By now it is common knowledge that the Tennessee Titans have released QB Zach Mettenberger.
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I will be the first to admit that I missed on Mettenberger. His arm strength and confidence screamed team leader to me, so when his teammates gravitated towards him in his first season I thought the team might see him as someone to build around (even though I was VERY high on Marcus Mariota).
However, the team made the right decision and brought in Marcus Mariota who has done nothing but impress everyone in the league.
While it is sad that Mettenberger never developed into a top end backup QB/trade target, is it really that surprising that he was let go?
He has 10 career starts with 0 wins, and even though he was on a bad team it isn’t an excuse for his 12 TD/14 INT career statline with 6 fumbles to go with it. For a quarterback that everyone seems to think can start for an NFL team somewhere, that is a tough resume.
So as much as I like him both on and off the field, I think that he didn’t have the overwhelming talent to lock up a roster spot.
The biggest reason I think this is a good move is because I believe that the Tennessee Titans are completely buying into their new identity as a run first offense that pounds you on the ground then gashes you with accurate passes and QB runs.
While Mettenberger did play in a run first offense in college, he also had an outstanding team around him and he was never really asked to run bootlegs consistently. That is mainly because he is very slow and really doesn’t have the requisite speed to sell the fake AND get back in time to be in position to throw the ball.
If the Titans leave that spot open, then it is fine. However, I think there are some really interesting scenarios that could happen.
1. The Titans could look to Vernon Adams to fill that final spot based on his experience with this type of offense.
2. A developmental quarterback from last year like Sean Mannion (LA) and Bryce Petty (NYJ) could be displaced if the Rams sign Zach Mettenberger or if the Jets sign Fitzpatrick back.
3. An older player like Derek Anderson could be a fit in Tennessee since he has actually come in and done what Mettenberger couldn’t by winning games as a backup. In fact, half of the Panthers 2015 wins came with Anderson at the helm.
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So while I wish things had turned out better for Mettenberger, this may be the best thing for all parties. The Titans get a chance to bring in someone that fits their new style and Mettenberger gets his way out.