When it comes to the backup quarterback spot, Jon Robinson and the Tennessee Titans will likely turn towards Logan Woodside for a second straight season.
For a former Toledo Rocket that never stood out during his time in the MAC, and a player that was starting games for the San Antonio Commanders just two years ago in the now disbanded AAF, that’s a pretty impressive jump in NFL roster status.
He hasn’t strictly been given the spot either.
The Titans have put Woodside through some form of competition in each of the last two training camps, with Woodside obviously coming out on top last off-season, and likely finishing with the top prize once camp ends in the next few weeks. To put it simply, he’s earned the right to stay on this roster.
But even with Woodside digging down deep and fending off any sort of competition for his ultra important roster spot, questions remain surrounding the quality of competition he’s had to shoo away. It’s all good and dandy if a player is competing against someone who you can respectfully say is a qualified candidate to compete and maybe even win the competition. But when the field consists of question marks, you start to wonder if the team is doing something wrong on their end roster wise to acquire the best talent available to make the competition somewhat valid.
That’s where my thinking is with the Titans at this point.
For the better part of two offseasons, the players that have been thrown into the fire to compete against Woodside have been characters to say the least.
At first, it was then 2020 rookie Cole McDonald, a raw but talented quarterback prospect that never really had a shot at toppling Woodside unless he showed substantial improvement with his mechanics and understanding of the game. Once that experiment flamed out, the team scrambled to sign veteran option Trevor Siemian, someone that fit the bill as an option with experience, and enough skill to potentially push Woodside. But Siemian’s lack of understanding for the offense basically made him a sitting duck surrounded by a group of hunters, and killed any chance he had at potentially locking down a spot on the roster.
Then came this year, with DeShone Kizer — a former second round pick with a reputation more suited for a camp body than a backup quarterback candidate on a contending team — getting the opportunity to go at it with Woodside. But like McDonald and Siemian from the year before, he failed to impress and hurt himself in the process, which stood as an additional unnecessary shot in the foot on top of his poor play in practice. Now, with the team’s first preseason game on the horizon, Matt Barkley has become the latest name to be thrust into this poor excuse of a competition.
Do you sense a pattern here?
The Titans have failed twice now at injecting their roster with legit competition at QB2. Not only does that not give you a decent look into what Woodside’s ceiling is as a backup, — although it’s fair to say we know what he is at this point — it puts you in a bad position if Ryan Tannehill has to miss time due to injury. Although you’d probably be concerned if Tannehill has to miss time because of an injury, good backup or not, it’s always recommended to feel as confident as possible about your QB2 situation.
Based on the multiple attempts to find competition for Woodside, it’s safe to say the Titans aren’t comfortable about the situation at all.
And if that’s the case, then there’s simply a problem here. I’m not saying the team has committed some grave, major sin, far from that actually. What I am saying though is that you’re not in a position to fumble away an attempt to upgrade your roster or keep it as steady as possible. General manager Jon Robinson has done an exceptional job at building this roster even with the mistakes he’s made over the years.
One thing is for sure though, the leader of the Titans’ front office has to do a better job at supplying this roster more competition at the backup quarterback spot. Every team wants to be in a position to find their starter and avoid turning to the second option at quarterback.
But even with that being the case, it’s still a special spot. Since you’ll never know when you’ll need to call on the player holding it down.