Tennessee Titans quarterbacks Ryan Tannehill and Marcus Mariota shared a moment on the sideline right before the clock ran out on the AFC Championship loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Even after getting benched in Week 6 and officially losing his starting job in Week 7, Mariota remained a great teammate to Tannehill, and, as head coach Mike Vrabel explained, No. 8 showed great leadership in how he handled the situation.
From that moment, Mariota was a huge help to the Titans in practice and to Tannehill in preparing for games. In fact, Tannehill praised Mariota for his professionalism and help after the benching.
As the AFC title game came to a close on Sunday and it was clear the Titans would fall just one game short of the Super Bowl, Tannehill was obviously disappointed about coming up short.
It was at that moment that his teammate and friend, Mariota, was the one who was there to console him in such a difficult moment.
Check it out.
This isn’t the end for Tannehill, only the beginning. It’s a positive message coming from a guy who has had about as tough a season as anyone on the team, and that speaks to the character of the former No. 2 overall pick.
It also shows that despite what can be considered a successful season, Tannehill is a competitor and wasn’t simply satisfied with making it that far.
In short, it’s a clip that only makes you like both quarterbacks even more.
Whether it was Mariota’s professionalism or Tannehill’s ability to pull this team out of the mud, the Titans had about as special a quarterback room as a team can possibly have this season.
While the Titans will look to bring Tannehill back as he becomes a free agent in 2020, Mariota has likely played his last game in Nashville.
Say what you want about the overall tenure of Mariota with the Titans, but there’s no arguing the class act he has been, both as the team’s starter and its backup.