Vrabel on taking Willis out after the second play of the third quarter: I wanted him to throw the ball. He didn't, so we put in Logan
— Buck Reising (@BuckReising) August 12, 2022
The Tennessee Titans got their first look at rookie quarterback Malik Willis in Thursday night’s preseason opener against the Baltimore Ravens, and the third-round pick from Liberty flashed some of the playmaking ability that made him a star at the college level.
Despite that, Willis ended up getting pulled out of the game early in the third quarter, after a 17-yard scramble for a first down.
Because he wasn’t throwing the ball enough.
That’s what Titans head coach Mike Vrabel told the media after the game, per Buck Reising of A to Z Sports.
Willis finished the night completing six of his 11 passes for 107 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions, adding 38 yards and a touchdown on five rushing attempts. His replacement, Logan Woodside, went 14-for-24 passing for 102 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions.
There’s no doubt Willis is an electric playmaker as a runner, and he even flashed his lofty potential as a passer with a beautiful 48-yard deep ball to Racey McMath.
Evidently, five rushing attempts for Willis compared to 11 pass attempts just wasn’t an acceptable balance for Vrabel, for some reason.