Ryan Tannehill: Adjustment to backup 'tough at times'


Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill finds himself in unfamiliar territory.

He's on a new team, of course, but by all accounts he's settled in fine with teammates.

The one area, though, that Tannehill continues to adjust to surrounds going from starter to backup, and he admits the transition has comes with challenges.

"It's definitely tough at times," Tannehill told reporters, via the Titans' official website. "But Marcus is great to work with. The staff here, Marcus, the quarterback room is really great, and when you work with good people -- great people -- and you're all aligned in this thing together trying to win football games, it definitely helps with that transition. But there are some things that are tough about it, but kinds of goes along with it."

Before he was dealt to Tennessee, Tannehill spent six seasons with the Miami Dolphins as the main guy, starting 88 games while posting a 42-46 record.

Now, Tannehill is the clear No. 2 behind Marcus Mariota, and he has to adjust how he approaches the game mentally as a backup.

"When you're the starter, there are certain things that you're able to do as far as leading and stuff like that," Tannehill continued. "So, really having to kind of take a step back in a leadership role I would say is the toughest role for me. You work at it for so many years, growing leadership and all that, then having to take a step back and really have a back seat is tough, really tough at times."

Nevertheless, a backup's job is to prepare like they are starting and Mariota hasn't exactly been a role model of durability on his career.

Tannehill's experience as a starting quarterback would suit him well if the Titans ever need him in the event of a Mariota injury.

In the meantime, Tannehill ultimately knows his status and he said he'll be ready if his number is called.

More important, he embraces working with Mariota to help the Titans win games.

"I think there's a lot of mutual respect between us," Tannehill said. "I'm going to try and help Marcus as much as I can. I think Marcus has done the same for me.

"And as long as we have a mutual respect and understand that we're aligned in trying to push each other and make each other better, and ultimately want to help this team win. That's what we're here for as quarterbacks is to help our team win, lead the offense down the field and put points on the board."