The Titans mailbag: How they will assess Zach Mettenberger

Welcome to the Week 8 edition of the ESPN.com Titans mailbag.

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And we're off...

Paul Kuharsky: They won't be breaking it up that way, I do not expect. Whether they win or not, they want to know if Zach Mettenberger can can play winning NFL football. Barring injury, he'll put together a nine-game resume. They'll see how he makes decisions, reacts to pressure, reads coverages and comes back from adversity. All of those are pieces to it. It should give them a good sampling based on which they can project Mettenberger, plot their course with him and determine what else they need to do at the position going forward.

Paul Kuharsky: Sorry, it's just too hard to say because there are so many elements to it. Even with that play from Mettenberger, do they pass on a quarterback they love if he's there for them high in the draft? Who else is there and how do those guys line up with the team's schemes and needs? We just can't say much along those lines at this stage.

Paul Kuharsky: In this game, I like Taylor Lewan's chance to stave off Jadeveon Clowney far better than I like Chance Warmack 's against J.J. Watt. Watt will move around; Warmack won't be along with him a lot. But Watt is the best defensive player in the league and Clowney is still an unproven, inexperienced rookie who's likely to play just third down if he returns from injury.

Paul Kuharsky: Youth isn't an identity to me. Just like versatility, one of their favorite answers to the identity question, isn't. Youth and versatility are characteristics. When I seek an identity, I want you to tell me what it is you do, what your mentality is. I haven't heard a real answer to that or seen clear signs of it. It's something they still need to find.

Paul Kuharsky: This was in response to me saying a trade of inside linebacker Wesley Woodyard during his first season with the team would be a real indictment of what they brought in. Generally, a veteran free agent the GM and a new coach and staff liked would get more time to show he can fits. I'm in favor of teams admitting mistakes and cutting losses, but bad teams with thin rosters don't have the luxury of making and admitting those kind of mistakes in short order.

Paul Kuharsky: My default number on just about everyone is three years. You get a pretty good sense of a GM, coach or player in three years. A GM can be different, especially if there is a coaching change under him/by him, because he's charged to stock a roster with guys who can do what that coach and his staff want to do. Also, in three years, he gets three draft classes, but those two classes haven't gotten their three years, which can make it tougher to judge.

Paul Kuharsky: I wouldn't call him too conservative. He's struggled to get them in a rhythm and I think sometimes he hops around from thing to thing in the offensive envelope too much. Perhaps narrowing and really focusing on getting good at A, B and C could help them rather than looking at the whole envelope. Mettenberger is Whisenhunt's kind of quarterback, with the size, pocket presence and big arm. So we should see something closer to what he really wants as a playcaller now.