Vrabel after Willis' debut: He has 'to throw the ball when guys are open'
Tennessee Titans quarterback Malik Willis turned heads during his preseason debut, but head coach Mike Vrabel believes the rookie still has a long way to go as he transitions to the NFL.
"He needs to try to throw the ball when guys are open, be more decisive," Vrabel said after Tennessee's 23-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday, according to NFL.com's Kevin Patra.
"We'll evaluate that, see if there's a timing issue or what's going on. Wanted to get him out there, see how he responds. There were some good plays and obviously some plays we're gonna have to look at the timing on the release and if we're making the right decisions."
Willis, whom the Titans drafted in the third round, completed six of 11 pass attempts for 107 yards with no touchdowns versus Baltimore. The 23-year-old, who was sacked twice, put his arm strength on display by hitting a 48-yard pass to wide receiver Racey McMath.
"You've got a lot to learn from, a lot to look at on film, so I guess it's really cool to get out there again and play football," Willis said postgame. "I missed some things, probably, and I just made up for it with my legs and continued to rely on that, but that's what preseason is for."
The Liberty product scored a seven-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter after breaking multiple tackles. He finished the night with 38 yards and one score on five rushing attempts.
"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," Vrabel added.
Willis and Logan Woodside are competing for the No. 2 job behind veteran Ryan Tannehill. Woodside was 14-for-24 passing with 102 yards and two interceptions against the Ravens.