NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans general manager Ruston Webster and coach Mike Munchak said Wednesday they think
Webster and Munchak announced the signing of the former Bills guard during a news conference Wednesday evening, approximately 26 hours after NFL free agency began. Webster and Munchak also welcomed former Jets RB
“We’ve all worked very hard to put together a good group of free agents — hopefully this is just the start of it, moving into the draft and moving forward for next year, Webster said. “I’m very excited about this group. We had a plan. It really started with Andy (Levitre). I’ve said all along that we were going to try to upgrade the offensive line and get better there and improve in that area, along with (the defense).”
|Click here for a slideshow of former Bills and newly signed Titans guard Andy Levitre's career in the NFL.|
Levitre (pronounced luh-VEE-tree) was highly sought in free agency, but the Titans landed the four-year pro who has started all 64 games when he agreed to a multi-year contract. He arrived at Baptist Sports Park Wednesday.
Munchak said he talked with Levitre leading up to the 2009 NFL Draft, in which he was selected in the second round with the 51st overall pick by Buffalo, and has kept tabs on him since. Munchak said that observation included preparing to go against the Bills in each of the past two seasons.
“We knew he was a guy that would be a great fit here, not only what he can do on the field, but obviously the way he can help us in the locker room and on the practice field, so that really excited us,” Munchak said.
Munchak said offensive line coach Bruce Matthews watched every Bills game this season to make a cut up to show Munchak, and he liked the consistency that Levitre displayed.
“I think you can see the consistency play in, play out, great hands, getting them inside, (it’s) hard to beat him, the effort, all the things you’re looking for in a player, we saw in him,” Munchak said. “Everything you looked at, you were excited about.”
Levitre, 26, is from Los Gatos, Calif., near San Jose and played collegiately at Oregon State. He is expected to play left guard for the Titans, but made 26 starts at tackle in college and played some at center when the Bills needed him to shift.
Levitre was important to the success of Buffalo’s offensive line that led the NFL in sacks allowed (23) in 2011 and ranked 10th in the category with 30 last season. The Bills also boasted strong rushing attacks in each of the past two seasons, ranking 13th in the league with 1,921 yards and tying for fourth with 4.9 yards per rush attempt in 2011 and ranking sixth in the league with 2,217 yards and fourth with 5.0 yards per carry in 2012.
The Titans took 39 sacks in 2012 (21st in the league) and ranked 21st in rushing with 1,687 yards, averaging 4.5 per carry (tied for eighth).
Levitre said he considered multiple factors in making his decision, including what he had heard about Nashville and Tennessee’s coaching staff.
“When it came down to making a decision, every time (my agent and I) talked about free agency, the Titans came up and they were in it,” Levitre said. “I just feel like it was a really good fit for me, especially being able to be coached by two Hall of Fame offensive linemen. You won’t find that anywhere else in the league, so it’s a great opportunity for me.”
Levitre is the second former Bill signed by Tennessee during free agency, joining safety