Tennessee Titans: Charlie Whitehurst Signing May Spell End for Fitzpatrick
Oct 14, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt (left) talks with quarterbacks Philip Rivers (17) and Charlie Whitehurst (6) during the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Qualcomm Stadium. The Chargers defeated the Colts 19-9. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Does any team require a high quality backup quarterback more than the Tennessee Titans? With Jake Locker recovering from a Lisfranc injury and having an injury history that dates back to his collegiate career at the University of Washington, there’s a very high chance that the Titans’ backup quarterback will see in-game action. Ryan Fitzpatrick learned that the hard way when he quarterbacked the Titans to losses in six of his first seven starts. He finished with a 3-6 record.
It appears as though the Titans will replace him with Charlie Whitehurst, a third-round pick from the 2006 NFL Draft. The 31-year-old quarterback spent last season as the No. 2 quarterback behind San Diego Chargers starter Philip Rivers. Whitehurst spent that season learning offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt‘s offense. He appeared in two games but never attempted a pass.
Whitehurst’s career totals include 84-for-155 with three touchdowns and four interceptions. His last meaningful NFL action came when he completed 27-of-56 passes with the Seattle Seahawks.
Is that an upgrade over Fitzpatrick? The 2013 Fitzpatrick wasn’t bad. He completed 62 percent of his passes for 2,454 yards with 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The problem was that he continued to show complete ineptitude and carelessness during tight fourth quarter contests. Even when he led a 17-point comeback against the Arizona Cardinals to force the game into overtime, Fitzpatrick reverted to his reckless self, tossing the game-ending interception that damned Tennessee’s playoff hopes.
If Fitzpatrick could’ve just stopped throwing away games in the fourth quarter, he was more than serviceable as a backup. There’s no reason to think that will change though.
Up to this point, Whitehurst’s career hasn’t been the least bit impressive. He’s just a prototypical big-bodied quarterback who supposedly “hasn’t been given a fair chance.” Either he gets his chance in 2014 or Locker stays healthy for all 16 games.
And if Locker stays healthy? Fans may finally get to see him play up to the level that he was before he suffered hip and knee injuries versus the New York Jets.
If he doesn’t? Just pray that Ray Horton‘s defense is making Whitehurst have to do as little as possible. Or pray for a higher pick. Your choice.
What do our readers think? Do you prefer Whitehurst, Fitzpatrick, or maybe even Tyler Wilson? Let us know in the comments, Twitter or Facebook.