We continue our position group analyses with a look at the offensive tackles. While Total Titans has often been critical of the offensive line in the last three years, we do recognize the Titans have one of the better tackle tandems in the league, particularly in pass protection.
Michael Roos has started every game for the Titans since he was drafted in 2005. He was the Titans’ starting right tackle as a rookie and moved to left tackle the following season, replacing the retiring Brad Hopkins, who had been a fixture there since 1993. Roos’ best season by far was 2008, when he was named first-team All-Pro and selected to the Pro Bowl. His contract runs through 2014, a voidable year. More after the jump.
David Stewart, a classmate of Roos in the 2005 draft, took over the right tackle spot from Roos in 2006. He was selected to the All-Pro second-team for his work in the 2009 season, when he was the Titans’ best offensive lineman. Like Roos, Stewart signed a six-year contract extension in 2008, through the 2014 season, also a voidable year.
Roos and Stewart are each among the top tackles in the league and should continue to be for several more years. The Titans have been fortunate that they’re durable – Roos hasn’t missed a start and Stewart has missed only two since becoming a starter. With any luck, they’ll continue to remain healthy for the remainder of their contracts. However, if they are not, someone among the following players will be called upon.
Mike Otto was re-signed to a two-year deal in the offseason. He’s been the Titans’ swing tackle since the departure of Daniel Loper, but has been rarely used. Otto does get into the game occasionally as a third tackle/extra tight end and is a blocker on the kickoff return team. In the Titans first preseason game on Saturday night, Otto relieved Stewart at right tackle, where he remained with both the second and third lines.
Byron Stingily, a seventh-round draft pick in 2011, didn’t appear in any games last year. He’s listed as the second-string right tackle on the depth chart on the Titans’ website, but played left tackle with the second, third and fourth lines against the Seahawks on Saturday night.
Troy Kropog, designated as a T/G on the Titans’ website, is third on the depth chart at right tackle. He’s been on and off the roster since being drafted in the fourth round in 2009, or as Tom aptly described him, “more or less a bust.” Unless I missed him on special teams, Kropog didn’t participate in the Seahawks game until the final six snaps, replacing Otto at RT.
Outlook: Health permitting, the Titans should continue to be good at tackle. However, if the dreaded injury bug were to hit either Roos or Stewart, it will be bad news, especially for the Titans’ quarterback, whether Hasselbeck or Locker.