It was about an hour after his first practice in a Titans helmet wrapped up and shortly after he finished a steak dinner at Baptist Sports Park when he stood in Tennessee’s locker room and described how pleased he was to be a Titan.
|Two weeks ago Brian Schwenke hoped he'd be wearing a Titans helmet and was able to do so Friday. Click here for a slideshow from the rookie mini-camp.|
“It’s a good place for an o-lineman right now,” Schwenke said as the smile grew. “I couldn’t be happier with where I’m at and who I’m with.
“If I could have picked a team, this is where I would have been,” Schwenke added. “You can ask any of my family members, every time Tennessee had a pick on the draft, we were all crossing our fingers, so it worked out and I’m praying I make the best of it.”
It just so happened that Schwenke was still available in the fourth round at the 107th overall spot when Tennessee went on the clock. Two days after selecting guard
Warmack and Schwenke had gotten to know each other during their workouts in Los Angeles to prepare for the NFL Combine, and Warmack sent a congratulatory text.
“We trained together in L.A. for three months and then went to the combine together and we became pretty close by training,” Schwenke said. “It was exciting when I got picked. He texted me, and we are both really excited to be here. It’s been great so far. We got along really well when we were working out and were able to push each other and talk to each other, and that definitely helps.”
They’ll no doubt continue to push each other with more personable communication now.
Schwenke’s locker is immediately left of fellow rookie lineman Chance Warmack, and they lined up the same way during drills Friday as Titans rookies participated in a mini-camp.
Schwenke played his first three seasons at Cal as a guard before shifting to center for his senior season. He prospered after the switch, and although the Titans like his versatility, they project him as a center.
Titans coach Mike Munchak and offensive line coach Bruce Matthews — former teammates, friends of 30 years and members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame for their play on the offensive line — worked with Schwenke, Warmack and undrafted rookies for a significant part of the practice.
Munchak said he wants to be more hands-on with the offensive line and attend more position meetings this offseason.
“As a head coach, I always want to be more involved, as much as I can in coaching. That’s one of the reasons I love this phase (of the offseason program),” said the former offensive line coach who is preparing for his third season as Titans head coach. “The first couple of years, it is harder because you have to find how to manage your time. I felt like at this time of year, especially, in OTAs and training camp I have the time to help and to add to that equation.”
“It’s something Bruce and I talked about a couple of years ago, actually, at some point I’d like to do that again, even when I took the head job, that I’d like to be more involved or actually involved because otherwise, if you’re not there on more of a daily basis, it’s hard to kind of poke in and make the changes you want to do,” Munchak continued. “It’s something I enjoy, and we work well together, and we feel he can bring a great impact on this offensive line.”
Munchak said “that’s what you hope can happen,” when asked if seeing Warmack and Schwenke’s budding relationship reminded him of the one he forged with Matthews.
“Those guys know each other from working out,” Munchak said. “The way it is, with guys getting ready for the combine and things like that, these guys get together in groups and get a chance to know each other a little bit, so it’s good that their familiar with each other. I think it’s exciting when you come in at any position with guys that play the same spot and you have a chance to be together if things work out. You have a chance for guys like that to be together for a long time. It worked out well for us, and hopefully will for someone like those two guys. There’s a long road ahead, but, yeah that would be great.”
Warmack said the relationship building is “already happening.”
“The beauty of the football is you build relationships without even knowing about it,” Warmack said. “We’re going through growing pains together, just like they did and learning together. I told him yesterday I was happy that he came here and it’s a blessing that we’re going to mature together as players.”