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Boomer Esiason: Titans, QB Will Levis, Have Something to Prove in Improved AFC South


NASHVILLE— Boomer Esiason was asked about the Titans at Super Bowl LVIII, and he immediately began talking about the rest of the AFC South.

"They're in a division now that has Anthony Richardson, C.J. Stroud, and, of course, Trevor Lawrence," Esiason, an analyst for CBS, said of the division's signal callers. "And (the Titans) are still wondering about whether they have their quarterback on the roster.

"That's the first thing they have to figure out, if Will Levis is their guy. And, if he is, that's going to be a very, very competitive division for years to come."

Esiason, who played quarterback 14 seasons in the NFL, including from 1984-92 with the Bengals, is familiar with Levis, and new Titans coach Brian Callahan, who spent the past five seasons in Cincinnati as offensive coordinator with the Bengals.

Esiason gave his opinion on how he thinks things will work out with the two in Tennessee.

"There's some good and some bad," Esiason said of Levis, a second-round pick of the Titans in the 2023 NFL Draft. "I see a little Josh Allen in there. Remember when Josh first started (with the Bills), he was running all over the place and diving over people? And, he's that big, he's that strong."

In 2023, after being inactive the first six games of the season, Levis ended up starting nine games in 2023, and he completed 149-of-255 passes (58.4%) for 1,808 yards with eight touchdowns and four interceptions, with a passer rating of 84.2.

"(Levis) has the arm to make all the throws, but it all comes down to here," Esiason said while pointing to his head. "How do you handle the pressure? Brock Purdy? Seamless. Patrick Mahomes? Seamless. Joe Burrow? Seamless. (Levis) is not seamless just yet, and we have to be able to see if he can grow in this new offense as well.

"Because you are asking a second-year player to learn a new offense, which is not going to be easy."

Esiason said he's friendly with Bengals coach Zac Taylor, and Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. Esiason thinks the Bengals will miss Callahan, while saying it could prove to be a nice hire by Tennessee.

"I think Brian is going to be fine," Esiason said. "It's an under-the-radar high, for sure, by an under-the-radar franchise which has to rebuild now. And you want a young coach who has a history, and a history of success. I think they have the right guy and hopefully it works out for them."

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