Titans OC Todd Downing expresses confidence in Nicholas Petit-Frere

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When the Tennessee Titans’ offense takes the field in Week 1 against the New York Giants, the team will be sporting several new faces, including two new starters along the offensive line.

One of them, rookie right tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere, unexpectedly won the starting job over 2021 second-round pick Dillon Radunz, proving he was a bit more ahead of schedule than any of us realized.

It’s all well and good to see the rookie advancing so quickly, but the jury is still out on how NPF will perform under the brighter lights of the regular season.

But Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing believes he’ll be just fine.

“It goes back to [Petit-Frere] relying on his foundation,” Downing said, per John Glennon of Sports Illustrated. “He’s shown steady progress and commitment to growth. He’s done things the way we ask him to do it. I believe that his poise, confidence, and his reliance on the techniques he’s learned are going to serve him well. We’re excited to see what he can do.”

While Petit-Frere still has a lot to prove, he doesn’t exactly have big shoes to fill.

Granted, 2021 starting tight tackle David Quessenberry was an excellent run blocker, but he struggled mightily in pass protection, allowing 11 sacks.

The Titans are hoping Petit-Frere can be an improvement in that area while also being able to match or better what Quess did for the run game.

Tennessee’s new right tackle may get a bit of a reprieve in Week 1, as Giants pass-rushers Azeez Ojulari and Kayvon Thibodeaux are both uncertain to play in Week 1.

If they play, NPF will be tested right away. Even if they don’t play, rest assured Giants defensive coordinator Don Martindale will challenge the rookie early and often.

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Story originally appeared on Titans Wire