2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Titans creating competition on offensive line

By STEVE MEGARGEE - AP Sports Writer
    2013-04-27 16:54

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Titans are taking nothing for granted in their attempts to improve the middle of their offensive line.

Two days after taking Alabama offensive guard Chance Warmack with the 10th overall pick in the draft, the Titans continued reconstructing the interior of their line Saturday by using a fourth-round selection on California guard/center Brian Schwenke.

Tennessee later addressed its defense by taking LSU end Lavar Edwards in the fifth round and Nevada cornerback Khalid Wooten in the sixth round.

The selection of Schwenke continues a rebuilding process that started well before the draft.

Tennessee lured free-agent guard Andy Levitre away from Buffalo with a six-year, $46.8 million contract. The Titans also signed free agent guard/centers Rob Turner and Chris Spencer. Fernando Velasco, the Titans' starting center last year, signed a one-year tender Monday.

Titans coach Mike Munchak, a Hall of Fame guard, is trying to improve a line that didn't open up enough running room for Chris Johnson or provide enough protection for Jake Locker last season.

All those additions naturally might create uncertainty for the returning linemen.

``The natural question is, `What does this mean for me?' `` Munchak said. ``It means do everything you need to do to be the best player you can be. You'll get your opportunity on the field. You're going to have an opportunity to compete and make the team if you're one of the best players. Competition, there's nothing bad about that.''

Schwenke started 12 games at left guard for California in 2011 and moved to center last season. The Titans believe he can play both spots, but they prefer him at center. He recorded 85 knockdowns last season and finished second to Stanford tackle David Yankey in balloting for the Morris Trophy that goes to the Pac-12's top offensive lineman.

Schwenke worked out with Warmack before the draft and said he looked forward to playing alongside him. Both of them said they hoped before the draft they'd end up in Tennessee because they wanted to play for Munchak and offensive line coach Bruce Matthews, both Hall of Fame guards.

Warmack's ``just an absolute monster on the field,'' Schwenke said. ``He's a great player. I watched his film. I'm very excited. I never thought I'd get to play next to him.''

Schwenke says he has the type of mean streak that he considers an essential ingredient for a successful offensive lineman.

``Absolutely, the best offensive linemen have a little bit of nastiness in them,'' Schwenke said. ``I don't think you're going to find the best offensive lineman who's a nice guy on the field. It's not going to happen.''

Schwenke garnered the Titans' interest with his performance at the Senior Bowl. After looking at his game tapes, the Titans were even more intrigued.

``Eyeballing him at the Senior Bowl, he stood out to me,'' Matthews said. ``Like Munch said, coming back and studying tape, I agree he was the top center as far as we were concerned. I'm very pleased he was still available.''

Schwenke will get a chance to play immediately.

``The best five's going to play,'' Matthews said. ``If that means two rookies, that's great, it means those guys are developing and doing well.''

The defensive line also is an area of need for the Titans, who gave up a league-high 29.4 points per game last year. But they didn't drat a defensive lineman until their fifth-round selection of Edwards. The Titans believe Edwards' so-so production at LSU isn't an accurate reflection of his potential.

Edwards, who is 6-foot-4 and 270 pounds, recorded 4 1/2 sacks while starting only six games last year for a talent-laden LSU line that included Cleveland Browns first-round draft pick Barkevious Mingo and Houston Texans third-round selection Sam Montgomery.

``You would assume because the numbers don't compare to those guys that we got a lesser player,'' Titans college scout Jon Salge said. ``That's absolutely false. We've got a guy here that if he were playing for another team with maybe a little bit less talent at defensive end, this guy would play a lot more. His numbers would be up. This guy would have gone much higher in the draft. We're absolutely thrilled to get a guy with this kind of skill set where we got him.''

Edwards was the fourth Southeastern Conference player the Titans chose among their first six picks. After taking Warmack in the first round, the Titans traded up to take Tennessee wide receiver Justin Hunter in the second round and chose Missouri outside linebacker Zaviar Gooden in the third round.

Wooten should team up with Connecticut cornerback and third-round pick Blidi Wreh-Wilson to add depth to the Titans' secondary. Wooten also can help out on special teams, as he returned kickoffs and punts at Nevada.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Mike PounceyJul 23 12:33p

Miami Dolphins C Mike Pouncey (hip) could miss the first eight weeks of the season because of the hip surgery he had this offseason, according to a source. He [ More ]

Evan RodriguezJul 23 12:23p

Buffalo Bills FB Evan Rodriguez (cramps) and TE Chris Gragg (cramps) were hospitalized because of complications from cramps and were getting hydrated, according to head coach Doug Marrone. Rodriguez [ More ]

Dustin HopkinsJul 23 12:20p

Buffalo Bills PK Dustin Hopkins will have to try to make the roster as a kickoff specialist, according to head coach Doug Marrone.

Vernon DavisJul 23 12:13p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis has reported to camp Wednesday, July 23, according to an Instagram post from 49ers S C.J. Spillman.

Jason BabinJul 23 12:03p

New York Jets signed DE Jason Babin (Jaguars) to a two-year contract, with the second year being a team option. He's expected to serve as a situational pass rusher.

Reggie WayneJul 23 11:13a

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (knee) said he has been medically cleared to practice. He's expected to be limited, though, especially in the near future.

Kraig UrbikJul 23 10:53a

Buffalo Bills OG Chris Hairston continued to receive first-team repetitions at right guard in the red zone drills Wednesday, July 23. OG Kraig Urbik struggled with first-team the previous day.

Jamaal CharlesJul 23 09:53a

Updating previous reports, Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles will not report to training camp Wednesday, July 23, barring a major contract breakthrough.

Vick BallardJul 23 09:33a

Indianapolis Colts RB Vick Ballard (knee) reported to camp and has passed his physical.

Rob GronkowskiJul 23 08:53a

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) has been cleared for contact and will not be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list, according to head coach Bill Belichick.

Evan RodriguezJul 23 08:43a

Buffalo Bills TE Chris Gragg (cramps), FB Evan Rodriguez (cramps) and CB Brandon E. Smith (leg) were out of practice Wednesday, July 23. OT Seantrel Henderson (hip) returned to action.

Rashad JenningsJul 23 08:23a

New York Giants RBs Rashad Jennings, David Wilson and Andre Williams could be used in a three-man rotation this season to keep Jennings fresh.

Caleb McSurdyJul 23 02:53a

The St. Louis Rams waived four players Tuesday, July 22, as they cut loose OL Abasi Salimu, WR Diontae Spencer, LB Caleb McSurdy, and LB Tavarius Wilson.

Carl NicksJul 23 02:43a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Bobby Rainey, G Carl Nicks and DE Da'Quan Bowers may be fighting for roster spots once training camp begins due to other competition for their [ More ]

Chris CulliverJul 23 01:13a

San Francisco 49ers CB Chris Culliver (knee) has been cleared to take part in practice when training camp opens this week. He suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament to [ More ]

Ben TateJul 23 01:13a

Cleveland Browns RBs Ben Tate and Terrance West will compete for the starting tailback job during training camp and the preseason, and it's a battle head coach Mike Pettine [ More ]

Joel BitonioJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns OG Joel Bitonio (ankle) lined up with the first-team offense during organized team activities (OTAs), and he held the spot until he suffered a sprained ankle June [ More ]

Paul McQuistanJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns OLs Garrett Gilkey, Paul McQuistan and Jason Pinkston are fighting for position in the pecking order at right guard, and one of them might even push OG [ More ]

Craig RobertsonJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns LBs Christian Kirksey and Craig Robertson will compete for an inside linebacker job during training camp, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Joe HadenJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns CBs Justin Gilbert and Buster Skrine will compete for the starting cornerback job opposite CB Joe Haden in training camp. 'We weren't going to hand Justin that [ More ]

Gary BarnidgeJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns TEs Gary Barnidge and Jim Dray will battle for the No. 2 tight end spot during training camp and the preseason.

Eli ManningJul 23 12:23a

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) has shown no ill effects during camp from ankle surgery that sidelined him for earlier offseason activities.

Tom CoughlinJul 22 11:53p

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin was not happy that several players were forced to leave practice with dehydration issues Tuesday, July 22. 'It pisses me off,' Coughlin [ More ]

Brandon LloydJul 22 11:23p

San Francisco 49ers WR Stevie Johnson is the frontrunner for the No. 3 WR job, according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, but he added that neither Johnson nor WR [ More ]

Darren SprolesJul 22 11:13p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Darren Sproles' ability to win one-on-one matchups in space is what head coach Chip Kelly plans to exploit this season. Kelly said opposing defenses played a [ More ]

Thaddeus LewisJul 22 11:03p

Buffalo Bills QB Thaddeus Lewis and WR Tori Gurley had miscommunications on three occasions Tuesday, July 22, resulting in two incomplete passes and an interception. Joe Buscaglia of WGR [ More ]

Thaddeus LewisJul 22 10:53p

Buffalo Bills QB Thaddeus Lewis and QB Jeff Tuel are in an open competition for the backup quarterback job, head coach Doug Marrone said Tuesday, July 22.

Brian MoormanJul 22 10:43p

Buffalo Bills P Brian Moorman was more effective than P Jake Dombrowski on punts in terms of both average hang time and average distance Tuesday, July 22.

Titus YoungJul 22 09:53p

Updating a previous story, free-agent WR Titus Young (Lions) was charged with felony battery with serious bodily injury from an alleged July 8 incident inside a Los Angeles-area hospital. [ More ]

Ryan MathewsJul 22 09:43p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews' rookie contract will expire after the 2014 season, which means this could be his final year with the organization, in the opinion of [ More ]

Mario WilliamsJul 22 09:43p

Buffalo Bills DE Mario Williams, DT Marcell Dareus and DT Kyle D. Williams were all rotated out of the lineup at times during team drills Tuesday, July 22. LB [ More ]

Nigel BradhamJul 22 09:23p

Buffalo Bills LB Nigel Bradham was one of eight players to record sacks during team drills Tuesday, July 22. The team's pass rush has been consistent since camp began, [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group