"Pride myself on being a great teammate" - Ryan Tannehill backtracks on previous comments of not being a mentor to Malik Willis  

Tennessee Titans v Seattle Seahawks
Tennessee Titans v Seattle Seahawks
Robert Gullo

A few weeks ago, Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill caught some flak when he made comments about not wanting to be rookie quarterback Malik Willis' mentor. Tannehill has since spoken to reporters and addressed the situation, explaining the situation.

Here's what he said:

“I meant no disrespect to Malik, or anything close to that. … I pride myself on being a great teammate."

He elaborated on his point, saying:

"We've been in constant communication since he was drafted, through the madness that ensued after my last press conference. Over the last few weeks, as he's been in the building and we've been kind of getting to know each other, he's a good person."

Tannehill went on to say:

"He's a talented player. He's coming off a great college career. We're happy to have him in the room. Really just kind of disappointed in how things got spun and twisted a little bit."

The quarterback added that they're both on the team with the same goal, winning football games:

"We're going to continue to push each other, to learn from each other in the QB room, encourage each other as this thing goes forward, we're all here for one goal. My primary focus is to win football games as everyone in this building."
“I meant no disrespect to Malik, or anything close to that. … I pride myself on being a great teammate.”Ryan Tannehill on his previous comments about not having to “mentor” rookie QB Malik Willis(via @jwyattsports)

After Willis was drafted by the Titans, Tannehill spoke to the media and discussed the Titans' pick of Willis in the third round. He was asked what the two quarterbacks' relationship would be heading into the season.

He responded by saying:

“That’s part of being in a quarterback room, in the same room — 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. But if he learns from me along the way, then that’s a great thing.”

The Titans drafted Malik Willis to compete with Ryan Tannehill

LendingTree Bowl - Liberty v Eastern Michigan
LendingTree Bowl - Liberty v Eastern Michigan

It was a huge surprise when Willis fell to the Titans. Tennessee elected to use their third-round pick, the 86th overall, to draft Willis. He became the third quarterback taken in the draft behind Kenny Pickett and Desmond Ridder.


Some had Willis going as high as pick No. 6 to the Carolina Panthers, and many others thought the Pittsburgh Steelers were going to draft him with their 20th overall pick instead of Pickett.

Willis played at Liberty and ended his college career 17-6 as a starter. He has thrown for 5,176 yards; 48 touchdowns; 18 interceptions; 2,131 rushing yards; and 29 rushing touchdowns.

We shall see if he can outcompete Tannehill and become the starter for Tennessee when the 2022 campaign kicks off.

Edited by John Maxwell


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