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Why the Titans Shouldn't Start Zach Mettenberger (Yet)

The risk isn't worth the potential reward in starting Mettenberger this soon.

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

The Titans are in a downward spiral.  Nothing is going right and when that happens the backup quarterback is usually one of the first to be called for in making a change.  That is unless you backup is Charlie Whitehurst.  Then the fan base just skips to the next guy.

For the record, Whitehurst didn't play bad and didn't cost the Titans their latest game against the Colts.  As I wrote yesterday, this team has a lot more wrong with it than the quarterback position.

By now many have given up on Locker and are assured he's not the answer moving forward.  Charlie Whitehurst may be able to fill in in a back up role, but the odds of him becoming a world beater franchise QB at this point in his career are slim to none.

So why not start the rookie?  Let's see what we've got so we know what we have at the end of the year and moving towards free agency and the draft.

One reason above all others is because of the team dynamic.  Skipping to 3rd string QB looks panicky to a new team that you are preaching a process too.  At 1-3, it wreaks of a desperation move from a coach that doesn't believe himself what he's been preaching all along.  And as much as fans may have given up on the season, they shouldn't want a coach or a team that does so as well, this early on.

I'm not going to even try and predict if Mettenberger will be a good or franchise QB in the future.  Zach Mettenberger could be great.  He may be the answer to the teams needs at the position for years to come. I understand that fans want to find out.  I want to find out too.  But what if he's not good or not ready?  What if he's horrible?  Like Kirk Cousins on Thursday night horrible.  Or Rusty Smith horrible?

Let's say the LSU rookie stinks it up for 3 straight games and now you feel he's not the answer, or at the very least needs more time learning as a backup.  Now you've got your answer that fans so desperately want about whether or not you need a new quarterback in the off season.  But good luck keeping the team together while you're playing round robin at the quarterback position.

The bottom line is Whisenhunt learned from his mistakes in Arizona and can't afford to lose his new team's faith so quickly.  If Mettenberger is good, or can be good, then that will remain true despite not playing in the next handful of games.  It's just not worth the risk quite yet.