With just one preseason game to go for the Tennessee Titans the battle at right tackle took a dramatic shift at practice Monday with rookie Nicholas Petit-Frere taking all of the first team reps.
That does not mean the job belongs to the third round pick from Ohio State, but it is a clear indication he has moved ahead of second year tackle Dillon Radunz.
Petit-Frere has played both the left and right tackle positions in the preseason and head coach Mike Vrabel is pleased with how he has handled it, “That’s something that we’re always looking for, is that you have some versatility and flexibility to play more than one position. Nick (Nicholas Petit-Frere) has shown that.”
“I feel like I’ve grown a lot.” said Petit-Frere “I mean the vets here are amazing , coach Keith (Carter) is amazing as well and Vrabes also comes in and helps me out as well. It’s just, growing is kind of built with getting reps, there’s going to be reps where you lose and reps where you win, and even reps where you feel like you won but there’s a small technique change you can make for you to improve and make it better.”
Not only did Radunz not take any first team reps at right tackle, he did not take any at all. Instead he took reps at left guard, second team left guard behind Aaron Brewer.
Vrabel did not hide that they are still trying to find the position that suits Radunz best, “We are just trying to shuffle guys around and see. We’ve had some guys out and just trying to figure out where guys are going to be best served for themselves and for us.”
The Titans signed veteran Jacoby Jones in the offseason but he has missed numerous practices with injuries giving Radunz a chance to prove he has value in an entirely different way. At 6-6 305 pounds he is significantly larger than Brewer, but Brewer has had the first team reps since camp started so it is his position to lose.
The Titans host the Arizona Cardinals for a joint practice Wednesday before playing the Cards Saturday night at Nissan Stadium. This week could be Radunz last week to prove he can be a starter for the Titans in 2022.