The Tennessee Titans might have something in rookie quarterback Will Levis, but it’s been hard to see much the past two weeks thanks to an issue that has been prevalent all season long: bad pass protection.
Levis has been absolutely battered the last two weeks against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and unsurprisingly the Titans’ offense hasn’t been able to get off the ground much.
The concern — other than injury, of course — is that playing under these conditions could hurt Levis’ development. However, that’s not something head coach Mike Vrabel is concerned about.
“I don’t have any concern about that,” he said, per ESPN’s Turron Davenport. “I don’t see any discouragement. But we have to continue to protect him and develop him and have him help us and let them throw the football.”
We’ve seen it go both ways in the past. Some quarterbacks are able to overcome offensive line issues early in their careers, and others aren’t.
The good news for the Titans is, Levis seems to have the kind of moxie that will help keep him confident and firing, even in a less-than ideal situation.
“You can’t let those factors determine how you think about a play or process it,” Levis said. “There are times when there are answers that you can turn to if there’s pressure or it’s coming a little faster.”
The Titans haven’t had those answers the last two weeks, though. Teams are having success against Tennessee’s offensive line rushing the bare minimum, and forget about when they send a blitz.
Obviously, that mostly has to do with the horrid offensive line play, but offensive coordinator Tim Kelly hasn’t done much to help, either.
Unfortunately, things are unlikely to get much better the rest of this season, which means the Titans have to hope Levis can continue to develop under these circumstances while also staying in one piece.
From there, the Titans’ No. 1 priority next offseason will once again be fixing the offensive line. Thankfully, Tennessee will have $100 million in cap space and some draft picks to help their cause.
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Author: Mike Moraitis