Raiders WR Rips Titans QB Ryan Tannehill Over Recent Comments

ryan tannehill

Getty Tennessee Titans QB Ryan Tannehill.

One of the biggest storylines of this year’s NFL Draft was how far quarterback Malik Willis fell. There was speculation that he could be a top-10 pick but ended up falling to the Tennessee Titans at the 86th pick in the third round. The Titans weren’t a team that needed a quarterback as Ryan Tannehill has been entrenched as the starter and is under contract through 2024.

Tannehill will be 34 when the season starts and is coming off a lackluster season that saw the Titans disappoint in the playoffs. Willis is a project who is as raw as any quarterback prospect from this year’s class. He won’t compete for a starting spot this season and it may take two years before the Titans even consider it. Even though he doesn’t pose an immediate threat to Tannehill, the veteran doesn’t sound thrilled about the idea of mentoring his replacement.

“I don’t think it’s my job to mentor him,” Tannehill said when asked about Willis. “But if he learns from me along the way, that’s a great thing.”

Tannehill received a lot of pushback on the comments. Among the players to go after the quarterback was Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Tyron Johnson.

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Tannehill’s Comments Blown out of Proportion?

Veterans have been mentoring younger players for decades in the NFL so it’s easy to understand where Johnson is coming from. That said, quarterbacks are playing into their 40s these days so Tannehill could feasibly play for another five seasons. Willis poses a threat to his future as a starting quarterback. He has the right to be a little irritated for a few days after the Titans drafted his possible replacement.

Also, there are those who believe that Tannehill’s comments are getting blown out of proportion. Former NFL quarterback Darius Butler and Will Blackmon called out people for overreacting to the quarterback’s statement.

That said, Blackmon and Butler got some pushback from the likes of Casey Hayward and Charles Woodson.

It’s a tricky situation and both sides have valid arguments. At the end of the day, it’s up to Tannehill how he handles the situation and that won’t necessarily hurt Willis’ development. Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers didn’t have the best relationship and things worked out for both of them.

Willis Will Need a Lot of Help

Clearly, all the hype surrounding Willis heading into the draft was overblown. He does boast elite athletic traits but he’s still got a lot to learn as a quarterback. Plus, he doesn’t have the ideal height for a quarterback at 6-foot-1. Landing with the Titans is a great situation for him as there won’t be pressure for him to start anytime soon.

Even if Tannehill doesn’t go out of his way to help Willis, he’ll still learn a lot just by watching. Tannehill shouldn’t be feeling the heat yet as there’s a chance that Willis never pans out. For the Titans, the move makes sense as it’s worth risking a third-round pick for a quarterback who could be a star if he figures everything out.

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