Tennessee Titans: Is Zach Mettenberger a Keeper?


It seems like only yesterday when I started writing at Titan Sized, but in reality it has been almost a year, and a lot of changes have taken place around the Tennessee Titans.

Then head coach Ken Whisenhunt was lauding the trust he had in Zach Mettenberger as his starting quarterback, and the second pick in the 2015 draft, for all practical purposes, would be for sale.

Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. was predicting the Titans would draft DE Leonard Williams out of the University of Southern California unless the Cleveland Browns, New York Jets or a team needing a quarterback were willing to trade up to get Marcus Mariota.

Even fans were adamant that Zach Mettenberger deserved a shot at the starting job in Nashville, and were irate at the thought of taking the Heisman Trophy winner with the second pick.

Zach organized off-book practices with the receivers before the OTA’s got underway and continued to let everyone know the starting job was going to be his to lose.

Then everyone got an up-close and personal look at their number one draft pick and Mettenberger became old news.

It didn’t take long for Marcus Mariota to become the face of this franchise, and show fans why he was worthy of the second pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Now that the landscape has changed in Music City with a new/old head coach with a new plan and a new general manager in Jon Robinson, it’s time to take a look at the status of Zach Mettenberger.

Even with the lack of talent on this roster, and a patchwork offensive line, I wasn’t real impressed with the four starts the second-year quarterback from LSU made for the Titans in 2015.

Let’s take a look at the numbers.

He was 101 for 166 passing for 935 yards and four touchdowns. That calculates to a respectable 60.8% but the seven interceptions were a killer.

His interception late in the Atlanta Falcon game on October 25th cost the Titans a fourth win on the season, and was the epitome of Zach’s career in Nashville. The Titans lost that game 10-7.

As a backup to both Jake Locker and Marcus Mariota, Mettenberger is 0-8 as a starter, and has yet to win a game in the NFL.

I personally think Zach could be a starter in this league, and a good backup in the right system. I’m not convinced he will ever be an asset in Nashville.

Mettenberger is a gunslinger who reminds me lot of Brett Favre, and as we found out with Favre, he was unable to survive the atmosphere in Atlanta, but became a legend in the Mike Holmgren West Coast offense, in Green Bay.

New general manager, Jon Robinson has not made any comments on his current roster or what changes he will make and Mettenberger has the right price tag for a backup. At $586,000 a year with $125,000 guaranteed, he is on a four-year contract that runs through the 2018 season.

I think the Titans and Zach Mettenberger would be better served with a trade to a team that has a better offensive line and a system that better fits his talent.

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The Titans system will be designed for a quarterback who is mobile and can make plays with his legs when things breakdown. That is not Mettenbergers strong suit. He could flourish is a traditional system where he can work from the pocket, like say…Houston.

The Tennessee Titans would be better served with a backup who has Mariota traits and can work from the same playbook. Maybe an older, more experienced quarterback who understands the system and can mentor Marcus Mariota when not playing.

Next: 2016 NFL Mock Draft: Titans Trade

I felt last year, and still do today. Josh McCown would be a great fit in Music City. He is a natural-born backup quarterback who can mentor a youngster and come off the bench in an emergency to hold a lead or win a game.

During his time in Chicago, he helped turn Jay Cutler‘s career around, and was happy to do so.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Zach Mettenberger, but just don’t think he is a fit with the Tennessee Titans.