Tennessee Titans start rookie QB Malik Willis in preseason opener

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans started rookie quarterback Malik Willis in their 23-10 preseason-opening loss Thursday night against the Baltimore Ravens.

Willis was 6-of-11 for 107 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. He also rushed for 38 yards on five carries, scoring a touchdown on a 7-yard run in the second quarter to tie the game 7-7.

"He needs to try to throw the ball when guys are open, be more decisive," coach Mike Vrabel said after the game. "Wanted to get him out there and wanted to see how he responded. He did OK."

Willis, who was selected by the Titans in the third round of the 2022 draft, is listed behind Ryan Tannehill and Logan Woodside on Tennessee's unofficial depth chart.

The Titans have taken a developmental approach with Willis. Initially their focus was on him getting in and out of the huddle along with lining up under center to receive the snap.

The coaching staff has been impressed with how Willis has retained the information it has presented to him. The next step is putting it all together.

"Now it's a matter of tying the lower part of his body to what his mind is telling him to do and redirect his eyes with his feet," Titans quarterbacks coach Pat O'Hara said last week.

Willis said the best way for him to process things faster is to get more reps.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.