NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Harold Landry strolled up to the line of scrimmage one day early in training camp, and was approached by Taylor Lewan.
It was the team’s first day in pads, and a rookie’s education was about to begin at Titans camp.
“What’s up Harold?,” Lewan, a two-time Pro Bowler, said to Landry. “You ready to do this?”
At the snap, the veteran left tackle suffocated Landry as he attempted to get by him. But when the play ended, Lewan didn’t talk trash to the team’s young edge rusher.
Instead, he pulled Landry aside – and gave him advice.
The scene has been repeated time and again during Titans training camp.
“He is definitely giving me great tips,” Landry said of Lewan. “He is like the best OT in the league, right? So he is teaching me ways that I can defeat the best offensive tackles in the league. … He is giving me tips after every single rep so I can know what I can do better, to be able to beat them.
“I am lucky to be able to go against him every day. I think it means a lot to him that I am getting better every play.”
A second-round pick in the NFL Draft, Landry has made solid progress during training camp.
He’s also getting a lot of extra work. With veteran outside linebacker Brian Orakpo currently not taking part in practices, Landry has been working with the first team, which means he’s seen a lot of Lewan.
“The better the guys you go against, the better you can become,” coach Mike Vrabel said of Landry working against Lewan. “Don’t get frustrated, and know that probably not all the tackles are going to be that good. Hopefully, it gets easier once the games start.”
The head coach loves to see the veterans helping the rookies.
“Any time that these guys can help each other, whether that be on the field, or in the locker room or outside this building, I’m all for it. I think that’s a huge step in the right direction toward becoming a good team, a great team that cares about each other more than they care about themselves,” Vrabel said. “And so when they can do that, they can start to hold each other accountable. I try to hold them accountable, but sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. That’s how it goes. Ultimately, those players that hold each other accountable, then you can start to do some good things.”
Landry and Lewan actually knew each other before they became teammates.
The two players worked at the same facility in Arizona as Landry was preparing for the NFL Draft.
Lewan said he’s happy to help a guy like Landry, who has impressed him.
“I really appreciate his work ethic, and he seems like a guy who wants to be great,” Lewan of Landry. “He’s a guy who wants to come in and grind, as cheesy and as over-the-top as that may sound.
“I am happy he is on this team, and now it is up to him with what he does with his career. But I think he has the right mindset.”
So what does Lewan tell Landry during their meetings?
“I am telling him what I see out of him when I am in my set, and what he is not threatening me with, what he is threatening me with and how he can change it up to keep a tackle guessing,” Lewan said. “We all know, a (pass rusher’s) biggest threat is when they can go all three ways – outside, inside and through you.
“The best pass rushers have an arsenal, and anything I can do to help Harold develop, I’m going to do it.”
The Titans take the field for Day 10 of training camp practice on Monday, Aug. 6, 2018 at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)