Deuce Lutui went through his first practice as a member of the Tennessee Titans, and depending upon the healthy of right guard Leroy Harris, could find some role quicker than expected.
Harris was rested on Wednesday due to his troublesome knee, but is expected to practice on Thursday. That left Lutui, who was a second-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals in 2006, the opportunity to get some reps with the first team line on his first day as a Titan. He was released by Seattle in final cuts and had a solid workout for Tennessee last week.
Asked what type of blocker he is, the 6-4, 338-pound Lutui said, “Naturally would call me a run guy, but I pride myself a lot too as far as the passing game. I've got nimble feet for a big guy and can really move in space.”
Coach Mike Munchak said Harris' knee could be a game-to-game concern for a while, and now the Titans feel comfortable with Lutui waiting in the wings if need be.
“Today we gave him a day off for the same reason, and so tomorrow he’ll practice,” Munchak said of Harris. “He started fatiguing early in the third quarter. We got him out. We’ve just got to see how that’s going to be going forward. That was our concern at the guard spot. That’s why we had to bring another guard in here for that reason, and to see how it goes.”
Lutui, 29, is grateful to be back in the league, period.
“I came here on a non-stop flight from Arizona, so it means something just being here. Knowing the needs and stuff up front, I'm happy to contribute. There's a lot of football left to be played. I think I'll fit right in,” he said.
Munchak knows Lutui from having coached him at the Senior Bowl, and the coach says he has always been a fan of the former Southern Cal guard.
“We coached him in the Senior Bowl, I did. Our staff was there when he came through there. I liked him a lot then,” Munchak said. “He was a second-round draft choice from the Cardinals. When you coach someone, you kind of keep an eye on him.”