In the second installment of our ongoing series of positional analyses, we'll examine the current state of affairs at the quarterback position.
Heading into the 2008 season, it was a foregone conclusion to most that Vince Young was the team's present and future quarterback. With the return of Mike Heimerdinger, many were hoping that VY would make strides and continue his development into a bonafide NFL signal-caller.
Of course, things didn't work out that way. A Vince Young injury in week one opened the door for veteran Kerry Collins, who took advantage of his opportunity by leading the Titans to a 13-3 regular season record.
With KC's impending free agency looming on the horizon, let's take a look at where things stand at QB for the Tennessee Titans.
Kerry brought a veteran presence to the huddle in 2008. For the most part, he executed the role of game manager to near perfection while playing second fiddle to the Titans' formidable Smash and Dash RB combination. Against Jax and Chicago, when the running game was less than stellar, Collins took matters into his own hands by passing the team to victory.
At 36 years old, Collins is convinced that he can still be a starter in this league. As an unrestricted free agent, he's only considering two potential options: being a starting QB or retiring to his North Carolina farm.
From his solid 2008 performance to the surprise gifts given to the offensive linemen for keeping KC's jersey routinely clean, Collins has demonstrated that he is the offensive leader of this football team.
IMO, the Titans would be wise to extend a new contract and the 2009 starting QB position in Kerry's direction.
2008 was a learning experience for VY. Accustomed to being the star on perhaps every team's he ever been a part of, riding the pine and holding the clipboard were Vince's main responsibilities during the Titans' run to the playoffs.
Depending on the team's decision regarding Kerry Collins, at best, Vince may get an opportunity to compete for his old job next year. At worst, VY could continue his remarkable plunge from the potential greatness he exhibited during his rookie season to possibly falling out of the team's future plans at QB.
First things first: Vince must come into training camp mentally and physically prepared to show the Titans that he is still more than capable of being the team's present and future signal-caller.
Will that take place? Stay tuned...
Simms is an intriguing guy. With a strong arm and the experience of leading a team to the postseason already under his belt, I would love to see what Phil's son could do in training camp next year.
However, like Collins, Simms is also an unrestricted free agent. Unlike Collins, Simms' chances of becoming the Titans' starting QB in 2009 are less than ideal.
With reports suggesting that his arm strength has returned to its pre-spleen injury level, Chris may be tempted to venture to another NFL city where he could realistically compete for a starting gig.
As for his career in this NFL city, Simms could be a fall-back option if Collins decides to go elsewhere or retire next year. Under these circumstances, Chris would compete with fellow Texas Longhorn alum Vince Young for the starting job, with a #3 QB possibly arriving via the middle-late rounds of the draft.
What are your thoughts on the Titans' QB position in 2009?