With his gray beard, Tennessee quarterback Kerry Collins likes to tell people, “I feel a lot younger than I look.”
It is reflected in his play. Collins has become, in the opinion of those in and out of the organization, the Titans’ undisputed leader. It is his team now.
Collins is in what he feels is the best shape of his life, weighing 229 pounds, less than what he weighed when he was one of the nation’s top quarterback prospects at Penn State.
Tennessee had some concerns that, at the age of 35, Collins would be able to make it through a 16-game season. But those concerns have vanished. Collins has proven to the Titans that he can play now, and for the remainder of the season, no matter how much gray is in his beard.
Where it will get really interesting is after this season. After starting this season, Collins wants to remain as a starter. His contract is up. He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent. But Tennessee also has former third-overall pick, Vince Young.
And so the decision that Tennessee makes after this season will be one that greatly impacts its franchise in future ones. It must see if it can figure out a way in which Collins and Young can co-exist, which will not be an easy thing to accomplish.
Other starting opportunities could await Collins, though he never has thrived the way he has in Tennessee. It’s been a great ride for Collins and the Titans so far, and there still is plenty left in it.