A rumor has surfaced that suggests the Tennessee Titans’ front office and coaches were split on quarterbacks Marcus Mariota and Ryan Tannehill.
The Tennessee Titans made the switch from Marcus Mariota to Ryan Tannehill during the Week 6 game against the Denver Broncos, however a new rumor seems to suggest that the coaching staff wanted to make that move long before it actually happened.
Since Tannehill has taken over for the Titans, the team is 3-1 and Tannehill has orchestrated three game-winning drives in his four starts. It’s clear the move to Tannehill was the right one, and now the Titans’ season has been resurrected from the dead.
It also leaves us wondering what could have been if the Titans had decided to start Tannehill from Week 1 instead of giving Mariota the nod for the first six weeks.
Despite the Titans towing a company line of Mariota being the unquestioned starter prior to Week 1, it appears there might have been a split between the team’s front office and coaching staff about who should have been the starter from the jump.
According to former Cleveland Browns general manager Michael Lombardi on his podcast “The GM Shuffle”, the coaching staff preferred Tannehill to open the season as the QB1, while the front office wanted to give Mariota one last shot (h/t Mike Herndon of Music City Miracles).
"“I was told this summer that the coaches really wanted to play Tannehill, but the front office was so endeared that they had to give this Mariota one more look.”"
You can add this rumor to the pile of those that we heard prior to the start of the 2019 campaign. There were multiple reports suggesting there was at least some kind of controversy in Nashville about who should start at quarterback.
Assuming this is true, it’s hard to blame either side of this split.
The front office had a former No. 2 overall pick in a contract year and wanted to see if he could become the franchise guy for years to come. Not to mention, Mariota was finally surrounded with the kind of supporting cast he had never enjoyed during the four years prior.
On the flip side, the coaching staff had already seen a full year with Mariota behind center — albeit, an injury-riddled Mariota — and wanted to get a look at a new face at the position to see what he could do with all this talent.
It’s also possible the coaching staff could have seen with its own eyes that Tannehill was better during practice, only adding fuel to the fire to start him.
Of course, this is all history now and the Titans are moving forward with Tannehill, but I just thought this was an interesting little nugget to be passed along.