Tennessee Titans quarterback, Marcus Mariota, says there is a competition at the position, but it’s not with backup quarterback, Ryan Tannehill.
Marcus Mariota says he is competing with one person and one person only for the starting quarterback spot with the Tennessee Titans: himself.
Much has been made by the national media about a potential quarterback competition in Tennessee, even though both head coach, Mike Vrabel, and general manager, Jon Robinson, have made it clear that the Oregon product is this team’s starter.
Whether or not that changes during the season remains to be seen, however there is no debate that Mariota will get a fair shot to lead the Titans this season with the best supporting cast he has ever had during his four-year career.
With all the phoniness of a drummed-up quarterback controversy via those media members outside of Nashville, Mariota says he is only competing with himself for the job, per Jim Wyatt of Titans Online.
“Having Ryan in our room has been a tremendous addition,” Mariota said. “That competition, year in and year out for me, is with myself. I just look to be the best version of myself, but Ryan adds a guy who has done it, has experience, can talk about things we see in practice.”
“But when it comes down to it I am just competing against myself. I just try to be the best version that I can be, day in and day out.”
And if that happens throughout his fifth year, Mariota will undoubtedly remain the starter for the entire season, and should earn himself a contract extension once he has proven he is a franchise quarterback.
As Mariota pointed out, there is no question that having a veteran like Tannehill can be helpful as an extra set of eyes. Not to mention, Tannehill is a great insurance policy for Mariota.
But the only way Tannehill is going to become a starter for the Titans in 2019 is if Mariota gets hurt, or if he totally implodes and is the reason the Titans are losing games. It’s hard to see that happening, especially considering this is a team built on defense and running the ball.
Mariota doesn’t have to carry the Titans on his back, but rather be a complement to the main focus of this offense, while also helping to build and maintain leads for the ground attack and defense to keep intact.
People outside of the everyday Titans scene seem to misunderstand one thing: most fans and experts are not saying Mariota can never be replaced if any of the two aforementioned scenarios play out, we’re simply saying that there is no chance Tannehill gets the starting job in Week 1.
There is nothing fanboy about that. It’s simply based on facts, and facts that are backed up by both the head coach and general manager.
And this idea that Tannehill gives the Titans a better chance to win by default just isn’t rooted in reality, and the numbers show it.
So, Marcus Mariota is 100 percent correct when he says that the only competition he has for the starting job this season is with himself. The former No. 2 overall pick is the only one who can beat himself out for the job.