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VOL. 46 | NO. 35 | Friday, September 2, 2022

Rookie grabs O-line starting job

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The Titans’ starting right tackle competition appears over, at least for the moment.

Rookie third-round pick Nicholas Petit-Frere has been taking all the first-team reps since the Tampa Bay game and is poised to start the opener.

Second-year player Dillon Radunz’s time on the field since then has been spent as a backup guard, mostly on the left side, but also some on the right side.

“That just felt like he gives us the best chance right now,” Coach Mike Vrabel says of the rookie.

For his part, Petit-Frere isn’t taking anything for granted as he inches closer to his first NFL regular season game against the New York Giants on Sept. 11.

“It’s the NFL. Every single day it’s a competition, and every single day your job is on the line, so you’ve got to compete for it,” Petit-Frere says.

As for Radunz, he now appears out of the tackle mix altogether and is back working as a backup guard, something he did some last season, on either side of center.

“Everybody should have some flexibility. There is probably some personal comfort. I haven’t had that conversation with him,” Vrabel says of Radunz. “I’m just trying to get guys ready and put them in the best spot. He played some on the left and he played some on the right. I didn’t notice (Saturday in the preseason finale against Arizona) that there was a big difference in how he played from either side.”

With Petit-Frere in the lineup for now and Radunz out of the tackle mix altogether, it means general manager Jon Robinson could be shopping the waiver wire for a swing tackle behind Petit-Frere and left tackle Taylor Lewan.

­— Terry McCormick

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