TRAINING CAMP PREVIEW: QUARTERBACKS
In camp (3): Ryan Tannehill, Logan Woodside, Malik Willis.
Offseason developments: Tannehill took part in all of the team's OTAs and the two-day minicamp following a few months of soul-searching following the 2021 season. Back in March, Tannehill threw with some of the team's receivers in South Florida before returning to Nashville. I thought he looked good in the offseason work while dealing with plenty of new faces around him. Woodside is also back after agreeing to a new one-year deal with the team in March. He continued to hone his skills in the offseason work, and he's improved. The Titans selected Willis, who starred at Liberty, in the third round of the NFL Draft. The Titans also added Passing Game Coordinator Tim Kelly to the coaching staff during the offseason. Kelly's impact on the quarterbacks – and the offense – remains to be seen.
In the spotlight: Tannehill. If the Titans are going to have a special season, Tannehill is going to have to play well in 2022. He's the team's unquestioned starter, and he knows the pressure is on. Tannehill's regular season numbers dipped in 2021, and then he had a nightmarish end to the season with his three-interception game in the playoff loss to the Bengals. Tannehill has talked openly about the pain and anguish he dealt with in getting over that loss. Now, his mission is to guide the team back into the playoffs – and perform better in the postseason. The prep work will begin in training camp.
Battle to watch: Woodside vs. Willis. Woodside heads into camp as the favorite to be the team's No.2 quarterback. Woodside knows the system, has the confidence of the coaching staff and his teammates, and he's performed well in practices while operating behind Tannehill in the past. Willis, selected 86th overall in the draft, made strides during the offseason, but he's very much a work in progress. The thinking here is the team will end up keeping three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster, with Willis beginning the season as the No.3 quarterback who could end up being inactive on game days.
Keep an eye on: Willis. The strong-armed and athletic quarterback hopes to make enough progress in training camp and the preseason to convince his bosses he can be trusted right out of the gate. Willis can spin in, and you can see the velocity on his throws. But he still needs to clean up his mechanics, and the verbiage is all still so new to him. Let's not forget this is a guy who spent most of his college career in the no-huddle, and he wasn't under center much. The Titans will continue to work with him, but it's going to take some time. Already the team has been impressed with his growth, and he's shown he's thirsty to learn more.
Next up: Running backs.