Ryan Tannehill didn’t sugarcoat it on Tuesday. He does not plan to serve as a mentor to rookie Malik Willis. The quarterback’s comments rekindle memories of Brett Favre saying in 2005 that it wasn’t his job to mentor a young Aaron Rodgers. I have to think that — regardless of what a QB says at a podium — this is how all vets in Tannehill’s shoes feel. He’s no dummy. He sees that the Titans traded A.J. Brown when, in theory, they could’ve kept the wideout by restructuring Tannehill’s deal in a way that pushed his money down the line and locked him for multiple years.
Tennessee wisely doesn’t want to do that. Maybe Willis develops. Maybe not. But good on the Titans keeping their quarterback options open in 2023 and beyond. We’ve seen teams panic in this same situation by doubling down. Tannehill admitted in his presser that the Titans’ loss to Cincinnati sent him to a dark place and he sought therapy, but that loss forced the Titans to maintain some discipline at QB this offseason.
On to our question for you all…
How should a quarterback feel when a young gun dying to take his job is suddenly in his room?
Maybe the best way to think of this dynamic is if your boss brought in some hot shot out of college to potentially take your job. I’m guessing folks wouldn’t be going out of their way to be overly helpful. Then again, maybe that’s what leaders do. Eager to see what you think.
Either you're a team player or you're not. Either you will do what you can do to help your team be a winner or you're not.
If Tannehill was truly confident in his own abilities, he would be open to helping Willis become the best version of himself in order to help the team. His reaction here seems somewhat petulant and he could have handled this far better.
We are all only here for a relatively short time and while the career in pro sports is a lot shorter than most other careers, everyone should be seeking to leave some form of positive legacy. I can remember the handful of people I have worked with in the past that have gone out of their way to leave a mark on the next generation, through mentoring, coaching, developing and sharing experiences. I've worked with countless others that didn't do this and none of them are memorable at all.
I'm in that position right now. I'm 64, he's 29, good looking, smart. They asked me to train him and I said I would. That's what I'm doing. But, you know what? I can still outperform him. And I will until I quit. Because, like it says in the lead-in to this article - "That's what leaders do."
That's what quarterbacks and everyone else should do, too.
A mentor is: a teacher, sponsor, advisor, agent, role model, coach, and confidante. That is completely different than being a good teammate. There should be no expectation that any player should be a mentor. Simply put, a player should strive to be a good teammate.
Team team team.
If I played as poorly as Tanneyhill, I might be doing anything I could to undermine Willis. But if I wanted to be a leader on the team and wanted to give my team the best chance to win if I got hurt I would treat him like a teammate and help him learn. If Tanneyhill feels so insecure about his talents and his job security, he shouldn't be out there in the first place.
It's a tough question, man. On one end I get that people really think he's being selfish and not putting the team first. But, this is a rare spot in sports where the quarterback position is so unique and so important to a team and there's only one guy manning the ship.
If you break it down practically, Tannehill is technically doing what's best for the team by not taking Malik under his wing at least this year. Malik is not ready to go, has a steep learning curve, and you know what you're getting with Ryan. He's the starter, a captain, and current leader of the offense, by default.
So by denying the "mentorship" gig in this instance, he's putting all his focus on leading the team that's on the field, not the unknown team moving forward. I don't personally have a problem with what he said. Quarterbacks all are passionate, all want to win, and most of all- they all want to be on the field.
If the starting QB goes down for a few weeks, I would think they'd hope their backup is as prepared as possible to win a few games to put them in position to make the playoffs. Part of that preparation is mentoring their backup on the field, that is if you want to win. In terms of mentoring the backup off the field, in Rogers case, I'm not sure we'd want Love to learn how to manipulate the media and his team.
Isn’t mentoring the job of the QB coach? He is there for all the QBs on the team, including Tannehill. That is clearly in that coach’s job description, not in Tannehill’s.
No, its not. The back up needs to be engaged and observe , ask questions , and make the most out of any reps he gets .
One of the dumbest things in sports for clueless fans. His job is to be the best QB he can be & nothing else
I understand Tannehill, Favre, and Rodgers' point of view. I'd probably feel the same. All of the players are elite... even the bad ones. They have worked incredibly hard to get to where they are and deserve to stay there as long as they are performing. These elite players playing at an elite position have a significant ego. They believe that they are better than they are and most of the time don't see their decline. Good GMs such as Thompson and Gutekunst perform succession planning. If they don't, they are shirking some of their responsibilities.
Having said that, I have a lot more respect for Alex Smith who saw the writing on the wall in Kansas City and helped Patrick Mahomes.
Should they be required to tutor and help the draftees? While I would like to say "Yes", I don't think that in most cases it's going to be successful (because of the above). I have heard it said that Rodgers has been helping Jordan Love because of the way that Favre treated him. I don't know how true that it. There's a pretty significant gap between a Rodgers and Love. Rodgers is probably a top five quarterback of all time.
All he (or anyone) can do is perform as well as they can. Can't let how you feel affect your performance...not at this level of your profession. Maybe he'll be back-to-back MVP.