Dillon Radunz’s starting spot appears to be safe, but he has some competition creeping up behind him

The Titans’ starting right tackle job has been long viewed as Dillon Radunz’s job to lose.

That isn’t surprising, considering just how much Radunz’s stock has risen over the course of the off-season. The second year pro has improved his overall game over the course of the last 6 months, and compared to the start of his rookie year, has gotten in much better shape. 

But we’re now into the dog days of camp, and it appears Radunz has to fight a little harder to the secure the job many thought was his. 

Radunz has had to buckle down and fight against rookie offensive lineman Nicholas Petit-Frere. Who, just a few months ago, didn’t have the perception of a player ready to play significant snaps in year one. 

But throughout the last week in camp, Petit-Frere has begun to push Radunz for a starting spot by taking away some of the first team snaps Radunz had previously collected for himself. 

“Obviously I’d rather not be splitting reps, I’d rather be taking them all,” Radunz explained. “ But he’s [Petit-Frere] has earned those reps, he’s done a great job.”

However, despite Petit-Frere’s ascension somewhat threatening Radunz’s current, limited status as a starter, it hasn’t been significant enough take away the majority of the first team reps Radunz has been given so far. 

“On the field we’re trying to make each other earn it,” Radunz said. “If I have to help a teammate out to do that, then that’s the way it’s going to be.”

Take Thursday night’s preseason opener for example. Radunz started the game at right tackle, and played eight snaps total (seven on offense and one on special teams). Meanwhile, Petit-Frere started the game at left tackle, then switched to the right side after Radunz’s opening preseason work was deemed completed. 

I’m not a betting man, but if I was, I’d bet that sequence of events tells us that Radunz still has a strong hold on the all important right tackle spot. 

That, or Mike Vrabel simply has a fascination of playing a weird game of musical chairs along the offensive line. 

Despite the shenanigans that come with a position battle, Radunz is still in a good spot to secure a starting spot. Vrabel and offensive line coach Keith Carter have vouched for his recent improvement, and his performance so far throughout camp has been solid overall. 

That doesn’t always equal positive results. But in this specific case, the word of your head coach and position coach — along with the uncertain immediate developmental results for a rookie lineman in year one — should go a long way towards Radunz fulfilling his destiny as a premium draft selection. 

Which is to find a starting spot and contribute often. 

These next few weeks — which include the Titans’ upcoming joint practices with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — will clear up the competition and give us a better look at the eventual victor. 

Will we see Radunz continue to hold out and solidify his spot even further? Or will Petit-Frere sneak in , turn up the heat on Radunz

We shall receive the answer soon. 

“Ultimately at the end of the day, we’re obviously competing for a job,” Radunz said. “We’re just trying to make sure whoever earns that right tackle spot, earns it.”

Author: TreJean WatkinsTre Watkins is a writer who has covered the Titans since 2019 for BlackSportsOnline, The Brawl Network, and now Broadway Sports Media. FC Barcelona and Yankees baseball are his two loves, Forca Barca!

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