We continue our offseason positional analysis by turning our attention to the offensive tackles. In contrast to the quarterback position, which is in a state of utter uncertainty, the tackles are the most stable of all the position groups on the Titans.
Michael Roos and David Stewart both received votes for the 2010 Associated Press All-Pro team. Unlike the Pro Bowl selection process, which can be a joke, receiving consideration for the AP All-Pro team is an honor which is indicative of superior play.
Roos and Stewart are both are under contract for three more seasons. They have decent depth behind them, so it’s one position group that won’t need to be addressed this offseason. Another positive — both players are extremely durable. Roos hasn’t missed a start in his six-year career. Stewart has missed only one since becoming a starter in 2006.
I’m glad someone thought enough of Roos to vote for him for the All-Pro team. His play certainly wasn’t up to standard as far as I was concerned. Too many penalties, too many sacks given up, too much pressure allowed on the quarterback. It gets worse — he played even more poorly as a run-blocker. Maybe the sportswriter who voted for him was confusing him with the 2008 Michael Roos.
In contrast, I thought Stewart had a good 2010 season. He was clearly the best player on the offensive line last year. Not that that’s saying much, but Big Country was very solid.
I’m a Big Country fan and have one of his game-worn jerseys. My co-author Tom is a big Roos fan and has his jersey. After watching each of them play last year, I wonder if Tom is pondering switching his allegiance. Just kidding, Tom.
Michael Otto maintained his spot as the third tackle, though he spends his playing time on special teams and as an occasional extra tight end, where he was credited with a start last year.
Troy Kropog, a fourth-round draft pick, was expected to surpass Otto (a seventh-rounder) on the depth chart, but it didn’t happen. Kropog appeared in five games last year, and only then because Otto was sidelined with a knee injury. After Otto recovered, he played in the final eleven games last year while Kropog was inactive on Sundays.
Although Kropog can play both tackle and guard, and was expected to take over the swingman role previously manned by Daniel Loper and Leroy Harris, it was Otto who won that battle.
Otto is scheduled to be a restricted free agent this year and we’ll have to see how that pans out with the CBA. However that works out, I fully expect the Titans to tender him, keeping him onboard for another season.
Unless there’s someone they really like who falls in the draft, and they see great value in him, I don’t expect the Titans to draft a tackle. It’s far more likely that they’ll draft a guard, though I could see them drafting a tackle with the intention of moving him inside.