WATCH: Marcus Mariota discusses quarterback competition with Ryan Tannehill
Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill made quite the impression in his preseason debut, but Marcus Mariota isn’t concerned. Mariota is still the starter, but Tannehill was undeniably impressive in the exhibition game, which got the media buzzing about a potential quarterback controversy.
Speaking to the media today, Mariota insisted that he’s glad to have Tannehill around, via veteran Titans beat writer Paul Kuharsky.
“I think having Ryan in our room has been a tremendous addition,” he said. Additionally, Mariota explained he doesn’t feel like he’s competing against the former Dolphins signal-caller. “That competition year in and year out for me is just with myself. I just gotta be the best version of myself,” he said.
Mariota said Tannehill is “a guy that’s done it, has experience, can talk about things that we see in practice,” and said the two are “another set of eyes for each other.”
Mariota is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and the team’s decision to trade for Tannehill raised a lot of eyebrows. Mariota has been frequently banged up throughout his career, and the team insisted they only made the move for insurance.
Tannehill will now provide them with having one of NFL’s best backups in case Mariota gets hurt, but he’ll also be breathing down Mariota’s neck and fueling narratives. Miami decided to move on from Tannehill as they entered a rebuild, but the Texas A&M product has been a capable starter in the past.
This is a pivotal year for Mariota, and he needs to prove that he’s worthy of a contract extension. No matter what he says, Mariota will surely be paying close attention to any developments with Tannehill. If the Titans get off to a slow start, he might have to start competing with him more directly.