Mike Vrabel: Ryan Tannehill Won't Replace Marcus Mariota Despite Week 3 Loss

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistSeptember 20, 2019

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 19: Quarterback Marcus Mariota #8  of the Tennessee Titans warms up in the rain before he game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on September 19, 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel said Friday that he is "not looking to make a change at quarterback right now," according to Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com.

The question was posed after starting signal-caller Marcus Mariota struggled mightily in a 20-7 road loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night.

Veteran quarterback and former Miami Dolphins starter Ryan Tannehill is Mariota's backup.

Since throwing for 248 yards and three touchdowns in a season-opening win over the Cleveland Browns, Mariota has looked out of sorts. He threw for just 154 yards and a touchdown in a Week 2 loss to the Indianapolis Colts and then finished with 304 yards with no touchdowns on 23-of-40 passing Thursday.

While the 304 yards look good cosmetically, much of Mariota's production came late in the game with Jacksonville playing prevent defense and nursing a two-score lead.

Tennessee selected Mariota with the No. 2 overall pick out of Oregon in 2015, and he has shown flashes of brilliance at times throughout his career.

His best statistical season came in 2016 when he threw for 3,426 yards, 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions, while rushing for 349 yards and two scores.

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Although he dropped off the following season to the tune of 3,232 yards with 13 touchdowns and 15 picks, he led the Titans to the playoffs and also spearheaded them to a playoff win.

Mariota missed two games due to injury last season and was largely ineffective when he played, throwing for 2,528 yards, 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

This season is viewed as a make-or-break campaign for Mariota since he is in the final year of his contract. If he doesn't turn things around soon, his tenure in Tennessee may be over.

Tannehill was previously in a similar situation with the Dolphins. After Miami took him eighth overall in the 2012 NFL draft out of Texas A&M, he went 42-46 as a starter over six seasons with 20,434 passing yards, 123 touchdowns and 75 interceptions.

He also started 13 games in 2016 when Miami went 10-6 and reached the playoffs.

After a 2018 season that saw him throw for 1,979 yards, 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 11 games, however, the Dolphins decided to move on by trading him to Tennessee for a 2019 seventh-round pick and 2020 fourth-round pick.

Vrabel's comments suggest he intends to stick with Mariota against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 4, but another loss and poor showing may lead to even more pressure to given Tannehill a shot under center.

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