On Monday, following the St. Louis Rams preseason opener, I broke down the situation at right tackle. Barry Richardson, the starter, struggled, while Jason Smith showed notable improvement over his previous three seasons of work. Head coach Jeff Fisher is still undecided on who the starter will be, but he did notice something I did in my break down.
Smith got into the game late in the first quarter. He was having a pretty good game until a crucial sack on third-and-nine inside the Colts' zone. That sack came on a play that perhaps should never have happened as Jerry Hughes jumped offsides. Fisher caught the same thing, pointing it out at his Monday press conference.
"That sack on Kellen on third down in the redzone was hard," Fisher said. "The defensive lineman was well across the line of scrimmage and he had no chance to get an angle and so that's not his fault."
Fisher discussed the sack further when asked about the quality of the officiating from the replacement referees.
"It (Hughes' sack on Clemens) looked a little different to me yesterday than it did on the tape," Fisher explained. "You can see where that can happen because he just broke through the neutral zone and at that point when the ball snapped it should be shut down. I've seen that happen with our regular officials, too, so I'm not finding fault there with them. But no, I didn't. There was nothing in our game. There were really, not any significant issues in the game other than that play."
For now, the competition at right tackle will continue, with Fisher complementing both Richardson and Smith on their effort Sunday.
"I think they've both played pretty well," Fisher said. "But I thought they both played physical and both active. We're going to alternate them back and forth, see how they do."