|Collins finally gets to face Bengals|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 12 September 2008 09:45|
With Vince Young out at least Sunday when the Titans visit Cincinnati, Collins has spent a chaotic week preparing for his first start since last Oct. 21, when Rob Bironas kicked an NFL-record eight field goals in a win at Houston.
``I now relish the opportunity to play because I don't play much anymore,'' said Collins, in his 14th pro season.
That's why the Titans have a history of tapping quarterbacks with experience as their backups. When Steve McNair started for this team, they had Dave Krieg, then Neil O'Donnell as his backups. They signed Collins just before the start of the 2006 season, and he started the first three games before the team was turned over to Young.
Now Collins, the fifth overall pick in 1995 who led the New York Giants to the 2001 Super Bowl, is in his third season here.
e doing,'' coach Jeff Fisher said. ``He's here, and he was brought here to back up a young quarterback who we drafted who was going to be the future of this franchise. He's fully aware that when there's problems and he's called upon, he's expected to win.''
Collins came into this season ranked third among active quarterbacks with 34,782 yards passing, trailing Brett Favre and Peyton Manning. He needs only 218 yards Sunday to become the 15th quarterback with 35,000 yards passing in his career.
The Titans ran for 137 yards in their opening 17-10 win over Jacksonville and frequently will run rookie Chris Johnson and LenDale White against the Bengals after Cincinnati gave up 229 yards rushing in its opening loss at Baltimore. But Collins showed off his arm in coming in for Young last week, completing both passes for 65 yards in driving for the clinching touchdown.
``Kerry Collins is a fine passer, he's been very successful,'' Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis said. ``You know a little bit more where he's going to be, although I'm sure part of their offense is to move the quarterback some. I'm sure they'll have those aspects involved in their offensive scheme.''
Collins said he doesn't expect to run as many rollouts.
``We'll do enough to keep them honest,'' he said.
ictory, and driving the Titans downfield for the win.
``He's veteran enough that even though he doesn't get the actual reps, he's prepared every week. He'll have a better sense and feel for what he's doing. He's had a really good week of practice,'' Fisher said.
Collins lost up to 15 pounds this offseason and has kept it off. Fisher said it has helped Collins look up to four or five years younger than he is at 35. The quarterback has looked a half-step faster than last year.
But the quarterback who has played for Carolina, New Orleans, the New York Giants and Oakland before coming to Tennessee has gone against every team in the NFL except for the Bengals. The Titans lost at Cincinnati 35-6 last November, but Collins stayed on the sideline.
Of the other 30 NFL teams, he has played Detroit and Carolina only once each and faced Washington the most, 12 times.
``Someone told me that earlier in the week,'' Collins said Friday. ``I guess that'll make my run through the NFL complete. I've hit everybody, and I guess you figure it would've happened by now being on five teams and 14 years. But I guess it took this long to do it.''
so Fisher said Young will be staying in Nashville to continue rehabilitating his sprained left knee.