NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The 2020 season figures to go much more smoothly—for the Tennessee Titans’ offensive line than the 2019 season did.

In 2019, the group struggled at the start of the season. Their pass protection was a mess and they were flagged for a large number of penalties.

About halfway through the season, though, things improved drastically and the Titans’ offensive line began to perform at a high level.

The group hopes to build off of that success heading into 2020.

“It is tough because we ended so hot last year, we ended so strong,” left tackle Taylor Lewan said. “If we can start where we finished, we can help this team out quite a bit as a group, and I think that is obviously the goal.”

Rodger Saffold, the Titans’ left guard, also believes that the offensive line is on an upward trajectory.

“With the direction we’re heading in the offensive line room, I feel like we’re gelling really well, working really well,” he said.

While much of the Titans’ offensive terminology wasn’t new in 2019, a lot of other things were. It was offensive coordinator Arthur Smith’s first year in that role, and the o-line had two new starters in Saffold and rookie right guard Nate Davis.

That newness led to some mental barriers early on in 2019, but the Titans’ offensive line was able to push past their early struggles.

“There was definitely an adjustment last season with everything being new,” Saffold said. Having the perseverance to keep working through it and start meshing with the rest of the line, it allowed us to have a lot of success at the end of the year.”

One of the things that helped the Titans’ o-line the most as the group overcame its early-season struggles in 2018 was communication.

While having the ability to communicate well leads to ease on the field, that process begins off the field for the Titans’ offensive line.

“Communicating is just talking,” Lewan said. “Rodger and I text constantly, we have a group chat. We’re always talking, we’re always getting together whether we’re gaming online, FaceTiming.”

The extra work that the Titans offensive line puts into communication when they’re away from the stadium and the practice facility allows the players to be more in tune with each other during games.

“When you start growing collectively, that’s when things start to get fun like they did at the end of last season,” Saffold said.

The Titans’ offensive linemen may not know when or if the 2020 season will begin due to the coronavirus, but whenever that time comes, they’re planning on a fast start.

“I just really plan on seeing some success this upcoming season,” Saffold said.

MORE: How A.J. Brown and Jeffery Simmons Are Looking to Improve in 2020

Cover image: Geoff Burke & Reinhold Matay / USA Today
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