If the possibility of Philip Rivers coming to the Tennessee Titans in a draft-day trade hasn’t done anything else, it sure has drawn a lot of much-needed attention to Music City and the franchise. I’m probably in the minority that thinks current quarterback, Zach Mettenberger deserves a chance in 2015, but I also am not in the habit of looking a gift horse in the mouth either.
I think we all have a lot of respect for Zach
While I feel like Philip Rivers is the only trade that the Titans should make for a “starting quarterback”, I think it’s also the only one that makes sense.
It would buy the time necessary for General Manager Ruston Webster and head coach Ken Whisenhunt to build the rest of the team into a contender in the AFC South while providing a positive mentor where Mettenberger can develop his craft.
We will never know if Zach can turn into what David Climer at the Tennessean called a “poor man’s Tom Brady” if he doesn’t get the opportunity and time to learn the craft.
In fact, my preference if the trade with the San Diego Chargers doesn’t materialize, is that Zach Mettenberger gets every opportunity in training camp to earn the position.
Greg Cosell from NFL Films weighed in on Tuesday and said that Mettenberger has all of the talent that Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston has, and maybe even more.
"“You look for traits. When you do that with Jameis Winston … he’s a pocket quarterback for the most part. His strengths are anticipation. Zach Mettenberger, by the way, is a pocket quarterback who is very good at making anticipatory throws, arguably better than Jameis Winston at making anticipatory throws. Zach Mettenberger actually has a bigger arm than Jameis Winston,” Cosell toldNashville radio station 104.5 The Zone. “They’re both a little bit slow-twitch in the pocket. They’re both a little bit heavy-footed, which of course are negatives, but they’re very similar in that regard. In many of the traits, and I’m just scratching the surface by the way, but in many of the traits that you look for, you would say that they’re similar and that Mettenberger is a little bit better."
The only complaint I have is that the sixth-round draft pick takes far too many sacks that probably come from his inability to scan the field properly for his second, third and sometimes fourth options.
With the speed that things happen in the NFL, I challenge anyone who thinks Jameis Winston, or Marcus Mariota will do any better in their rookie seasons unless they are more than well coached.
The Titans are scheduled to begin their off-season program on Monday at Saint Thomas Sports Park but according to Jim Wyatt at the Tennessean, Mettenberger has taken the iniative and gotten skilled players together and led some practice sessions.
He has already told everyone that he is better than anyone that might be drafted, and he is trying to show team officials that he is the leader of this football team.
Kendall Wright and newly acquired wide out, Harry Douglas were among those getting texts from the young quarterback, and showing up for unscheduled practice.
"“Our quarterback, Zach, is a young guy and he is stepping up,” Wright said. “He is more than ready to play, and we all are following Zach, just going out there and getting him ready and running the things he wants to run, some of the things he wants to do. It’s rained a couple of times when we’ve been throwing, but that didn’t stop us. We just kept going.“I think we all have a lot of respect for Zach. With him trying to be the leader, it is a good thing. And he is going to be the leader if he is going to be our quarterback. Just him texting us and everyone showing up, that’s a good sign.”"
I still believe that Philip Rivers would bring real validity to this team, but if it’s not in the cards, the next best scenario is for the Titans to make a deal with someone who is offering enough picks in the 2015 NFL Draft to put this team near or in the playoffs.
I think if the powers to be were to put as much effort into grooming Zach Mettenberger as they would put into Marcus Mariota, he could be the franchise quarterback the Tennessee Titans need to take this team to the level for the next decade.