2011 Tennessee Titans offseason positional analysis: QB

Photo by Andrew Strickert for Total Titans
QB coach Dowell Loggains and Rusty Smith

Quarterback is clearly the most uncertain position facing the Tennessee Titans this offseason.  Vince Young will be released, unless some other team is foolish enough to trade for him.  Kerry Collins and Chris Simms will both become unrestricted free agents, which leaves Rusty Smith as the only quarterback on the roster who will remain under contract.

Titans GM Mike Reinfeldt has confirmed the team plans to acquire a veteran quarterback during the offseason and will also select one in the draft.

As the NFL draft approaches, we will certainly have a lot more to write about quarterbacks who the Titans may select, but for now our focus will be on the veterans, and which one may be wearing two-tone blue this season.

When he hasn’t been interrupted by the other disruptions which have been occurring with regularity this offseason, Drexel has been writing about quarterbacks the Titans might acquire, either in free agency or via trade.  These are the articles Drexel has written about them, with his take and his pros and cons about them:

Matt Flynn
Matt Hasselbeck
Kevin Kolb
Donovan McNabb
Kyle Orton
Carson Palmer
Billy Volek

I also contributed an article on Collins, in which I opined that he could be re-signed due to his status as a favorite of Jeff Fisher.  Now that Fisher and Mike Heimerdinger are both gone, Collins’ chances of remaining a Titan have diminished considerably.

There are two other veteran quarterbacks worthy of consideration that need to be included in the conversation, Chad Pennington and Marc Bulger.

Pennington has been in the league 11 years and will be 35 years old this season.  He’s never had a strong arm, even before his first shoulder injury.  He is, however, extremely accurate.  Pennington, a two-time NFL Comeback Player of the Year, has undergone yet another shoulder surgery and will attempt another comeback this year.  The Titans knocked him out of his only game, and only series, last season.

Bulger will be 34 this season.  Although he’s been in the league ten years, he’s only played eight.  Bulger didn’t make an appearance last season or in his rookie year.  After taking over from Kurt Warner as the Rams’ QB, he played well for five years, garnering two Pro Bowl nods, before the Rams fell apart and became one of the worst teams in the league.  Bulger took a lot of punishment behind a woeful line in St. Louis but the year off sitting on the bench in Baltimore last season may have done him good.

The following tables are compilations of the career stats and 2010 stats of all these possible replacements.

Career stats Yrs Gms Starts W-L Pct Comp Att Pct Yards TDs INTs TD/INT Yd/Att Rate
Marc Bulger 8 96 95 41-54 43.2% 1969 3171 62.1% 22814 122 93 1.31 7.2 84.4
Kerry Collins 16 194 177 81-96 45.8% 3439 6163 55.8% 40441 206 195 1.06 6.6 73.9
Matt Flynn 3 29 1 0-1 0.0% 49 83 59.0% 497 3 3 1.00 6.0 73.2
Matt Hasselbeck 12 170 131 69-62 52.7% 2572 4279 60.1% 29579 176 128 1.38 6.9 82.2
Kevin Kolb 4 19 7 3-4 42.9% 194 319 60.8% 2082 11 14 0.79 6.5 73.2
Donovan McNabb 12 161 155 97-57-1 62.9% 3076 5218 58.9% 36250 230 115 2.00 6.9 85.7
Kyle Orton 5 62 61 32-29 52.5% 1134 1952 58.1% 12774 71 48 1.48 6.5 79.6
Carson Palmer 7 97 97 46-51 47.4% 2024 3217 62.9% 22694 154 100 1.54 7.1 86.9
Chad Pennington 11 89 81 44-37 54.3% 1632 2471 66.0% 17823 102 64 1.59 7.2 90.1
Billy Volek 8 24 10 3-7 30.0% 312 517 60.3% 3754 27 15 1.80 6.7 84.9

 

2010 stats Gms Starts W-L Pct Cmp Att Pct Yards TDs INTs TD/INT Yd/Att Rate
Kerry Collins 10 7 2-5 28.6% 160 278 57.6% 1823 14 8 1.75 6.6 82.2
Matt Flynn 7 1 0-1 0.0% 40 66 60.6% 433 3 2 1.50 6.6 82.4
Matt Hasselbeck 14 14 6-8 42.9% 266 444 59.9% 3001 12 17 0.71 6.8 73.2
Kevin Kolb 7 5 2-3 40.0% 115 189 60.8% 1197 7 7 1.00 6.3 76.1
Donovan McNabb 13 13 5-8 38.5% 275 472 58.3% 3377 14 15 0.93 7.2 77.1
Kyle Orton 13 13 3-10 23.1% 293 498 58.8% 3653 20 9 2.22 7.3 87.5
Carson Palmer 16 16 4-12 25.0% 362 586 61.8% 3970 26 20 1.30 6.8 82.4
Chad Pennington 1 1 1-0 100.0% 1 2 50.0% 19 0 0 NA 9.5 83.3
Billy Volek 3 0 0-0 NA 1 1 100.0% 8 0 0 NA 8.0 100.0

One of those men will probably be the next starting quarterback for your Tennessee Titans.  We’ve started a new poll on Total Titans, asking you which of them you’d prefer.  The poll is set to allow you to vote once each 24 hours, so please feel free to come back and vote again.  This should provide an opportunity to vote for several players, if you like more than one.  Or you can vote for the same quarterback again, once each 24 hours.

As mentioned earlier in this article, we’ll focus more on the quarterbacks in the draft in the coming weeks.  I imagine the QB the Titans draft will probably be the #2 this season, unless the Titans use their first-round pick, #8 overall, on a quarterback.

Which brings us back to the third QB on the roster, if the Titans keep three of them this season.

Rusty Smith was a disappointment last year after some high expectations.  Heimerdinger really liked Rusty coming out of college, where coach Howard Schnellenberger had plenty of good things to say about him.  Rusty had a terrible outing in his only start last season and the word is Dinger soured on him some as the year progressed.

Despite his disappointing rookie campaign, it seems like Smith has a good chance to remain on the roster this year as the third QB.

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