The Tennessee Titans have made no secret that jobs are up for grabs on the offensive line – namely the left guard spot.
While Coach Mike Mularkey has said that he wants to determine who will be his starters at both guard positions, he also said Tuesday that Chance Warmack taking reps at left guard is “on hold” for now.
That means the left guard spot is currently a battle between three young players. Quinton Spain, who finished last year as the starter, is trying to hold off last year’s third-round pick Jeremiah Poutasi and this year’s sixth-rounder Sebastian Tretola. Also, don’t rule out Andy Gallik and Brian Schwenke getting into that mix before it is over. Both have starting experience at center, but that spot now belongs to Ben Jones.
For all the talk and predictions of who might claim what in training camp and preseason, don’t underestimate the incumbent keeping the position.
Spain, an undrafted rookie from West Virginia in 2015, might have been drafted had it not been for a knee injury that slowed him coming out of college. Spain was mostly a developmental player, active for only seven games a year ago, but a few weeks after Mularkey took over as interim coach, Spain got his opportunity, starting the final six games of the year for the Titans at left guard.
Thus far in OTAs, he has been getting first-team reps on the offensive line.
“He was probably one of our most physical linemen that we had up front, which is what we want,” Mularkey said. “To be thrown in there as an undrafted o-lineman and to play against some of the guys that he was playing against, I thought he held his own. Now, he’s got a fresh start right from the beginning. He’s getting a fresh start, he’s getting them with the starters. I think his progress has been very good.”
The measure of how much progress obviously won’t come until training camp and preseason, but Spain has done nothing to hurt himself in the competition, and if he continues to hold serve, he could very well maintain the starting job he first claimed last year.