Despite possessing the physical skills to succeed as an NFL quarterback, Zach Mettenberger slid to the sixth round of the draft due to his ACL injury and concerns about a lack of production in big games at the college level.
However, he fell to a fairly fortuitous spot with the Tennessee Titans. With often-injured Jake Locker entering a pivotal season and Clipboard Jesus as the only veteran option, Mettenberger could get an opportunity to prove he was worth more than a normal sixth-rounder.
The rookie told SiriusXM NFL Radio he plans on fighting for the starting job from the jump.
"If I was drafted and (SiriusXM NFL Radio host Mark Brunell) is the vet, I'm coming for his job from Day 1," Mettenberger said. "That's my attitude. If I don't win the job, I'm pushing, in this scenario, pushing Mark to be the best guy for the job. I'm going to make Jake work that much harder, make Charlie (Whitehurst) work that much harder, 'cause I'm coming every day. And I'm bringing my best effort and my hardest work to the facility every day to show that I should be the guy playing."
(Yes, that is your offseason trope alarm blaring.)
"I think that's the approach any guy worth his salt has," Mettenberger said. "You're not only thinking about the short team, but you also have a long-term view of yourself as a player and a person. We don't play this game to ride the bench, you don't play this game to just get a paycheck -- at least the good ones don't. You play this game because you love it, you love competing, and you wanna play. That's what I'm doing."
The rookie signal-caller admitted that his chance might not come this year. However, with Locker on the final year of his contract, Mettenberger plans to be ready if and when a chance presents itself.
"I'm trying to do whatever Coach (Ken) Whisenhunt asks of me, trying to show that I play mistake-free football and can lead long drives," Mettenberger said. "That's all I can control. And if my time comes this year, next year, four years, it doesn't matter. When that opportunity comes, I have to take advantage of it, and be patient until that time comes."