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Titans rookie QB Malik Willis dismisses Ryan Tannehill's mentor comments

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee rookie quarterback Malik Willis says his new teammate Ryan Tannehill is a good dude, and Titans coach Mike Vrabel dismissed any lingering issue over his veteran pointing out the obvious.

Tannehill is the Titans' starting quarterback, not a mentor or a coach.

"His job is to prepare to help us win a bunch of games and and be a great teammate and help out," Vrabel said Friday. "And I know that he's going to do that. So that was not any sort of issue for me."

Tannehill made news May 3 when he said he didn't think it was his job to mentor the Titans' newest quarterback in Willis, their third-round draft pick out of Liberty. Tannehill's comments blew up on social media, something Vrabel said Friday he doesn't gauge.

"I thought Ryan handled that very well," Vrabel said. "I thought he was genuine. I thought he is authentic. And I know Ryan is a great teammate. Everybody here knows he's a great teammate. And that is not his job."

Asked about Tannehill's comment, Willis had a quick response.

"What comment?" Willis quipped before a quick follow-up question. "Oh, man, we chopped it up. I mean, it was never anything negative. Ryan's a good dude. Like i said he had us over to the house. Everything's cool."

The interest in Willis is intense given he is the highest-drafted quarterback by the Titans since taking Marcus Mariota at No. 2 overall in 2015. The Titans not only selected Willis at No. 86 overall, they traded up four spots in the third round to make sure they got him.

And Tannehill is coming off a season in which he had his most interceptions since his second season in the NFL, capped by three in a divisional playoff loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. The nine-year veteran also has the NFL's highest salary-cap number after reworking his contract last summer to free up space for Julio Jones.

Copyright by The 2022 Associated Press.