Yes, the Titans stuck to their pick and drafted Marcus Mariota. Yes, they plan to start him.
Someone should probably mention those two facts to incumbent quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who believes he still has a shot at the starting job there.
Titans tackle Taylor Lewan, who is Mettenberger’s closest friend on the team, said the second-year passer is determined to hang onto the job which was bestowed upon him midway through last season when all the Titans’ other options were either hurt or useless.
“That is the mentality that Zach has. He thinks of himself as a starter, and the guys in the locker room do also. I don’t think he is going to give it up easily,” Lewan told Jim Wyatt of the Tennesseean. “Mariota, I don’t know the guy and I am sure he is a great worker and from everything I hear about him he’s a great guy. But Zach is not the kind of guy who in conflict is going to flee. He’s going to fight it out.”
Lewan said he went by Mettenberger’s house after Mariota was drafted, and was with him at workouts at the team facility Friday and Monday. Lewan also said Mettenberger never asked to be traded, blaming that report on his agent.
“Obviously being 23 years old, you don’t ever want to see that happen. It’s hard man, that stuff is tough. If I was in that situation I’d have a tougher time than he did,” Lewan said. “But the kind of guy Mettenberger is, he, . . . doesn’t care what round someone is drafted in or what pick necessarily. He is there to be successful and he is going to work his butt off.”
The Titans were talking up Mettenberger all offseason (while they were fishing for trade offers for the No. 2 pick), so it stands to reason he should have confidence. But he should also realize that he’s a backup again, with Mariota in town, the offense is likely going to skew away from his strengths and toward those of the guy they picked in the first round.