Is Titans left tackle Michael Roos maintaining his typical high level of play?
Rookie pass-rusher Chandler Jones had a big first game for the Patriots Sunday in New England’s 34-13 victory at LP Field. He was going against Roos, long-regarded as a top-tier left tackle who doesn’t get enough credit.
But during the preseason, I heard from Mike Tanier, now of Sports on Earth, that Roos might be starting to slip. And his effort Sunday, while just one game, suggested there could be something there.
We’ve typically put the Titans offensive-line problems on the interior, particularly center Eugene Amano and guard Leroy Harris. Tennessee looked at a bunch of free-agent centers but stood pat, and Amano was hurt early in camp, lost for the season and replaced by Fernando Velasco. Harris flipped from left guard to right guard to accommodate the arrival of free agent Steve Hutchinson.
Have Roos and right tackle David Stewart gotten a bit of a pass?
I’m not ready to say so yet, but the tackles were not discernibly better than the interior in a bad day on Sunday.
No matter how poorly Chris Johnson ran, the run blocking was not sufficient anywhere.
“As far as run blocking in general, we weren’t good enough, and that’s the whole group,” coach Mike Munchak said. “We weren’t consistently good enough. Anytime you run for 15 yards, you’re not going to say anyone is blocking well in the run game. When we ran well, we blocked well, and we’ve got to do better next week.”
Quarterback Jake Locker was sacked twice and hit three times and I didn’t feel like he was under much steady pressure, though Jones was a handful. He beat Roos to strip Locker near the Titans goal line, and rookie linebacker Dont'a Hightower scooped it and scored from 6 yards out to put New England up 14-3.
“Jones is a good player, I think he’s going to be real good,” Roos said. “He’s tall, very athletic, able to use his size. There is a reason they drafted him in the first round.
“He’s a starting end in the NFL, so any guy is going to give you some trouble, There were some tougher blocks for me. The one he got my hands and got around me and stripped Jake. That was unfortunate, I thought I had him. It happened so quick. On my part, that’s just me not getting my head down in the play and trying to stay with it.”
Munchak said there is nothing to the idea that Roos’ game could be starting to tail off.
“Yeah, the thing is, we threw the ball (43) times,” Munchak said. “… I think he blocked well for most of the game. The life of an offensive lineman is you get beat one time, you had a bad day. He got beat once for a big play, which normally, he very rarely gets beat. So again, the kid made a nice play on him, a big play for them and it definitely factored in the game, especially at that point in the game, early in the game.”