Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, November 11, 2022

Rookie Willis isn’t yet a capable fill-in at QB

Malik Willis has completed 12 of 30 passes for 141 yards and run for another 68. - Photo by Peter Aiken | AP

It doesn’t take a trained eye to see that Malik Willis is still very much a work in progress as an NFL quarterback.

The rookie from Liberty has had flashes of greatness a couple of times while filling in for Ryan Tannehill, but not nearly enough as the Titans are forced to play an even more conservative style than normal on offense.

Which brings us to the point. In an ideal situation, the Titans would have had a more tested option to put in at quarterback in the event of a Tannehill injury. It hasn’t mattered for three and a half years, until now with Tannehill nursing an ankle injury.

Time was for this franchise when the backup quarterback spot was never an issue. Guys like Neil O’Donnell, Billy Volek, Kerry Collins, Matt Hasselbeck and Ryan Fitzpatrick were all proven and trusted commodities to operate the offense in the event the starter was injured.

But now, the Titans are paying the price for the gamble that having no experience at the No. 2 quarterback spot wouldn’t matter. Willis is still very raw, and the only other option – Logan Woodside – has virtually no regular-season game experience either.

It’s like an insurance policy. You don’t really think about it until you’re involved in a crash. But when you don’t have it, that’s when the trouble begins.