Other than the Pittsburgh Steelers’ selection of quarterback Kenny Pickett in the first round, quarterbacks weren’t in high demand during the 2022 NFL draft.
The Tennessee Titans selected Liberty quarterback Malik Willis in the third round, who was slated to be a first-round pick.
Ryan Tannehill, the starting quarterback for the Titans, held a press conference with the media on May 3. Tannehill mentioned how he reached out to Willis after the pick to congratulate him.
However, Tannehill fed the world headlines when he made it clear that his job wasn’t to mentor the young 22-year-old.
“We’re competing against each other, we’re watching the same tape, we’re doing the same drills — I don’t think it’s my job to mentor him,” Tannehill said. “But if he learns from me along the way, then that’s a great thing.”
That sparked an immediate reaction, including from a former Arizona Cardinals great.
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Cardinals Hall of Famer Reacts to Tannehill’s Quote
Tannehill’s comments catapulted the Twitter world and the former Cardinals Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner was among the most vocal.
Warner took to Twitter and wrote, ” I will never understand the “I’m not here to mentor the next guy” mentality… so for all you young QBs that need a mentor, DM me & Ill be that guy, happy to help in any way I can!”
Warner himself can relate to being in Tannehill’s shoes. He was Eli Manning’s mentor after he was the first pick in the 2004 NFL Draft.
Manning has credited Warner’s mentorship in the past and still does to this day.
It wasn’t easy for Warner to become the Hall of Famer he is now. Warner’s career was displayed in the new 2021 movie “American Underdog”, which goes beyond football. The movie revolves around Warner being a struggling amateur football outcast who went undrafted in the NFL, but then got another shot and became an MVP and Super Bowl MVP with the St. Louis Rams in his first NFL season as a starter. He became a two-time MVP who then arguably made his most impressive achievement — getting the Cardinals to the Super Bowl at age 37.
Tannehill’s career trajectory hasn’t been easy either, but Tannehill was drafted in the first round by the Dolphins in 2012 and was up and down as a starter. Traded to the Titans in 2019, Tannehill leaped his way into the starting role and made his first Pro Bowl.
Now, Tannehill isn’t a fan favorite in Tennessee after throwing three interceptions against the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2021 playoffs — on top of his most recent comments.
Rest of Social Media Reacts
Other former NFL players chimed in on Tannehill’s quotes and agreed with Warner’s stance.
Ex NFL safety and current ESPN analyst Ryan Clark interpreted Tannehill’s comments as someone who isn’t a leader.
Former offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz tweeted that while Tannehill’s job is to win football games, it’s beneficial for the young players to get mentorship.
On the other hand, former NFL safety Darius Butler took a different route and agrees with Tannehill’s attitude.