NASHVILLE, Tennessee — After falling 27-13 to the Dallas Cowboys at home on Thursday night football, and extending their unprecedented end-of-season losing streak to six games, you’d think the Tennessee Titans would be crying in their 7-9 beer.
So why the happy face?
Enter one Josh Dobbs, stage right. Who’s Josh Dobbs? A former Tennessee Volunteers SEC stand-out quarterback who has a 4.0 G.P.A. for advanced degrees in aeronautical sciences (aka rocket science).
He’s bounced around the NFL for six years and is a veteran of multiple franchise practice squads. Quitting evidently is not in this young man’s lexicon.
When Titan’s franchise QB Ryan Tannehill‘s fragile ankle finally succumbed to potential season-ending surgery, the Titans picked Dobbs up off the Steelers practice squad as a third-string backup to 2022 third-round draft pick rookie QB Malik Willis.
Willis was supposed to be the future.
On Thursday night, the Titans made him the past.
Dobbs’ performance then cemented Willis’ fate. He’s done in Tennessee.
The Titan’s brass happy talk press conference comments on his future with the team are the epitome of fake news. It’s a lie.
It’s this simple: in a game that meant nothing to next Sunday’s division title showdown at Jacksonville, Vrabel and company did what they do: they made a decisive and bold move to give their reeling team the best chance to win: they benched Willis.
They played Dobbs for next Sunday.
Vrabel has no fear.
Scrap the Tennessean beat writers journalist cheer about Willis’ “practice growth.”
When push came to shove, they pushed him out.
Sometime last week, after just three NFL starts, the Titans came to the cold businesslike decision Willis is not capable of being an NFL quarterback.
That’s the risk when wasting a third-round draft pick on a QB who played for Liberty University in a weak non-power-five conference. You don’t see the speed or complicated variations of sophisticated Big 10 or SEC or Big 12 defenses when you’re facing ODU or Kennesaw State. It’s rookie league ball.
Despite the typical Titans tight-mouthed caginess about “evaluating their QB options,” Vrabel made the decision before Thursday night’s kickoff. They’re going with Dobbs against the Jags.
And why not? He played very well after only eight days with the team. His decision-making was quicker, he showed he can run, his passes were crisp and he had the courage to throw downfield. Remember, he had one first down run called back on a totally b.s holding call well off the play and then endured THREE dropped passes for sure third down conversions. Make those three catches and I believe Tennessee wins that game.
Dobbs is a rocket scientist.
We’ll see if that translates into a division crown for Tennessee next Sunday in northeast Florida.
Vrabel and company are rolling the dice – and Dobb’s future – on it.
Win or lose, there is no shortage of balls on that Tennessee sideline.
If sheer guts got you points, they’d lead the league in scoring.