The Tennessee Titans‘ backup quarterback position has been in a state of limbo for the past few years. This 2016 season has been no different in this aspect.
But this offseason as Matt Cassel and Alex Tanney go at it again for the position, the winner seems much more clear than before.
In the absence of Marcus Mariota this season, Cassel proved to us that he was exactly what I and many others had predicted before the season even began – a washed up QB no longer in his prime.
While Cassel was able to serve as a sort of veteran figure to younger QBs on the roster, he himself was unable to produce on the field. He was unable to replicate the respectable role he played for the New England Patriots when he replaced Tom Brady back in 2008.
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Cassel completed just 13-of-24 passes in a mortifying loss versus a then 2-11 Jacksonville Jaguars, costing the Titans their first playoff berth since 2008. He finished the contest with a forgettable passer rating of 54.2. He threw for one touchdown and an interception to match.
The 6’4, 228 pounder’s final regular season performance in a win against a weak Houston Texans team resting the majority of their starters wasn’t much better. Cassel went 16-of-26 in completions, finishing with a passer rating of 61.5. He threw just one touchdown pass and one interception, to close out the season.
Though many fans were calling for him in the last two games, Tanney did not see a single snap during the regular season.
But in the games that Tanney did see action for in the 2015 regular season and during last year’s preseason, he flashed a ton of potential and looked much sharper than Cassel.
When Tanney appeared late in the game for the Titans in a close 30-24 loss versus the Indianapolis Colts during the 2015 season, he went 10-of-14 and finished with a remarkable passer rating of 114.9. Giving the Titans new life, he threw for a touchdown and not a single interception.
The Titans won three of the four preseason games in which Tanney saw the field. He finished the preseason going 37-of-49, with a passer rating of 85.2. Tanney threw for a touchdown and a pair of interceptions.
It’s pretty safe to say that Tanney has the edge in this one, and will emerge as the Titans’ official backup QB in the 2017-18 season. As for Cassel, he’s out of chances at this point and will have no place on the roster soon.