Tennessee Titans: Offensive Line May Be Biggest Question of All

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Tennessee Titans: Offensive Line May Be Biggest Question of All
Brian A. Westerholt/Getty Images

Training camp is just a couple weeks away with plenty of questions still needing to be cleared up for the Tennessee Titans before their season opener against the New England Patriots.

Perhaps the area that isn't getting talked about enough is the offensive line that had its ups and downs in 2011.

Sure, the offensive line did an exceptional job at protecting the quarterback, which did allow Matt Hasselbeck to have one of his best seasons statistically in quite some time.

There's still a need for improvement moving forward. It was no mistake that the Titans were courting plenty of offensive lineman during the offseason.

Steven Hutchinson ended up choosing the Titans, but there's still doubt surrounding a few other guys on the offensive line.

Hutchinson is probably past the peak of his career and isn't what he once was. He'll definitely need to be the veteran that keeps this unit glued together.

First and foremost, Eugene Amano has not played particularly well at the center position since moving there from guard.

Although filling Kevin Mawae's shoes was a tall order for a guy that was changing positions, Amano really has to get it together if he's going to survive another season as a starter.

Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The Titans illustrated their desire to effectively relieve Amano of his duties by opening up discussions with Scott Wells, but Wells chose the St. Louis Rams in the end.

Now the Titans have officially opened up the competition at center, with Fernando Velasco and Kevin Matthews being the primary two guys to give Amano some competition.

Even though Matthews is obviously the son of Bruce Matthews, who is also his offensive line coach, it's unlikely that he leap frogs Velasco on the depth chart.

If anyone becomes the new starting center for the Titans it will be Velasco, but he's another unproven commodity as a full-time starter.

Depth is also an issue for this offensive line once you get past the nice duo of Michael Roos and David Stewart.

In basic terms, the Titans are really just one injury away from relying on a ton of inexperience to protect an aging quarterback or seemingly a rookie quarterback in Jake Locker.

Hopefully, Byron Stingily continues to come along in training camp to solve this depth issue that has the probability of turning disastrous. 

Stingily was drafted in the sixth-round in 2011.

The offensive line is a major key to how the season goes for the Titans, especially if Locker becomes the starting quarterback.

It's also critical that the interior offensive line plays well to make sure Chris Johnson has a bounce-back year.

They didn't do Johnson any favors in 2011, to put it mildly.

Once again Hutchinson should help with those problems from last season, but Leroy Harris will also need to become more consistent in run blocking.

Harris could be the one guy that helps Johnson return to form if he play on a consistent level.

The Titans do have one thing going for them in this regard and that's having two legendary offensive lineman coaching them in Mike Munchak and Matthews.

If these two Hall of Fame offensive lineman can coach this group into right direction, then the Titans have a good shot at having a potent offensive attack this season.

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