Two-Tone Blues: Sorting Through the Mess That Is the Titans Quarterback Position
On Thursday evening, one of my buddies called me and demanded that I get online to see which NFL quarterback's Snapchat had been leaked. I immediately assumed Brett Favre had been caught sending pictures of his junk to the next generation of sideline reporters, but thankfully, I was wrong. Instead, it was a photo of rookie Zach Mettenberger.
You know, Tennessee Titans starting quarterback Zach Mettenberger? The one who knows he has the sickest porn-stache this side of the Mason-Dixon line and isn't afraid to flaunt it.
But as I admired the photo of him in all of his feathered hair glory, I had a troublesome realization: I was struggling to comprehend the fact that I - a usually optimistic Titans fan - didn't expect Zach Mettenberger to lead Tennessee to a win over the Houston Texans on Sunday. I began to wonder if I was the only Titans fan who was torn, so I turned to Twitter to find like-minded souls. As I sorted through the Dazed and Confused jokes, I realized that my non-support for Mettenberger was unreasonable.
Sure, it's only Week 8 and Mettenberger's a sixth round draft pick who's going against Texans star defensive end J.J. Watt (whose only real weakness is the art of acting), but I've been watching Titans games for so long that I realized that I can handle any amount of mediocre quarterbacking that might be thrown my way. Hell, it's even possible that Zach Mettenberger will make a few plays against the Texans defense.
But after searching various social media sites, I can see that there are a decent number of Titans fans that aren't as willing to change their tune and full-heartedly give Zach Mettenberger a shot. I believe that it's because they've become so fed up with the recent mediocrity from the Titans organization that they've lost hope.
Is that what happens when you get older and become accustomed to the same crappy routine? You get used to losing and you slowly become more and more pessimistic? You stop caring? Buying those crocs at the mall kiosk from a man named Gabriel starts to sound like a great idea? Two and a Half Men fills up your DVR?
I refuse to live in that world. And since I don't want you or your bitter, old ass dad to live in that reality either, I'd like to briefly take you down memory lane and remind you of Tennessee's starting quarterbacks of recent seasons. My hope is that you'll see that the past nine years have been a bit rough, but instead of being so cynical about Mettenberger - and the current state of the Titans - you'll give the guy a break and go along for the ride. Football's supposed to be fun and it's been a while since watching the Titans has consistently been enjoyable. Maybe the Mett Show's going to change that?
Besides, it's not like Mettenberger can do any worse than some of these guys:
Vince Young (2006-10): You may know him as the owner of the renowned Vince Young Steakhouse that's located in Austin, Texas, but more than likely, you once spotted him desolately drinking Grey Goose from the bottle at the bar of your neighborhood TGI Friday's during happy hour. Additionally, he led the Titans to a playoff berth in 2007, made two Pro Bowl appearances and won a Rookie of the Year award. Young had all of the physical attributes needed to succeed in the NFL, but he was just lacking the mental toughness needed to be a quarterback in the NFL. He might have been the best NFL quarterback to ever throw his pads into the stands.
Kerry Collins (2006-10): He was the living corpse who did just enough to neither win nor lose a game for the Titans during his tenure. I respect Collins for managing to coax so many coaches and general managers into thinking he could play in the NFL until he was 57-years-old, but he really wasn't that great with the Titans. Other than the 2008 season where he won 13 games, Collins only won two other starts in his time with Tennessee. Ouch.
Rusty Smith (2010-13): RUSTYYY. If you like ginger gunslingers that know how to throw three interceptions in their only career start, Rusty Smith is your guy. He was also great at pilfering a NFL paycheck for four seasons. I once met him at a Dillard's, where he pushed on a door that read 'pull,' because that's what Titans quarterbacks bring to the table.
Matt Hasselbeck (2011-12): Coming out of the 2011 NFL lockout, new Titans Head Coach Mike Munchak signed Matt Hasselbeck to serve as the bridge between the Vince Young experiment and the eventual Jake Locker era. It what would be remembered as one of only four astute decisions that Mike Munchak made as Titans head coach. Hasselbeck led the Titans to Tennessee's first record over .500 since 2008. Jake Locker would beat out the hairless veteran the next offseason and Hasselbeck flew the coop after the 2012-13 season to sign with Indianapolis, where he's currently supervising Andrew Luck's neck beard.
Jake Locker (2011-14): Jake Locker was drafted 8th overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. Most analysts thought it was a reach, but the Titans were sure they found their guy. And to be fair, Locker looked like a quality NFL quarterback at the start of the 2013 season...But then he got hurt. Again. And again. Which resulted in Mike Munchak being fired. Quarterback whisperer Ken Whisenhunt was then hired as Titans head coach and promised to give Locker an opportunity. Whisenhunt did, but Locker just couldn't stay healthy, which is why we're preparing for Mettenberger to make his first career start on Sunday. Personally, I'll always wonder what could have been if Locker didn't have such bad luck when it came to injuries.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (2013): The Harvard man made some spectacular plays during his brief year in the Music City, but they always seemed to be followed by an ill-advised interception. Even with his streaky play, he filled in well for a hurt Locker; The Titans were a win away from making the playoffs in 2013.
Charlie Whitehurst (2014): When you have a head of hair like Jesus' and play in the NFL, you don't have much to worry about because everything's going to work out. Clipboard Jesus is no exception to that theory. Whitehurst was actually solid in his limited starts for the Titans, but Whisenhunt wanted to give Mettenberger a shot. You can't hate Charlie for being beautiful.
Zach Mettenberger (2014): He's no Neil O'Donnell, but we'll find out what Mett's got to offer.