Mike Vrabel says Ryan Tannehill is a ‘great teammate’ and comments on Malik Willis ‘no problem at all’

Mike Vrabel says Ryan Tannehill is a ‘great teammate’ and comments on Malik Willis ‘no problem at all’


The Tennessee Titans became a different team caliber when they replaced Marcus Mariota in the 2019 lineup with Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill has been one of the league’s most efficient passers since rising to the starting role, but he was also an incredibly low-volume, low-risk, low-ceilinged player on an offense built largely on Derrick Henry’s talents.

The Titans won’t be able to sustain that offensive style forever, and with Tannehill turning into his mid-30s, Tennessee decided to draw a potential replacement for their starter when Malik Willis got it after he fell in the third round of the 2022 NFL draft. After that selection, Tannehill’s claim that it wasn’t his job to mentor Willis sparked some controversy, but that doesn’t seem to bother Titans head coach Mike Vrabel.

“His job is to prepare to help us win a few games and be a great teammate and help,” Vrabel said Friday, according to the Associated Press. “And I know he will. So that wasn’t a problem for me.”

If you look at Tannehill’s full quote, as opposed to what has exploded on social media and TV, it actually aligns pretty much exactly with what his coach said.

“That’s part of being in a quarterback room, in the same room,” Tannehill said of teaching Willis the ropes. “We compete against each other, we watch the same video, we do the same exercises. I don’t think it’s my job to mentor him, but if he learns from me in the process, that’s a great thing.”

That’s actually a pretty harmless quote, all things considered. And Vrabel seems to think that’s how it was taken at the Titans’ facility.

“I felt Ryan handled that very well,” said Vrabel. “I thought he was real. I thought he was authentic. And I know Ryan is a great teammate. Everyone here knows he’s a great teammate. And that is not his job.”

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