Falcons vs Titans: Marcus Mariota Questionable
By Les Bailey
In his Thursday post-practice presser, Tennessee Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt spent most of his time answering questions about the health of his franchise quarterback Marcus Mariota.
More at Titan Sized: Falcons vs Titans Q&A with Blogging Dirty
The rookie missed a second day of practice on Thursday and you get the feeling we may be seeing Zach Mettenberger under center when the Titans wrap up their home-stand against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
Coach said Mariota did some thing on the sideline during practice and a decision would be made on his game-day status based on the soreness in his knee when they practice Friday.
They have limited his participation this week in hopes of having him available for Sunday. Mariota had the same injury in college and was able to play with a brace on his knee and continues to insist he will be ready to go when they suit up against the Falcons.
If he is not ready to start, everyone assumes we will see backup quarterback Zach Mettenberger under center for week seven. There are still questions if Charlie Whitehurst will be activated for the game, of if Mariota will be suited and ready on the side-line if something happens to Mettenberger.
Whisenhunt was asked in the the presser about how difficult it would be for Mariota to prepare for the Falcons if he hasn’t been able to practice all week and he had this to say:
I would say probably, if this was two months ago, pretty difficult. But after having gone through a number of games, looking at other defenses, you get a feel for what you’re looking at, the issues. I mean, nothing replaces the practice time, but it’s something that conceivably, he could do. With this defense, just the way they do things, we played them in the preseason, so you have a little bit better understanding.
The Titans should be in good hands if it is indeed time for the Mett Show on Sunday. It will give everyone a chance to open up the passing game and test the Atlanta secondary.
We know Zach is a gunslinger and loves to throw the ball downfield. I’ve been harping on this subject and with the Falcons ranked last in the league in pass rushing stats, it would be a great time to throw the ball long and often.
What do they have to lose at this point, the team is 1-4 on the season already?
ESPN Insider Field Yates has Zach Mettenberger ranked in his list of top ten backup quarterbacks in the NFL.
Yates says that Tampa Bay’s Mike Glennon, New England’s Jimmy Garoppolo and Denver’s Brock Osweiler are the among the top backups and you could throw Zach Mettenberger in there as well.
Here’s what he had to say about Mett:
With Marcus Mariota as the centerpiece of the franchise, 2014 draft choice Mettenberger had a short-lived tenure as the starter. He has a rocket arm and an unmistakable confidence about him. A dropback pocket passer, Mettenberger has had durability concerns, but his skills intrigue. One coach noted a pair of strengths in Mettenberger’s game: “[His] ability to see field. He can make every throw.” Consistency is key for him.
This may be a great opportunity for Zach Mettenberger to showcase his talent for the rest of the NFL and show the league that he could be a starter on a good team with a bad quarterback.
There are plenty of those around!
Next: Tennessee Titans Practice notes 10-22