If Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota is upset he was benched by Ryan Tannehill, he’s not showing it. At Tannehill’s lowest moment since he took over as the team’s starter, Mariota was the one Titans player to offer Tannehill words of encouragement.
During the Titans’ 35-24 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Mariota tried to cheer up Tannehill, saying Tannehill’s run at the end of the season was “the start of something great.”
Mariota approached Tannehill during the game and said, “I’m excited for you. It’s the start of something great, brother. I’m so excited for you. You deserve it.”
Tannehill, still stung by losing the game, says, “I’m so mad right now.” Mariota responds with, “Hey, you’re going to be playing in a lot of these, all right.”
The exchange gives some insight into Mariota’s approach to the game. He could have resented Tannehill for taking over as the team’s No. 1 quarterback, but he instead chose to be supportive.
Both Mariota and Tannehill now face uncertain futures as the offseason approaches. Both players are free agents, and could leave the Titans in the offseason. That’s almost certainly what will happen with Mariota. The 26-year-old Mariota was benched for Tannehill midseason, and hasn’t lived up to expectations after being the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.
Tannehill, 31, could stay in Tennessee. Given how important he was to the team’s late-season run, Tannehill should be a priority for the Titans in the offseason. They might have some competition, however, as Tannehill showed plenty of promise down the stretch.
Mariota will draw less interest on the market, but this clip should help. Being a supportive teammate matters, and could be the deciding factor when teams are weighing Mariota against other options in the offseason.
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