Despite two straight poor performances, including a Sunday outing in which he registered a microscopic passer rating of just 1.3, Tennessee Titans quarterback Kerry Collins will retain the starting job.
Amid speculation that the 0-2 Titans might be prepared to turn over the reins to first-round draft choice Vince Young, coach Jeff Fisher reiterated his faith in Collins on Monday, said that he will remain as the starter, and that Young will continue to get playing time every week.
Tennessee faces the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
Signed to a one-year contract as a free agent on Aug. 29, Collins was essentially force-fed the Tennessee offense, after the team soured on projected starter Billy Volek, and quickly rose to the top spot on the depth chart. But in two losses, Collins has struggled mightily, completing only 23 of 57 passes for 280 yards, with no touchdown passes, four interceptions and a 26.9 efficiency rating.
In Sunday's 40-7 loss at San Diego, the veteran quarterback completed just six of 19 attempts for 57 yards, with two interceptions. Tennessee's only touchdown came on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Young to wide receiver Drew Bennett in the fourth quarter.
After the game, Collins, clearly disgusted by his play, squarely shouldered blame for the defeat.
"There's nothing wrong with this [offensive] system," Collins said of the design of coordinator Norm Chow. "What's wrong is when your quarterback plays the way I did."
Critics have questioned the wisdom of elevating Collins to the starting role after so little exposure to the offense, and so little time working with his new teammates. But it became obvious about halfway through the preseason that the Tennessee staff had lost faith in Volek, a six-year veteran backup who inherited the No. 1 job when the Titans traded longtime starter Steve McNair to the Baltimore Ravens.
There remains a strong likelihood that Volek, who is being pursued by at least two teams, will be traded.
It's also likely that Young, the former University of Texas star chosen with the third overall selection in this year's draft, will see his playing time extended in coming weeks. The Tennessee staff wants Young to get more comfortable with the offense before forcing him into the lineup. If the Titans continue to struggle, though, his ascent to the top of the depth chart could be accelerated.
Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.