The Tennessee Titans announced today they signed guard/center Eric Olsen. It is a one-year deal. Terms were undisclosed.
Olsen spent time on the Steelers roster in 2013, though he was not active for any games. He last played in the NFL in 2012 with the Saints. He played in 16 games, starting 4 of them. Those 4 official starts each game when he was in the game as a sixth offensive lineman. Of his 174 snaps on offense that year, I would guess about all of them came in that 6OL role as the Saints’ regular starting interior offensive linemen missed 2 snaps combined over the course of the year. He broke into the league as a Broncos sixth-round pick in 2010 out of Notre Dame, where he started at left guard, right guard, and center. He is listed at 6’3, 305 pounds and turns 26 in June. Aside from that he has a cool Junior Seau story, I have no specific knowledge or opinion of his strengths and weaknesses or overall level of ability as a player.
The obvious role for him is a camp competition with the just re-signed Chris Spencer, as both players fit the same general mold, a good gameday reserve with the ability to step in at each of the three interior positions. As I noted in that Spencer post, though, teams generally keep two reserve interior offensive linemen. In that case, the roster could well have room for both Olsen and Spencer on it. The competition both men are likely involved in is not so much a direct competition against each other, the way the return battle has gone the past couple seasons and likely will go again this year, as an open multi-way competition, where they’re competing against each other and other players like 2013 practice squadder Tyler Horn for those two interior reserve spots. May the best men win.