Collins: ‘I feel like I’m a starter in this league’

(G. Newman Lowrance/

(G. Newman Lowrance/

Veteran Kerry Collins wants to continue playing football — but only as a starting quarterback. Whether that happens with the Tennessee Titans has yet to be determined.

Collins met with the media on Monday for one last time this season following Saturday’s 13-10 loss to the Ravens, and was adamant that a return next season — to any team — would be as a starter. Collins, who just completed his 15th season, took over for Vince Young in Week 2 of the season and helped lead the Titans to a 13-3 record and the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

“I’ve played so much in my career, and I’ve been a starter for so long,” Collins said. “I feel like I’m a starter in this league. … But if it comes down it, becoming a backup is something I’m not interested in right now.”

Titans coach Jeff Fisher was non-committal on Monday about his plans at quarterback — neglecting to answer a question if Collins was in his offseason plans — but said he felt the veteran had “earned the right” to say he wants to start.

“I’ll go into details at some point in the near future regarding the decisions that we’re going to make, as far as the roster is concerned,” Fisher said. “Kerry is important to us. Kerry played very, very well for us. In particular, Saturday afternoon, I thought he played his best game against a very difficult defense.”

While keeping his plans close to the vest, Fisher reiterated that Young will once again be under center for the Titans. When that is, no one will say, but the Titans continue to look for a commitment from Young.

“This is about Vince Young,” Fisher said. “This is about spending the time here. About committing himself to the offseason program, and just doing the best he possibly can to make himself a better football player.”

As for Collins, he said if no starting opportunities present themselves, he’s completely comfortable shutting it down and retiring. But he thinks he still has two to three seasons left to play.

“I don’t know for sure what’s going to happen here, but I hope I’m here,” Collins said.

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