fewer explosive runs of over 20 yards. They should move the chains more consistently if we can get anything out of Locker and the passing game. That will keep the defense from loading the box.
I will welcome the change in the running game, and the trade off from explosive to steady and consistent. I know the defense will!