The Tennessee Titans threw some people for a curve when they settled on selecting Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota with the second overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.
One member of the team who might not have been happy with that choice is their starting quarterback from last season, Zach Mettenberger.
Mettenberger will likely be sitting behind Mariota as a backup this fall. However, Titans’ offensive tackle Taylor Lewan doesn’t believe that Mettenberger will give up his starting role that easily:
That is the mentality that Zach has, he thinks of himself as a starter, and the guys in the locker room do also,” Lewan told reporters, via The Tennessean. “I don’t think he is going to give it up easily. 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 visited Mettenberger on the first evening of the draft and reported that the second-year quarterback showed up for practice on both Friday and Monday after witnessing his team choose their franchise quarterback. He also explained that Mettenberger did not seek a trade and blamed his agent for the conflicting news:
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. 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.
Since Mettenberger, a sixth-round pick from last year’s draft, is already practicing and working closely with his team, it presents a tough environment for a new rookie and promised starter to wedge his way in to the inner circle. Whether Mettenberger began private workouts with his team to claim his stake as a starter, or he initiated the activity because the team was certain that the Titans would deal the pick, remains unknown.
The two quarterbacks will soon begin working together in a situation that has awkwardness written all over it.
Photo: USA Today Sports