The Will Levis era is officially underway in Tennessee.
On Tuesday, head coach Mike Vrabel announced Levis is the starting quarterback moving forward. Ryan Tannehill will be the backup.
“We are going to go with Will,” Vrabel told reporters. “We think it’s the best opportunity for our football team right now. We’ll see where he’s (Ryan) at is at. We’ll progress through here this week. We think, hopeful (he’ll) be a backup for us and prepare as a starter. That’s where we are at right now. I shared that with the team and had a conversation with everyone involved. That’s how that will look like.”
Vrabel added, via Titans Insider: “There is clearly something there with Levis, and we want to prepare him and win with him.”
The baton pass became official on Tuesday, but it was clear after the rookie’s performances the past two weeks with Tannehill (ankle) injured that the Titans should stick with the big-armed quarterback.
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Levis shined in his first career start in Week 8, divebombing the Atlanta Falcons with big plays, throwing four touchdowns with zero interceptions with 238 yards passing in a 28-23 win. Week 9 was more of a struggle as the second-round rookie missed several throws in the loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers and tossed a game-ending interception. However, the signs were evident it should be Levis’ team moving forward.
The Kentucky product boasts a cannon of an arm, is able to fit the ball in tight windows and opens the Titans’ passing offense in ways Tannehill cannot. Levis’ willingness to stand strong in the pocket is veteran-esque but does lead to some sacks and big hits. In his first two outings, the 24-year-old rookie also displayed sound presnap processing, calling out blitzes and avoiding staring down his first reads too often. There will be ups and downs, as with all young QBs, but Tennessee will ride through them with the high-upside quarterback.
The Titans sit at 3-5 — last in the AFC South — entering Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With the QB change now official, the future is now in Tennessee.
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