Titans reconstruct O-line

Departures, suspension leave line in state of flux

The Titans are undergoing one big change on the offensive line, as they replace right tackle Fred Miller who didn't miss a game in five seasons with the team.

But Brad Hopkins' one-game suspension at the start of the season will have a huge trickle down effect on the look of the line for the season opener in Pittsburgh. Heading into their preseason finale against Green Bay, Tennessee still had a lot of moving parts.

Michael Roos will be the starting right tackle this season, but he will move to the left side to replace Hopkins on Sept. 11.

The question is what the Titans will do on the right side.

Todd Williams appears to have played himself out of the mix, and rookie David Stewart is limited some by a fractured hand, though he's recently been using a new fitted brace that allows more movement. In San Francisco the Titans pulled center Justin Hartwig and played him on the right, with Eugene Amano taking over at center. Before and after the move, the Titans' line was poor in pass protection.

"I haven't played there in four years," Hartwig said. "I think I did some good things, but there were also a few glaring mistakes out there as far as I was concerned. I felt pretty comfortable out there, and if we do decide to go with that option I think I would fair pretty well."

Another possibility for right tackle is Jacob Bell, who played last season as Piller's replacement at left guard. Bell is coming off an ACL repair, and didn't play in the first three preseason games.

Ideally the Titans would have things sorted out by now, so they'd have a little continuity heading toward Heinz Field. Coach Jeff Fisher is wary of the Hartwig-Amano move, because it would amount to a line with only two players, guards Benji Olson and Zach Piller, playing in their regular spots.

"Anytime you make a change, the last thing you want to do is have changes at three positions, and if this is the direction we go, we will have done that," Fisher said. "You would prefer to make one change. That's the best-case scenario. The worst-case scenario is three changes."

Williams is a great overcoming-the-odds story, but he may be in his final days with the team.

"Todd did some good things and then made some mistakes; that has been Todd," Fisher said after the 49ers game. "That is our concern right now. We are going to try to sort these things out this week. In all likelihood, the way that we potentially start this game could very well be the way we go to Pittsburgh."

Before a high school coach set him on track towards Florida State, Williams spent some time in Miami breaking into motel rooms in order to have a place to stay and was on a path to a lot of trouble.

"I really don't have a feeling, I just want to keep getting better day by day," he said. "God determines my fate. If I'm supposed to be here, I'm supposed to be here."

Should he fail to make the team, which spent three draft picks on offensive linemen this year, odds are another team would want to look at the 6-5, 325 lineman.

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