Tennessee Titans: Is There A Quarterback Controversy Brewing?


After the Tennessee Titans put a 2-14 season on the board in 2014 and with all the holes on this team, why are we already talking about a possible quarterback controversy in Music City?

If first year quarterback(in 2014) Zach Mettenberger had not gotten injured, if he had won just one game, if the Titans had not taken Heisman Trophy winner, Marcus Mariota in the first round of the 2015 draft….if..if..if!

The quarterback controversy will start if Mariota struggles early in the regular season

I’m an old fan, and I can tell you, quarterback controversies do not originate on the field. They fester in the media, with fans, and largely because team management and coaches let them fester.

Head coach Ken Whisenhunt has made it clear from day one that if they drafted Marcus Mariota, the rookie would get the lion’s share of first-team snaps in the pre-season and would have all the opportunities to be the week one starter when the regular season gets underway.

Coach and his staff will need to walk a fine line during training camp to see that Mariota is treated as the starter, but still giving Zach Mettenberger a fair shot at the starting job.

The Tennessean reporter, Jim Wyatt addressed the situation in his Tuesday morning article:

"Whisenhunt might want to pretend. It’s probably too late to change his tune, but the coach was perhaps too bold when declaring Mariota the starter.I like that he was honest with reporters. There was no need for mystery. Declare Mariota the guy and move on — that’s exactly what Whisenhunt did.Players, however, want to see teammates fight for and earn jobs. They don’t like handouts. Several players said they’re looking forward to seeing Mariota and Mettenberger “battle” in camp.While he might have a tough time keeping a straight face, Whisenhunt should at least let his players think Mettenberger has a chance to pull the upset."

Wyatt also mentioned in his article that early in the 2015 draft process, his attitude concerning Marcus Mariota was negative and he didn’t feel that the Titans should take a quarterback with the second pick.

His opinion matched what I saw from fans around Twitter, Facebook and the other Social Media outlets. It seemed the opinion was largely in favor of building the defense this year and everyone wanted the team to take Leonard Williams, Defensive End from USC to solidify that position.

Whisenhunt’s early confidence in his sixth round quarterback seemed unflappable until he and General Manager, Ruston Webster got a look at Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota at the Combine. Then the tune, and the speculation started to change.

Since drafting Marcus Mariota with the second pick, this franchise has become energized. It was almost like Christmas around LP Field during the Rookie Mini Camp last week. Reporters and fans couldn’t wait to unwrap their new quarterback and watch him throw uncontested passes in the open workout.

"Marcus Mariota has been the talk of the town since the Titans selected him second overall in the NFL draft on April 30.He’s been on billboards, magazine covers and The Tennessean front page. When the team held itsrookie minicamp last Friday, the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback from Oregon was the center of attention.It’s not necessarily all about the quarterback in the NFL, but there’s no question the position gets the most attention."

Only time will tell! In my opinion, Marcus Mariota will win the starting job and when they break training camp, Mett will be the backup, and Charlie Whitehurst will be the final option.

The quarterback controversy will start if Mariota struggles early in the regular season and Whisenhunt starts to crack. If he sticks with his rookie and resists the temptation to start Mett during the learning period, there will be no quarterback controversy.

If Mariota is pulled, or is injured and Mett has a good game, or a win, then it’s game on for a full-blown quarterback controversy in Music City!

Next: Titans Position Breakdown: Left Guard

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