TRAINING CAMP PREVIEW: OFFENSIVE LINE
In camp (16): T Andre Dillard, OL Daniel Brunskill, C/G Aaron Brewer, OT Nicholas Petit-Frere, OL Peter Skoronski, C/G Corey Levin, OL Jaelyn Duncan, OL Jamarco Jones, C/G Xavier Newman, OL Dillon Radunz, OL Zack Johnson, G Jordan Roos, T Andrew Rupcich, T John Leglue, OL John Ojukwu, C James Empey.
Offseason developments: The Titans said goodbye to a pair of veterans, as left tackle Taylor Lewan and center Ben Jones were released. The Titans also parted ways with offensive line coach Keith Carter, replacing him with Jason Houghtaling and hiring Matt Jones as an assistant. The team then got really busy, signing Dillard and Brunskill in free agency, and also re-signing Brewer and Levin. Skoronski was taken in the first round of the NFL Draft, and Duncan was selected in the sixth round. Meanwhile, former starting guard Nate Davis signed with the Bears, former tackle Dennis Daley signed with the Cardinals and former back-up lineman Le’Raven Clark signed with the Steelers. Daniel Munyer hasn’t been re-signed, and he remains a free agent. The Titans signed lineman Empey after a rookie minicamp tryout, after earlier signing Ojukwu as an undrafted free agent. Leglue signed a futures contact with the team way back in January. Radunz spent the offseason rehabbing and recovering from last year’s ACL injury, and didn’t take part in the offseason work. Newman returned, and his battling approach didn’t go unnoticed. Neither did Ojukwu’s solid work during the offseason. The late curveball came in late June, when the NFL suspended Petit-Frere for the first six games of the 2023 season for a violation of the league’s gambling policy.
In the spotlight: Skoronski. The Northwestern product settled into a reshaped offensive line pretty smoothly this offseason, working mostly at guard but also some at tackle. The Titans like Skoronski’s skill-set and demeanor, and believe he’ll be ready to start from the get-go. In non-padded practices, Skoronski worked on his technique, and chemistry with the team’s other offensive linemen. When the pads come on during camp, everyone will get to see what he’s really all about.
Battle to watch: What happens at RT? One position the Titans didn’t have to worry about most the offseason was right tackle, where Petit-Frere was set to start after playing there 16 games in 2022. But that all changed following Petit-Frere’s six game suspension. So, what will the Titans do at the start of the season? Well, there are plenty of options at RT, from Brunskill to Skoronski to Jamarco Jones to Duncan to Rupcich. Some of the options, however, would require some shuffling from other positions. And, let’s not forget Petit-Frere will be taking in part in camp himself, so he’ll get some reps as well. It’s going to be interesting to see how the team sorts things out.
Keep an eye on: Jaelyn Duncan. A good deal of the talk following Tennessee’s draft was about the selection of Skoronski in the first round. The Titans picked Duncan several rounds later, and threw him into the competition earlier this offseason. The 6-foot-6, 306-pound Duncan is a physically gifted player, with great athleticism. There’s no doubt he looks the part, and he’s already developed a reputation for being a smart young man as well. The questions surrounding Duncan at Maryland centered on just how bad he wants it. The Titans will push Duncan to be the best he can be, and his development will be worth watching.