When it comes to who’s beginning under centre for the Titans this year, there’s no tumult in Tennessee: Marcus Mariota is your newcomer and Ryan Tannehill isn’t.
That’s the word out of Titans coach Mike Vrabel, who reiterated this weekend that Tannehill, whom Tennessee acquired in a trade from the Miami Dolphins, won’t be competing for beginning snaps in training camp.
“His occupation as a copy — everyone’s job as a backup — would be to push the man in front of him,” Vrabel said this weekend, per UPI. “To compete and try to make yourself better and try to make the team better and see how everyone reacts.”
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This year will probably be Tannehill as a backup QB. He was on the seat in Miami but due to injury instead of performance reasons. Drafted by Miami eighth in the 2012 draft, Tannehill started 77 straight games before being felled by a torn ACL, to open his career. The Dolphins, under new direction, moved on from Tannehill that this offseason, shipping him to Tennessee and substituting him with Josh Rosen and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The former Fins starter has already said this offseason that transitioning to a backup role has been”definitely tough occasionally,” but that he is acclimating well to carrying a back seat to Mariota.
“I think there’s a lot of mutual respect between us,” Tannehill said in late May. “I will try and assist Marcus as much as I can. I believe Marcus has done the same for me”
Even though Mariota’s starting job is not 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 without an assurance he will find a new contract from the club.
The former second overall selection has dealt with injuries and fought with unsteady play over the previous four seasons, such as Tannehill. Mariota sat out the last two games of the 2018 campaign using a stinger, ceding duties to usher Tennessee into the postseason into 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 trade for Tannehill seemed a direct response to the annoyance of last year’s conclusion. Tennessee wanted better Mariota insurance, for this season and perhaps a Mariota-less year in the not too distant future, and Tannehill had the bona fides.
Tennessee is hoping Tannehill flips a change in Mariota in the latter’s contract . However, whether the presence of a longtime starting signal-caller supporting a franchise appeared like Mariota will complicate things at Titans camp remains to be seen.
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