AFC South: Leonard Davis
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.
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
ARLINGTON, Texas -- I've seen Cowboys Stadium from a distance and will head over in a while. You'll find a post with some first impressions from there.
Meanwhile, here are three things I'll be looking for as the Titans take on the Cowboys:
1. How quickly does Jeff Fisher pull Kerry Collins? Early in the week the coach talked of Vince Young getting time with the first team, but later he indicated the plan isn't firm. I suspect if Collins is good, he'll sit relatively early and if he's not he'll play longer. Either way Young should get at least a little time with the ones, and how he fares against the Cowboys first-stringer will be of major interest.
2. What's the return game look like? One of the top punt return candidates stayed home with a hamstring injury, and Chris Davis compounded his problems with a DUI. Mark Jones might play some receiver but won't be on special teams. Ryan Mouton (ankle) will also be missing. Can any of the other guys lining up to field punts or kicks -- Jason McCourty, Javon Ringer, Rafael Little or even Tuff Harris -- make a good impression?
3. How's the pass rush? The Cowboys are slated to play starters through the first half. Do the Titans effectively rush with four, as they hope to continue to do on a regular basis, while rolling through their top defensive linemen? This should be a good indicator of how well they can track the quarterback without help from any blitzers. Two massive pieces of the Cowboys' line, left tackle Flozell Adams (340 pounds) and right guard Leonard Davis (353) can be hard to get by.