Centered by Amano, Titans 2011 O-line was picture of stability

Monday, June 11, 2012 at 10:45pm

The Tennessee Titans offensive line was a picture of stability in 2011.

The starting five were the same for 15 of the 16 games. Only when right tackle David Stewart sat out a late-November victory over Tampa Bay was the continuity upset.

No one was more firmly entrenched than center Eugene Amano, who according to position coach Bruce Matthews, was on the field for all but one snap of the entire season.

Yet with the start of the 2012 season a little more than three months out, Amano’s spot is anything but secure. And in recent years, no spot on the offensive line has been more volatile than center.

Since the franchise became the Titans and began to play its home games at LP Field, nine different players have started at least one game at center. That matches left guard for the most different starters, but six started more than 10 games at center, which is one more that at left guard.

This offseason, Titans officials met with free agents such as Scott Wells and Jeff Saturday but for now have settled on a competition between Amano and Kevin Matthews. Fernando Velasco and Leroy Harris, who are among the nine to start at least once at center, have not been ruled out as possibilities either.

Here’s a look at which players have started, and at how many times they have started at each of the five offensive line positions for the Tennessee Titans from 1999 through 2011:

• Left tackle: Brad Hopkins, 101; Michael Roos, 97; Jason Mathews, 10.

• Left guard: Zach Piller, 58; Jacob Bell, 43; Bruce Matthews, 35; Leroy Harris, 32; Eugene Amano, 32; Tom Ackerman, 3; Scott Sanderson, 3; Jason Layman, 1; Fernando Velasco, 1.

• Center: Kevin Mawae, 61; Justin Hartwig, 47; Kevin Long, 33; Eugene Amano, 32; Gennaro DiNapoli, 18; Bruce Matthews, 13; Fernando Velasco, 2; Leroy Harris, 1; Kevin Matthews, 1.

• Right guard: Benji Olson, 139; Jake Scott, 64; Eugene Amano 4; Jason Mathews, 1.

• Right tackle: David Stewart, 92; Fred Miller, 80; Jon Runyan, 16; Michael Roos, 15; Jacob Bell, 3, Leroy Harris, 1; Mike Otto, 1.

1 Comment on this post:

By: 4gold on 6/13/12 at 7:15

Titans ignored the main weakness of last years team that created 2 yd. Johnson. Year before last this line produced two quarterbacks with broken fingers. Getting pushed back into the QB's face and hitting helmets on the follow through. Still got two thirds of that O line. Unbelievable. The Decade of nonfactor Titans continues. Don't jump me. The NFL guys have them picked behind Texans and Jacksonville.