Titans coach makes it clear Ryan Tannehill is the backup

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Yes, the Titans want quarterback Ryan Tannehill to push Marcus Mariota. That does not mean they think he’s there to replace Mariota.

Titans coach Mike Vrabel said the addition of the former Dolphins first-rounder will serve as an important insurance policy but the message should not be misconstrued as it pertains to Mariota’s status.

“The message is it’s understood we’re going to put as many guys on the roster as possible that can compete and help us win,” Vrabel said, via Jim Wyatt of the team’s official website. “It only makes guys better.

“Obviously if Marcus is healthy, and he’s available, he’s our starter. We just felt like, to be able to strengthen the position, to have a chance to add a player like Ryan, who could help us if Marcus isn’t available, then we were excited to do so.”

The Titans played a game bearing playoff implications with Blaine Gabbert under center, so the need for an upgrade at backup was clear. But Mariota’s history of missing at least some time (he hasn’t played 16 games in a season yet) made it reasonable to wonder what Tannehill’s actual role would be.

“We felt like he’s a proven starter, a starter in this league for a lot of years,” Vrabel said of Tannehill. “We felt like it upgraded the position. Blaine did a great job. Blaine did everything that was asked of him. Blaine was amazing in the room, after hours, helping out, trying to find ways to do things for us offensively and give us an edge. He was great with Marcus. He got thrown into a couple of tight spots and he competed and did a nice job. We just felt like an opportunity came for us to upgrade the position and we did it.”

They’ll add another young quarterback at some point, but they’ve at least given themselves more of a chance with Tannehill, as they hope they don’t need to use him.

7 responses to “Titans coach makes it clear Ryan Tannehill is the backup

  1. Titans are mired in 8-8 mediocrity, imprisoned by their drafting of Mariota. Will be interesting to see if Arizona does the same thing.

  2. Even as average as Marcus Mariota is, who could possibly have been so confused to have thought such a thing?

  3. They should try some 2 QB sets, just to mix it up every once in a while. They both have great wheels, dual threat. Since Tannehill should hardly play anyway there’s no worry about him getting injured.

  4. I get it, Mariota has not been great the last 2 seasons. But they have been plagued by injuries & at least somewhat compounded by bad o line play & poor talent at the skill positions. Have we just forgotten about his first 2 seasons when he looked like a future superstar?

    To me, there are 2 questions about him.

    1) Can he stay healthy? To me this is his biggest knock. But a lot of these injuries have been freak injuries, not like hamstrings which are about conditioning. But a broken ankle & elbow nerve damage. Or is this just who he is? Everyone thought Matt Stafford was injury prone his first few years also.
    2) Have we already broken him? 4 offensive coordinators, 3 systems. Poor talent around him. Look at what other teams give their young QBs. Mayfield, Mahomes, Goff. All have talent around them. We have never given him weapons like that.

    They’ve tried to add skill around him with Humphries & adding Saffold to the O-line. And I would expect them to go WR & G with at least 2 of the first 3 selections in the draft. So this is a big year for him. There is still hope.

  5. Glad to see Tannehill go to a team where they will actually have a chance to win games over the next few years.

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