WITH the #2 overall pick in the Draft this year, the Tennessee Titans selected QB Marcus Mariota out of Oregon. While the position he was picked at virtually guarantees that Mariota will start, Zach Mettenberger (last year’s starter) has said he won’t yield the starting QB job without a “fight to the death” . Like everything about Mettenberger so far, I find it courageously sad.
This won’t be a fight to the death, because Mettenberger was already dead well before the 2015 Draft. When you’re a 6th round pick and the team goes and grabs a guy #2 overall at your spot, they’re kinda sorta sending you a subtle message. Which is hilarious considering how much help the Titans need, and that Mettenberger flashed some promise there.
Last year I got to watch him play against us in a 43 – 24 win for the Eagles. The kid looked good out there all things considered. He was a rookie 6th round draft pick, forced to start for a shitty team, that everyone knew in July was going nowhere but home in January. Still the guy played his overmatched little heart out, showing not a solitary ounce of quit in that game.
A good team would have looked at Mettenberger’s 83.4 rating, his never-say-die attitude, and the fact that five of their three 20-point games were with him starting, (including three straight weeks during five straight starts). A good team would have focused on coaching up a diamond in the rough and using that #2 overall draft pick on some help for their utterly atrocious defense. The Tennessee Titans however, are not a good team.
So the Titans did what bad teams do. They blew the #2 overall pick on a QB who is physically talented, but may have a steep learning curve before he’s NFL ready, let alone a playoff level performer. Meanwhile Mettenberger gets to waste away on the bench as the back-up to a question mark.
Barring injury to Mariota, while I admire Mettenberger’s spirit, his days of being the Titans starting QB are laying on a slab, right next to Jake Locker’s career. Someone should put on some Bone Thugs N Harmony and walk his career towards the light.