July 04, 2020


Mike Vrabel nixes talk of Marcus Mariota’s job security

Mike Vrabel nixes talk of Marcus Mariota’s job security

Despite what bloggers, national writers and those on social media might think, Tennessee Titans coach Mike Vrabel made it clear Tuesday that Marcus Mariota’s hold on the starting quarterback job is not in danger.
“His job is not in jeopardy. I don’t think that’s something that we’re even here to talk about,” Vrabel told reporters after Tuesday’s OTA work.
The Titans head coach related Tannehill’s arrival via trade to a situation he found himself in when he was a player for the New England Patriots.
“The competition of other players in the league that have played your position, I just try to relate it to my own story,” Vrabel said. “I called Jen (wife) one year in training camp and there were like seven linebackers for New England that had started. I called her, and she said,’ Well, you’d better practice hard and play better.’ That’s the reality of life. We’re just trying to strengthen the roster and make it as competitive as we possibly can, whether that be backup quarterback or drafting a guy. We’re just trying to bring in better people and better football players.”
Certainly, Tannehill, a former starter for the Miami Dolphins, should be a major upgrade at backup quarterback over journeymen Matt Cassel and Blaine Gabbert, who backed up Mariota in the past. It was Mariota’s absence due to a nerve and spine issue in the season finale that forced Gabbert into action against Indianapolis. The Titans lost that game at home and failed to qualify for the playoffs.
Mariota’s health and availability has been a concern as he has yet to play a full 16-game season. It is a major reason the Titans have yet not put forth an extension for him as he enters the final year of his contract.
For his part, Mariota said he doesn’t think about that situation.
“I don’t. I really don’t. I just try to be the best that I can be for these guys and let it ride. No matter what, I still get to come out here and play a game that I love. I’m just going to make the most of it,” he said.
As for having yet another backup, Mariota said Tannehill has been an asset for him and the team.
“Ryan’s been great. Ryan has been awesome. The fact that we have another guy in that room that has played and gone through some of his experiences means a lot. I think if you have a great relationship in the room with every single one of those guys, that just makes the season go easier, because it’s a tough league and a tough position to play, but the fact that you have the support of that room means the world to me,” he said.

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