The Tennessee Titans profess confidence in Rusty Smith as he makes his first NFL start on Sunday against the Houston Texans.
Smith not only will make the start, but he will have a rookie play-caller in Dowell Loggains, his quarterbacks coach on Sunday, as it was revealed Wednesday that offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger was diagnosed with cancer.
“It's a dream come true to be able to start an NFL game as a quarterback. I've looked forward to it for a long time,” Smith said. “I'm still pinching myself to make sure I'm not dreaming.”
During one defensive period, when Smith would usually be running the Titans scout team, he went to the other end of the practice bubble to work on his timing with receiver Randy Moss.
“I was trying to get acclimated with a lot of the guys. I was throwing routes with Randy, and with Nate and with Bo. Guys that I haven't really been throwing with, because I've been throwing to the scout team and with the younger guys,” Smith said.
Moss said he wants to make the rookie look good and help him prepare.
"I just want to go out there and play good for him. That's just point blank," he said.
While Smith is an untested rookie with only nine pass attempts last week to his professional resume, Kerry Collins said one thing the Titans won't have to worry about his Smith's preparation.
“One thing about Rusty is I don't think guys are going to have to worry about how he prepares. He's gonna prepare very well this week,” said Collins, who is sidelined with a calf injury. “Obviously, it comes along with the position. He's a starting quarterback. There's pressure, but that's when you just got to focus on what you need to do. I think everybody will see that he's ready to play.”
Smith said he doesn't expect any limitations, just because he is an untested rookie.
"I think the playbook is completely open," he said. "I don't think the coaches have to worry about that."