Could Manuwai upgrade Titans run game?

October, 25, 2011
10/25/11
4:29
PM ET
It’ll be a surprise if the Titans make a big offensive line move any time soon, though I think they should consider one. They had four guards in for a look today, but regular Tuesday workouts rarely turn into transactions in Tennessee.

Manuwai
Manuwai
Stanley Daniels, Leonard Davis, Vince Manuwai and Duke Robinson were at team headquarters. The team usually rotates though positions to stay updated on available players. It seems likely to be more than a coincidence they looked at guards considering it's been a weak spot recently.

As recently as last year, Manuwai was the Jacksonville Jaguars’ top run-blocking, best tone-setting offensive linemen.

I talked to him before he left Nashville to head for Oregon State, where he’s been working out under the watch of his offensive line coach from Hawaii.

“It went pretty good,” he said. “I didn’t know what to look for. It was a little tense, I was a little more nervous. It was a little different, rapid fire. They didn’t really say anything too much.”

A lingering ankle injury, his weight and his price -- a $500,000 roster bonus and $3 million salary -- were issues when the Jaguars released him after the lockout. He said the ankle flare up has settled down and allowed him to get down to 328 pounds from 344. Tired from the full workout, he said he benched 315 pounds 11 times afterward.

If he’s healthy and if he’s trimmed down and the Titans are willing to concede they need outside help, he’s a guy who could come in as an outsider and have a chance to help create space for Chris Johnson. Maurice Jones-Drew’s best work last season came when Manuwai was in the lineup. In nine games when both started, Jones-Drew carried 194 times for 918 yards, good for a 4.7-yard average.

Would the Titans be sacrificing something in pass protection if they made a move that ultimately got Manuwai in the lineup? Perhaps.

Coach Mike Munchak said Monday one reason the team is hesitant to pull left guard Leroy Harris or center Eugene Amano and insert Fernando Velasco off the bench is because they aren’t certain what they might gain in rushing yardage would be worth what they’d add in terms of hits on quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.

That’s an important consideration for sure. But a healthy and fit Manuwai is much more of a proven commodity than Velasco.

If Manuwai looked good, he’s a guy they should ponder adding to the bench to get acclimated and have ready if they decide a change needs to be made.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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