I got a little into my feelings tonight (Saturday). I was playing Halo, finishing off a bottle of wine and got weirdly inspired.
Today it was finally announced that Taylor Lewan suffered a season ending injury during the Buffalo bills game. Not to speculate, but very odd the news came out this late in the week. The Titans chose to sign pass rush extraordinaire Wyatt Ray to take his spot. (Sarcasm)
A lot of people are writing his soliloquy as a Titan, and while I don’t disagree, I wouldn’t be shocked if he kept on, just with another team. Despite the injuries he’s fairly young for an OL, and to be honest, this team could just restructure his contract and keep him here…anyways…
I’ve had a mixed relationship with Taylor Lewan, unbeknownst to him. I vividly remember being with three friends at Buffalo Billiards downtown during the 2014 draft. Everyone shall remain nameless just for posterity’s sake. Three of the four of us in attendance hated this pick. Not going to lie, most of us were Pro-Manziel, Anti-Sexual Allegations.
That ended up in the long term being wholly incorrect. To be honest, I wasn’t the “scout” (not enough quotations can be put around scout) that I am now. (I am probably a distant 5th place in Titans Twitter “scouts”) In fact, what I saw in a game broadcast the first time was my assumption. Hence, Maziel > Lewan.
Look in retrospect, not a proud moment, but I at least can own up when I’ve made a rare mistake, and I can take the backlash. It took a while but he proved me wrong. Lewan had all the talent, but had maturity/leadership issues, and he never reached his full potential.
I may go more in depth on “Football & Other F Words”, but my feelings toward what Lewan was/could be have changed over time. I think most followers from the early days of Internet Keith, and DJ/EJ, will tell you that I have put Lewan up there with the highest regard.
On more than a few occasions, I have called him the “Face of the Franchise”. This was during Marcus Mariota, and before the rusted bus Podcast. I knew Lewan had it in him circa 2015 to be something this franchise could build around.
Here’s where it gets kind of sticky. I am sure I am going to get a lot of “bros” in my mentions from here on out. However, I am going to try and combat it with this. From my perspective, Lewan is a great Titan, father, and all around good guy.
He will never remember, but I’ve set numerous times in a row right in front of his at Nashville Predators games. At those times, very early in his career, super nice. So this is not an attack on his character.
Here’s the take, probably the controversial one: I don’t think Taylor Lewan has been the best offensive lineman on the team since 2018 at the earliest? (maybe latest? not sure). In 2019 there is an argument to be made that Jack Conklin was better than Lewan, but since then it’s been Ben Jones or currently Nate Davis/NPF.
Now this is where you may wanna look away if you are real big into recency bias and two-tone fandom: Lewan has several…several years to go before he’s inducted into any kind of ring of honor. It has nothing to do with him, just with the people before him.
It’s kind of weird, and no one talks about it, but “Bussin’ With the Boys” was announced on our podcast. Yup, a live show at the Corner Pub downtown during the 2019 draft BWITBs was born.
Maybe at this point in the article I should use bullet points to summarize my feelings:
- I was wrong about Lewan as a prospect
- Had a pretty great career from 2014-2019
- Suffered through bad years with us
- Owes Football & Other F Words a shit ton of money for boosting their career
- If I were in his shoes, with family/other businesses, would retire
- Way down on pecking order of former Titans getting a post it note of honor (Titans Jab, not a Lewan Jab)
Not sure if this accomplished anything, but just kind of wanted to vent my thoughts about a player thats been around this franchise a very long time.