Aug 30, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Rusty Smith (11) points prior to handing off the ball to teammate Tennessee Titans running back Jamie Harper (not pictured) for the touchdown against the New Orleans Saints during the second half at LP Field. Tennessee defeated New Orleans 10-6. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
For the Tennessee Titans, Rusty Smith has become that high school geek that many have grown to love. Smith is similar to the kid who walks up to the hottest chick at prom and lays a big wet one right on her lips. Unfortunately, her boyfriend, the Houston Texans, notices this. Three punches later, Smith goes back to his regular life, hoping that one day, he can take the next step toward becoming a No. 2 quarterback.
Does the embarrassment from those three punches outweigh the support that Smith has gotten from the Titans fan base? Will Titan Sized staff members feel the love and give him a passing grade on this 2010 NFL Draft report card?
2010 NFL Draft Report Card Evaluation
Rusty Smith, QB, Florida Atlantic
Round 6, Pick 176
Still With Team: YES
Career Games: 3
Completion Percentage: 51.1
QB Rating: 29.3
Joshua Huffman (Editor): 50 (F)
Let’s dismiss the situation that he was put in during his rookie season in a zero-touchdown, three-interception start against the Houston Texans. After the Titans released Matt Hasselbeck this offseason, they elected to sign Ryan Fitzpatrick instead of promoting Smith to No. 2 quarterback. It’s obvious that management has little-to-no confidence in him. Even if Smith is better now than what he was in his first start, he still doesn’t earn a passing grade because after three years, the team doesn’t have enough confidence to rely on him as anything more than a No. 3 quarterback.
Josh Gunnels (Assistant Editor, Lead Columnist): 70 (C)
Rusty Smith has become a sort of fan favorite in a tongue in cheek way. The third string QB seems to stick around every year and was taken as a developmental project. He’s a smart kid that can learn the system and has the size and arm strength to be a prototypical quarterback in the NFL. Failing miserably in his first call to action in 2010, he has since been buried on the depth chart. The Titans signing Ryan Fitzpatrick in front of him speaks to their thoughts of his backup ability, but he’s good enough for them to not worry about having to develop someone else at this point.
David Fleming (Contributor): 62 (D)
Rusty was forced into early action in 2010 due to injuries to both Kerry Collins and Vince Young. He was obviously overwhelmed, and he completed only 50% of his passes for 0 TDs and 4 interceptions. The front office has not shown much faith in him either, signing Fitzpatrick to act as Locker’s backup for 2013.
Titan Sized Staff (3 Participants): 60.67 (D)
70 + 62 + 50 = (182 / 3) = 60.67
What do Titan Sized readers think? Answer in the poll below. All grades will get averaged and tallied within the next 2-3 days.
Next Up: Myron Rolle, S, Florida State