Next up on our trip around the Tennessee Titans position by position as we approach the 2013 regular season is a look at the offensive tackle.
As I noted in the offseason look, you can basically write tackle names in pen for another year. Barring injury, Michael Roos will be the starting left tackle for the eighth consecutive season. I named him the Titans' offensive MVP last season, admittedly a choice as much by default as anything else. He missed his first career game last year, though due to an appendectomy I think you can fairly state is extraordinarily unlikely to recur. His back flared up during OTAs, but he's back and fully participating in training camp, so I'm not worried. A smooth and generally efficient pass blocker who has never been and will never be a people-mover in the run game, he was among the league's better left tackles again in 2012, and while he probably won't ever rank in the top five again should be an extremely reliable presence once again.
At the other end of the line for the seventh consecutive season opener will be David Stewart. Coming off a broken leg suffered in Week 13 against Houston, I wondered about the pace of his recovery, but after missing OTAs like Roos he is fully participating in training camp with no major limitations or slowness that I've seen reported. As I have a tendency of repeating, he's a mauler, but that effect has rarely been visible in statistics showing how effective the Titans are running to the right side outside of 2009. He's also vulnerable to speed rushers; not so much so as someone like Phil Loadholt, but it's an issue. He also had a team-high (among O-linemen) 7 penalties last year, including a couple in the game in Houston where Brooks Reed seemed to get under his skin. He turns 31 later this month (Roos hits the same mark in early October) and it's worth monitoring how he fares going forward, but he should be at least an average starting right tackle this year.no comments