Floyd Reese, the general manager of the Tennessee Titans from 1994 until 2006, offered three reasons why he believes the franchise decided to sign Brandon Weeden instead of Colin Kaepernick this week to be their backup quarterback – a move that angered many NFL fans.
The first, Reese argues, is that Kaepernick doesn't fit the scheme. Whereas someone like Marcus Mariota moves to throw, Reese said, Kaepernick is most comfortable "moving to run." Secondly, since Kaepernick isn't a "pocket passer," Reese explained, it will be easier for the Titans to integrate Weeden, who knows he has to "conform exactly to whatever it is they want." With Kaepernick, Reese says, teams will feel an obligation to "adjust the offense for him to give him a chance."
"This is what people that want you to sign Kaepernick always go to – always the numbers. The stats," Reese said on ESPN Nashville's "Jared & The GM" this week. "They go, well, he completed this many and he's got this many wins. They have no idea how hard it is to adjust your offense for somebody like that."
The final reason – and the one he warns "political people" aren't going to like — is that he believes Kaepernick is not worth the "circus."
"You don’t want this circus," Reese continued. "We just talked last week about how you thought Delanie Walker getting a death threat cost them the game. Well, you can imagine what's coming with this."
Back in September, the Titans' tight end Delanie Walker defended his team's recent protest of the national anthem – and, as Walker explained in an Instagram post, he and his family have since received death threats.
The Tennessee Titans fans are the best in the NFL. What we do on the field every Sunday would mean nothing without knowing we are supported by the city of Nashville and the fans that have been by our side over the years. One of the many things I gained from spending time in the Middle East on the NFL’s USO Tour this spring, is an appreciation for America’s core values and an even greater appreciation for the men and women that defend those values. In being asked about our team’s decision on Sunday to stay in the locker room for the National Anthem, I used strong words to defend our right to make our own choices. Both my choice to spark dialogue for positive change and the fans’ choice to attend our games. It’s that freedom of choice that makes our democracy the envy of many around the world. The death threats that my family and I have received since my comments are heartbreaking. The racist and violent words directed at me and my son only serve as another reminder that our country remains divided and full of hateful rhetoric. These words of hate will only fuel me in my efforts to continue my work reaching out to different community groups, listening to opposing voices, and honoring the men and women in the Armed Forces who risk their lives every day so that we may have this dialogue. I am proud to represent the many faces of Titans fans and believe that only through a more respectful discourse can we achieves the goals of unity, peace and racial equality that I know we all strive for. Titan Up
Because Kaepernick was the first NFL player to stage a protest during the national anthem last season, Reese believes Kaepernick and whichever team signs him would have to deal with a similar response. It's a big reason why a number of NFL players think Kaepernick is being "blackballed" by the league.
You can listen to the snippet of Reese’s interview here.