NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans selected Liberty quarterback Malik Willis with their third round selection in last weekend's 2022 NFL Draft. And it already seems t be off to a bit of a rocky start with current Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Tannehill, 33, has been the starter in Tennessee over the past three seasons. Obviously Willis wasn't picked by the Titans to take Tannehill's job (right away), but when asked on Tuesday about the new addition and what he would do to help him, Tannehill said it wasn't his job to mentor him.
"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," Tannehill said.
Not exactly sure if we can call it bitterness from Tannehill, but it's certainly not the first time a starting quarterback has had this sort of attitude about a new rookie quarterback, seemingly brought it to eventually be the future of the team.
Although, Willis wasn't a first round pick, the Titans got him in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Of course, Willis was widely expected to go in the first round, and even spent months projected as a top 10 pick.
Two-time NFL MVP and Super Bowl Champion Kurt Warner did not like what Tannehill had to say about Willis.
"I will never understand the “I’m not here to mentor the next guy” mentality… so for all you young QBs that need a mentor, DM me & Ill be that guy, happy to help in any way I can!" Warner tweeted on Tuesday.
Locked On Titans podcast host Tyler Rowland wasn't a fan of what Tannehill had to say, either.
"I know a lot of you aren't going to like this opinion, but this is awful leadership from Ryan Tannehill," Locked On Titans podcast host Tyler Rowland said. "This is my general philosophy, give back. Pay it forward. One time when Ryan Tannehill was a young QB, there were multiple people who took him under their wing and showed him the right way to do things."
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"At 34 years old, if you give Malik Willis guidance, you're scared he's going to take your job if you mentor him? This is stuff Favre has said, Joe Flacco has said things like this. Tom Brady has said things like this," Rowland continued. "Just because a bunch of people have said the wrong thing, doesn't make Tannehill right. At the end of the day, it is Tannehill's job to not only mentor Willis, but every single player on the team."
While Rowland doesn't expect any actual animosity from Tannehill toward Willis, he sad he doesn't understand why there wouldn't be a desire to help the rookie get his footing in the NFL.
"Do I think Ryan Tannehill is going to shun Willis and treat him horribly and be petty? No," Rowland said. "But this is proof that Ryan Tannehill isn't going to go out of his way for a young rookie navigating the NFL."
Check out the latest episode of Locked On Titans for Rowland's full thoughts on Tannehill's comments.