When it comes to who’s starting under center for the Titans this season, there’s no tumult at Tennessee: Marcus Mariota is the starter and Ryan Tannehill isn’t.
That’s the word out of Titans coach Mike Vrabel, who reiterated this weekend which Tannehill, whom Tennessee acquired in a transaction from the Miami Dolphins, won’t be competing for beginning snaps into training camp.
“His occupation as a copy — everybody’s occupation for a backup — would be to push the guy in front of him,” Vrabel said this weekend, per UPI. “To compete and try to make yourself better and attempt to make the team better and see how everyone reacts.”
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This year will probably be Tannehill as a QB. He was on the bench in Miami but because of harm instead of performance reasons. Drafted by Miami eighth at the 2012 draft, Tannehill started 77 games before being felled with a torn ACL, to start his career. The Dolphins, under new leadership, proceeded on from Tannehill that this offseason, shipping him to Tennessee and substituting him with Josh Rosen and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The former Fins newcomer has already said this offseason that transitioning to a backup function was”definitely tough at times,” but he is acclimating well to carrying a back seat to Mariota.
“I believe there is a lot of mutual respect between us,” Tannehill said in late May. “I will try and help Marcus as far as I can. I think Marcus has done the same for me”
Even though Mariota’s starting job isn’t immediately threatened by Tannehill’s presence, the Titans franchise QB is on a short leash this year. Mariota is entering the fifth and last year of his rookie deal with no assurance that he will find a new contract in the club.
The former second overall pick has dealt with injuries and fought with unsteady play over the previous four seasons, such as Tannehill. Mariota sat out the final two matches of the 2018 campaign using a stinger, ceding responsibilities to usher Tennessee into the postseason to Blaine Gabbert. The Titans couldn’t get the job done, dropping their season finale to the rival Indianapolis Colts at home on”Sunday Night Football.”
The exchange for Tannehill seemed a direct reply to the pain of last year’s conclusion. Tennessee wanted better Mariota insurance, for this year and perhaps a Mariota-less season in the near future, and Tannehill had the bona fides.
Tennessee is hoping Tannehill flips a change in Mariota at the latter’s contract . However, whether the presence of a longtime starting signal-caller supporting a franchise appeared like Mariota will complicate matters at Titans camp remains to be seen.
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