The Tennessee Titans made a concerted effort to bolster their interior line this offseason, and understandably so.
After watching Chris Johnson dance around the backfield a few too many times in 2012, Tennessee released guards from an underperforming unit while paying prized free agent Andy Levitre quite handsomely, and devoting their tenth overall selection to Alabama guard Chance Warmack. The 6-2, 317-pound mauler should make an immediate impact from Week 1 but could go from promising rookie to star very quickly if he improves his ability in pass pro to complement his NFL-ready blocking in the run game.
“Chance has been a pro, and he’s an extremely strong man,” Titans offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said, via The Tennessean. “It’s been good that he’s gotten a lot of work (in the OTAs) … because some of the bad habits he had in pass (protection), we’re able to see and fix. He has to keep moving his feet. At the college level, he was so strong that once he latched on, he was able to manhandle people. So he’ll have to continue to use his feet and improve that area of his game.”
The Titans’ interior line now presents an interesting combination of talents. You have versatile center Fernando Velasco who also excelled at guard last year, an excellent pass blocker in Levitre who lacks in getting push for the run, and a road-grader who could improve his skills against the pass rush in Warmack. Tennessee’s top pick seems to know where work must be done in his first pro training camp.
“Yeah, it’s just knowing who you’re going against and knowing the situations, as opposed to college where you can maybe get away with a few things,” Warmack said. “It’s just taking care of the little things and that will make you a better player.”