If it comes to who is starting under center for the Titans this year, there’s no tumult in Tennessee: Marcus Mariota is the starter and Ryan Tannehill is not.
That’s the word from Titans coach Mike Vrabel, who reiterated that this weekend that Tannehill, whom Tennessee obtained in a transaction from the Miami Dolphins, will not be competing for beginning snaps in training camp.
“His occupation as a copy — everybody’s job as a backup — is to push the guy in front of him,” Vrabel said this weekend, per UPI. “To compete and attempt to make yourself better and try to make the team better and see how everybody reacts.”
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This year will probably be Tannehill’s first as a QB. He was frequently on the seat in Miami but because of injury rather than performance reasons. Drafted by Miami eighth overall in the 2012 draft, Tannehill started 77 games to start his career. The Dolphins, under new leadership, moved on from Tannehill that this offseason, sending him to Tennessee and replacing him with Josh Rosen and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The prior Fins starter has already said this offseason that transitioning to a backup function was”definitely tough occasionally,” but that he is acclimating well to taking a back seat to Mariota.
“I think there’s a great deal of mutual respect between us,” Tannehill said in late May. “I will attempt to help Marcus as much as I can. I believe Marcus has done exactly the same for me.”
Though Mariota’s starting job isn’t immediately threatened by Tannehill’s presence, the Titans franchise QB is on a brief leash this year. Mariota is entering the fifth and final year of his rookie deal with no assurance he will find a new contract in the club.
The former second overall selection has dealt with injuries and fought with unsteady play throughout the last four seasons, like Tannehill. Mariota sat out the final two games of the 2018 campaign with a stinger, ceding responsibilities to usher Tennessee to 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 response to the pain of the conclusion of past season. Tennessee needed better Mariota insurance, for this year and possibly a Mariota-less season in the near future, and Tannehill had the bona fides.
Tennessee is expecting Tannehill flips a change in Mariota at the latter’s contract . However, if the existence of a longtime starting signal-caller behind a franchise quarterback like Mariota will complicate things at Titans camp remains to be seen.
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