Malik Willis, Mike Vrabel talk Titans QB’s preseason debut

·3 min read

The Tennessee Titans got a glimpse of their future on Thursday night in the preseason opener against the Baltimore Ravens, as quarterback Malik Willis impressed in his first live-game action.

Willis completed 6-of-11 passes for 107 yards, while also adding five carries for 38 yards and a touchdown. The rookie fully flashed his impressive arm and athleticism, which allowed him to extend plays.

Of course, Willis’ night wasn’t perfect, as he had some miscues along the way, but there’s no question he had a good game overall and was the better quarterback as compared to fellow backup, Logan Woodside.

Following the game, Willis shared his thoughts about his preseason debut. He pointed out that while he did make some plays with his legs, that isn’t something he can continue to rely on all the time.

“[The loss is] not the result you’re looking for but we’re just blessed to have the opportunity to go out there and play some football. I’ve got a lot to learn from, got a lot to look at on film,” Willis said of his debut.

“I missed some things probably and I just made up for it with my legs. Can’t continue to rely on that, though, but that’s what the preseason is for, so you can see those things against a live defense,” he added.

Head coach Mike Vrabel shared his thoughts on Willis’ debut as well, calling it “OK” and pointing out his ability to extend plays. Now, Vrabel wants to see Willis combine that athleticism with better decision-making.

“I think it was OK. There were some sloppy stuff, but he got us into the right plays and it probably comes down to execution,” Vrabel said. “It’s different; it’s a new experience for all of these guys. We’ve got a lot of rookies on this team and there’s going to be a lot of guys that will continue to develop and get better. Just want to make sure that they’re competing each and every day and they understand how difficult this league is, especially as a young quarterback to step back in there with a live rush and seeing coverage. That’s why we have these preseason games, that’s why I wanted to put him out there, that’s why I wanted him to take the ball, to put him in those situations; that’s the only way that you can grow. He kept some plays alive with his legs and we just have to be able to combine some of that with making great decisions when guys are open, and being decisive and accurate with the football.”

As far as the QB2 battle goes, score one for the rookie.

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Story originally appeared on Titans Wire