Feb 18, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Tennessee Titans general manager Ruston Webster speaks at a press conference during the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Tennessee Titan General Manager, Ruston Webster, and Head Coach, Ken Whisenhunt both addressed the media at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis on Wednesday morning, and both continued to lament support of their young Quarterback, Zach Mettenberger, but also talked about doing their home work on the Florida State’s Jameis Winston, and Qregon’s Marcus Mariota.
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We’ve done a lot of work with Jameis
Webster pointed out, that teams without an established, top-line Quarterback were swimming up-stream, and needed to be near perfect in all other phases of the game to have any chance of success on the football field.
"“It’s always been difficult to find the right guy, the guy that can be out there for 16 games that you can build your team around. There are a lot of things that play into it with a quarterback. I think one is the kind of team you have around him. The continuity in coaching staff and scheme.Going forward with the number two pick, and being in a position to take one, or both of the two top signal callers available, The Titans staff will need to do their due dilligence, and fully investigate all of the options, so they will be ready for the decision that is sure to come on 2015 NFL Draft Day.“Those are two very good players,” Webster said. “And we’re in a good position that way, be it quarterback or somewhere else. We do like Zach Mettenberger as a quarterback. These two guys have unique skill sets and we’ll look at that position as well as others…“We’ll spend a lot of time with those guys over the next few months. We’ll meet with them here. And do our due diligence all the way through. I mean, they are very good players. There would be no reason for us not to, and that’ll start with meeting with them here at the combine.”"
I don’t think Head Coach, Lovie Smith at Tampa Bay, and his staff are 100% settled on taking Jameis Winston with their first pick. I also don’t think that Marcus Mariota fits into what the Titans want to do with that position.
Further, I think if Winston falls to number two, and the Titans are not worried about his off-the-field problems, he may well be in a Titans uniform when the season starts.
"“We’ve done a lot of work with Jameis. We’ll continue to do a lot of work on Jameis, just like these others guys at No. 2 or in the draft in general,” Webster said. “But it’s something that, I just don’t want to go off perception, I want to know what reality is with him and we’ll give him a fair shake.”"
There are some factors that I think may affect this decision:
- Some people are saying the troubled Quarterback would do better if he were to be located away from the Florida area.
- Tampa would like to run the spread offense, and although Mariota isn’t NFL ready at this point, it doesn’t mean that he couldn’t be with some coaching.
- Former Tampa Bay Head Coach, Tony Dungy still has ties with the Buccaneers, and is said to be in Smith’s ear about taking the Heisman Trophy Winner with the first pick.
- Tampa Bay had the same 2-14 season the Titans had, and are not ready for a playoff run anyway, and have a couple of seasons to develop a young quarterback.
Marcus Mariota has already indicated that he will throw at the Combine, and everyone will be watching to see if he can anticipate his throws. This is something he hasn’t had to do in Oregon, and team staffs will want to know this before they take him in the draft, especially with a top pick.
Head Coach, Ken Whisenhunt confirmed Webster’s quarterback position, but spent time in his part of the conference talking about how well new Defensive Head Coach, Dick LeBeau would fit into the organization, and his earlier work with most of the defensive staff already in Music City.
I have felt all along that Ken Whisenhunt would eventually put a competitive team on the field in Nashville, and like Smith, in Tampa Bay, needed the first year to evaluate what he had, and get the team in a position where they can make some major changes in year two.
If they can make good decisions in this draft, and pick up some pieces in free agency, and if fans can just hang in there, their prayers will be answered, and the Tennessee Titans should be on the way back to relevance in the NFL.