Malik Willis’ future shouldn’t be judged during the Titans’ stretch run

There’s a saying that goes along the lines of “don’t knock it till you try it”.

Maybe you’ve hung out with a friend, or relative, and they’ve asked you to try some unfamiliar food, a weird looking beverage, or some activity that you’ve probably never tried or heard of before.

At first, your instincts tell you not to try it, due to you not liking the look, smell, or appearance of the questionable thing in your mind. But the person who suggested it, nudges you in hopes of you trying it, hopefully getting a favorable reaction from you after you’ve wandered into unknown realms of discovery.

In the end, you might like it, you might not like it. But the truth of the matter is you tried it, which now gives you grounds to truly say if it sucks, or if it’s good to you.

Usually, this common idiom wouldn’t be applied to the great game of football, or something more specific like long term quarterback evaluation.

Because who in their right mind would take something so innocent and apply it to a carnivorous and violent sport like football?

Well, that’s why we’re here.

For starters, any talk of proper long term evaluation for Willis shouldn’t be occurring due to a variety of reasons. A poor offensive line, a poor arsenal of weapons offensively, and a questionably outdated offensive philosophy to name a few.

But with just three important regular season games remaining for the Tennessee Titans, talks regarding Willis’ future have ramped up.

The basis of these discussions are based on the idea of quickly throwing Willis into the fire — like now, although he has to be thrown into the fire because of Ryan Tannehill’s latest ankle injury — and quickly figuring out if Willis can be the quarterback of the future for the Titans.

This scenario wasn’t a concern when Willis was initially drafted, heck it wasn’t a concern a couple months into his rookie season. Willis had — and probably still has — the backing of the organization (specifically former general manager Jon Robinson) which usually goes a long way in these type of situations.

But with Robinson now gone, and a new general manager potentially not having the same love for Willis, a lot of importance has suddenly been placed on these last few regular season games, and potentially playoff games as well.

These situations are unique and very hard to get a grasp on, because you simply don’t know what’ll be on the mind of the next decision maker. Decisions you thought would go one way, could go a totally different direction, even making last minute turns you didn’t expect initially.

Which is why again, a lot of importance has been stressed regarding these last few games of the season.

However, this specific thought has to be introduced with a lot of caution, at least in theory it should.

You see, with how disadvantageous the Titans’ offensive situation is, you can’t reasonably expect Willis to light the world on fire and give the Titans something to seriously ponder heading into the off-season. Like we mentioned before, the offensive line is poor and ravaged by injuries, so poor and injury prone that the infamous 2015 Titans offensive line could somehow give this current one a run for its money.

The offensive weapon situation is poor as well, but every fan and person whose extensively watched this team, knows that too well. It’s so bad, that rookie receiver Treylon Burks stands as this team’s pulse in the passing game.

With him, it’s somewhat respectable at most. Without him? Well, the passing game turns into an excruciating, nauseating disaster, that even prisons across the world can pop it on a video tape and torture the most heinous of criminals.

Add in the fact that the outdated offensive philosophy has its thoughts in the wrong places, and you get yourself a painful offensive catastrophe that fuels nightmares.

With all this in mind, how could you possibly stand to use these last few games as a measuring stick, or even a significant piece of evidence in regards to Willis’ place as the Titans’ potential lone long term quarterback option?

You can’t, you simply can’t.

It goes against logic and any reasonable route of reason. But the NFL has unsurprisingly surprised us by going against the very laws of logic and reason recently, so maybe this isn’t a totally crazy scenario?

Either way, using these last few games as a benchmark for Willis’ future in Tennessee, is nothing short of boneheaded, and dare I say it, downright stupid. Once you can surround yourself with a better offensive outlook — weapons, personnel, and modernity within philosophy and scheme — then you can begin the countdown of doom or agony, whichever side of the spectrum you fall on.

Until then though, stay away from illogical reasoning, it’ll serve you good and save you a lot of time regarding this unnecessary debate.

Featured image via George Walker-USA TODAY NETWORK

Author: TreJean WatkinsTre Watkins is a writer who has covered the Titans since 2019 for BlackSportsOnline, The Brawl Network, and now Broadway Sports Media. FC Barcelona and Yankees baseball are his two loves, Forca Barca!

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