Backup Quarterbacks Are Important for the Tennessee Titans
By Kyle Zwiazek
During the rout of the Tennessee Titans by the Houston Texans, Marcus Mariota was injured. When that happens, backup quarterback Matt Cassel comes in to try to save the day.
Much is made about the starting quarterback in football. Marcus Mariota is the starter for the Tennessee Titans. Unfortunately, injuries seem to be a strong part of the young quarterback’s game. This is very concerning considering that Mariota is so young and considered the Titans’ quarterback of the present and the future. When your starter has a history of being a bit fragile, it is imperative that the team addresses his backup with the utmost importance. Unfortunately, Jon Robinson and the Titans front office are content with Matt Cassel at quarterback.
Cassel is the definition of a journeyman quarterback. He had some success in New England when Tom Brady was injured, but has bounced around ever since. Also, if anyone has ever watched Cassel play, it is easy to tell that he is overmatched in the NFL. In the game against the Texans, Cassel was 4-10 with two interceptions. That makes for a quarterback rating of 8.3, according to ESPN. Needless to say, that is not inspiring football. Titans fans have already seen too much of Cassel and deserve a real backup quarterback that fits their system. When Cassel stepped into the game, it deflated the spirit of the team and essentially handed the Texans the win.
This was already addressed on the site, but Colin Kaepernick is still available. Even though he was a shell of himself the last two seasons, Kaepernick is a starting quarterback that would fit the system really well. Kap is a tough guy with a big arm that can also run the football. Essentially, he is exactly what Mariota is and has more NFL experience. Kaepernick would be the perfect mentor for young Mariota and if he is needed would be a great option to take snaps instead of Cassel. Kaepernick does come with some other attention, that is probably the main reason why the Titans avoided signing the quarterback earlier in the offseason.
Robert Griffin III
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He may not be the most exciting option, but at one point Robert Griffin III was the Mariota of the league. He was drafted second overall and people thought he was a system quarterback. Much like Mariota, RGIII’s career was plagued with injuries. Unfortunately, that is the nature of the beast when it comes to running quarterbacks. Griffin also fits the system really well and is hungry to get some playing time after a down year with the Cleveland Browns in 2016. He may not be the sexy pick because he has been injured so much, but Griffin would really be an excellent option to backup Mariota because he would fit the system so well.
It may be worth bringing back Zach Mettenberger. He was one of the quarterbacks that fell in the NFL draft due to off the field issues. Honestly, when he was with Tennessee he did not look terrible. Mettenberger knows the team and is familiar with Mike Mularkey. He is not as mobile as the first two options, but Mettenberger has a big arm and is definitely more mobile than Cassel. He also has something to prove. After a lot of hype coming out of college, Mettenberger got a chance to start with the Titans. It would be nice to see the entertaining quarterback back in Nashville, too.
Basically, this position should have been addressed more carefully in the offseason. None of the options are really a quick fix, but they could make a difference. If Matt Cassel has to play more than garbage time, the Titans are looking at a rough season ahead. Hopefully, Marcus Mariota was taken out as just a precaution. If he was not, we might be in for some rough football in the next coming weeks.