The Tennessee Titans should explore other backup QB options.
Marcus Mariota is the Tennessee Titans’ quarterback of the future. They have sculpted their offense around him, adding receivers and running backs through the draft to fit the system that they intend to run for the entire season and the foreseeable future. But as Mariota grows, the team around him also seems to improve.
They have one of the best offensive lines in the entire league. The receiving corps is shaping up with the additions of Corey Davis, Taywan Taylor, and Rishard Mathews emerging last year as a legit threat. Delanie Walker is one of the best tight ends in the game right now and they drafted Jonnu Smith for him to take under his wing. The running backs are studs with Demarco Murray pounding the football, and then Derrick Henry spelling him with strength and speed. Mariota has all of the tools to be great.
But what if Mariota goes down? What if he gets hurt? Does the Titans’ season just go down the drain? Injuries happen, as we have witnessed the last two years. So where does that leave this team? Matt Cassel and Alex Tanney would take the reins of the team. Is our offense built for Matt Cassel to sit around in the pocket and try to sling the football around at a career 58.9 percent completion rate? Our offense is not ideal for Matt Cassel.
If something catastrophic were to happen (let’s pray that it doesn’t), how does it affect the other players in our offense? The whole style of offense would have to change and adapt to the way that Cassel plays. An immobile quarterback affects everyone on the offensive side of the football. The way receivers run their routes to the way the offensive line blocks has to change with an immobile quarterback. So why don’t the Titans try to see if there is a quarterback that can challenge Cassel for the backup spot, one who could fit our system a little better? Who could they look into? Let’s find out.
Robert Griffin lll
Don’t stop reading just yet. Hear me out. He is not perfect. And I don’t think that if the Titans signed him they would expect him to BE perfect. He is not going to start in the NFL anymore. I believe that if he is going to be in the NFL at all, he is going to accept the role as a backup.
This guy was a former number 2 overall pick. He has the physical ability, but there is a reason he is not a starter. He can’t seem to put it all together. In our system, he could be more effective than Cassel. I compared Cassel’s numbers alongside Robert Griffin’s numbers on Pro Football Reference. You can click here to access the full breakdown. Although Griffin’s is a much smaller sample size, his numbers are clearly better. His QB rating is almost 10 points higher. His completion rating is almost 6 percent higher. He is clearly able to get out of trouble better than Cassel is. The team would not have to change the offense as drastically as they would if Cassel ever did have to come into the game.
This is all hypothetical. Jon Robinson surely has his reasons that this has not happened. Griffin carries a little bit of baggage wherever he goes. Something just seems to follow him around. If he knows from the start that he is just COMPETING to be the backup, maybe all of that “stuff” that follows him could possibly go away. And he could be a solid backup quarterback that fits our system a little better than Cassel.
Now this one would for sure be a stretch. Kaepernick has shown flashes in the past of what he can do. If someone wants to talk about “baggage” this guy for sure brings it to the table. Last year was an absolute disaster and now he is just trying to find a new home.
What we do know is that he can play a little bit of football. The San Francisco team that he played for last year was just flat-out not very good. The Titans roster is a little bit different. Our defense is improving and the offense is starting to take on an identity. The Titans have talent all across the board on the offensive side of the football. Last year, with a much less talented 49er team, Kaepernick came through with a 90.7 passer rating. He also threw for 16 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions. He probably has his better years behind him. If he came in as an insurance policy behind Mariota, I believe that this team could still be competitive and win some football games, and not have to change their offensive game plan.
Kaepernick is for sure the long shot of the two guys we are talking about here. His character issues are pushing teams away still to this day. He does not seem like a guy that Jon Robinson would go after as of right now. But you have to wonder if he would fit this football team better than the backup they currently employ right now. If you’re asking me, of course he does. The real question is, would all of his antics follow him here to Tennessee?
So what do they do?
All signs are pointing to Cassel being the backup going into OTA’s and into the preseason. According to some reports, Mariota “isn’t a lock to play in the preseason.” Both of these guys are a long stretch, but they both wouldn’t require Terry Robiskie to change up the way he calls his “exotic smashmouth” offense. Either player would of course have to come in and EARN the backup spot. If the coaching staff decides they do not have what it takes, then they can stick with what they have. Both of these guys have shown that they can play when they have talent around them, both have experience in the playoffs, and one could argue that this is the best team that either would have ever been apart of. They are both being rumored to have been considered for the Seattle Seahawks backup job. Why not the Titans also?
Now I am sure there is a reason that I am out delivering your mail every day instead of scouting football players for a living. But as a fan, and knowing a little bit about football, this does make a little sense. Let’s face it, it will probably never happen. It was a good thought though, right?
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