Tennessee Titans: Marcus Mariota ‘not a lock’ to be Week 1 starter?
ESPN national reporter Dianna Russini said Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota “is not a lock” to be the team’s starter when the season begins.
Is it possible the Tennessee Titans will go against everything they’ve said all offseason long and decide to switch out starting quarterback Marcus Mariota for backup Ryan Tannehill prior to Week 1?
If you believe ESPN reporter Dianna Russini, it could be possible.
On the ESPN show “Get Up!” on the morning following the Titans’ first preseason game, Russini reports that the “tone” in Tennessee is that the coaching staff is really just interested in putting the best quarterback out there.
While that’s obviously the aim of any coaching staff, Russini says that Mariota being the starter “is not a lock,” and she even went as far as to say Tannehill could become the starter as soon as Week 1.
You can listen to the entire show here (Russini’s part starts at around the 37-minute mark), but thankfully the Football & Other F Words podcast was nice enough to edit the clip down for us all. You can take a listen below.
Is Marcus Mariota in danger of losing job before Week 1?
Now, do I buy into this?
All we’ve heard from head coach Mike Vrabel is that Mariota is the starter, and Tannehill is just there to push him, as backups often do.
“His job as a backup — everybody’s job as a backup — is to push the guy in front of him,” Vrabel said. “To compete and try to make yourself better and try to make the team better and see how everybody responds.”
Until we hear otherwise, take these kinds of reports with a grain of salt. There aren’t too many quarterback controversies for the media to constantly debate this offseason, thus the Titans’ quarterback situation is one the national media seems to be zeroing in on.
After an entire offseason of nobody talking about this non-situation in Tennessee, Mariota and Tannehill have become the talk of the town. Where was all this debate just a few months ago? Or even a month ago? Or how about a week ago?
Answer: It didn’t exist.
Why? Because Tannehill looked sharp in one half of the first preseason game (12-of-16, 130 yards and two touchdowns) against backups, while Mariota (4-of-8, 24 yards) played in one series and obviously didn’t put up the numbers Tannehill did in a much smaller sample size.
It’s an overreaction. Context clearly doesn’t matter here to some of these talking heads and reporters, and instead we continue to see this narrative shoved down our throats.
Is it possible Tannehill surpasses Mariota at some point this season due to something other than an injury? Sure, but don’t expect that to happen before Week 1.