What happens when a 90-year-old owner has just witnessed his franchise missing the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season? There’s no doubt that Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams has become desperate in wanting to see his team win a Super Bowl during his lifetime.
That urgency has been felt throughout the entire organization. Many jobs hinge on how well the Titans do during the 2013-14 NFL season. Mike Munchak and Ruston Webster both made widespread changes on the coaching staff and roster. They’ve added dozens of players who they feel will provide quality competition during mini camps and training camps.
With all of the new faces at LP Field, some veterans are bound to miss the cuts before the 53-man roster is established for Week 1. From now and through much of June, Titan Sized will look at those players who are borderline possibilities to make the team. Some examples of borderline possibilities include Rusty Smith, Damian Williams and Scott Solomon.
Let’s start with the quarterback position. Jake Locker and Ryan Fitzpatrick are basically locks. That leaves two quarterbacks who would compete for the No. 3 job: Nathan Enderle and Rusty Smith. Smith has held the No. 3 job for the last three seasons. Unless Smith plays poorly in training camp, Enderle shouldn’t pose much of a threat to that No. 3 job.
Could Smith’s biggest competition come from someone who isn’t a quarterback? When the Titans signed Ryan Fitzpatrick, they showed a glaring lack of confidence in Smith. If the Titans don’t believe that Smith is one of the 53 best players, they could replace him with another positional player. The Titans would start the season with two quarterbacks and keep an emergency “developmental” option on their practice squad.
One thing that could affect Smith’s status is Jake Locker’s health. Since his days at the University of Washington, Locker hasn’t proven that he can stay healthy for long stretches. The Titans could decide that they need the insurance from a No. 3 quarterback who has three years of experience with the organization.
As any No. 3 quarterback who competes during the preseason, Smith will receive plenty of opportunities to certify his spot on the roster. Not just as a No. 3 quarterback but as one of the Titans’ 53 best players.