The Titans plan to make offensive lineman Aaron Brewer their starting center, as Brewer himself told reporters, including Jim Wyatt of the team’s official website. The 2020 UDFA has logged snaps at the pivot over his first three professional seasons, though the bulk of his playing time has come at left guard.
“I have been working at center right now,” Brewer said. “And I would say that is the goal for the team right now – for me to move into the center spot and take over that role.”
Tennessee had deployed Ben Jones at center for the past seven years, and Jones was a model of consistency and durability for most of that stretch. Unfortunately, he suffered two concussions in 2022 and was forced to miss five contests as a result, the first time he was absent for more than a single game in any season during his Titans tenure. In February, Jones was released, thereby creating a significant void that Brewer will try to fill.
After jettisoning Jones and three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan — who played just 20 games in the past three years due to multiple ACL tears — new Titans GM Ran Carthon has been busy trying to reconstruct his offensive front. He signed former Eagle Andre Dillard to a three-year deal to serve as Lewan’s replacement, and he added former 49er Daniel Brunskill to replace free agent defection Nate Davis at right guard.
In last month’s draft, Carthon used his first-round choice (No. 11 overall) on Northwestern blocker Peter Skoronski, who could compete with Dillard for the left tackle post but who is more likely to begin his career as Tennessee’s left guard. So four of the Titans’ five presumptive starting offensive lineman will either be new to the team or in a new position, with only right tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere set to reprise his 2022 role.
However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The Titans yielded 49 sacks last year, the fifth-highest total in the league, and they also struggled to create space for two-time rushing champion Derrick Henry. Brewer did not exactly help the cause, as he allowed 36 total pressures and committed eight penalties en route to a mediocre 59.9 grade from Pro Football Focus (positioning him 46th among 77 qualified guards).
Still, Carthon saw fit to retain the Texas State product via the second-round RFA tender, and it is possible that Brewer is better-suited to the center position. His performance, and that of the new-look offensive line as a whole, will obviously be critical to Tennessee’s fortunes in 2023.