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#pounditSunday, June 26, 2022

Mike Tomlin has great quote about Ryan Tannehill comments

Mike Tomlin smiles during a game

Nov 21, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin reacts before the Steelers play against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill made waves this week when he admitted that he doesn’t intend to mentor rookie Malik Willis. The comments were met with immediate backlash, but not everyone is ready to grill Tannehill just yet. In fact, he found some support in the unlikeliest of places: Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.

Shortly after former Steelers Ryan Clark and Ike Taylor took aim at Tannehill, Tomlin stepped in and offered up the quarterback’s best defense to date.

“You know, it’s good when it occurs, but it’s certainly not necessary,” Tomlin said of mentoring, via Sports Illustrated. “That’s why we have offensive coordinators, quarterback coaches, assistant quarterback coaches, people who are employed and their sole focus is the development of players.”

It is not and has never been the job of an NFL player to train and mentor their eventual replacement. That does tend to happen naturally but as Tomlin says, it’s far from an obligation. That’s a primary role for others.

“Certainly, there’s growth and development opportunities and learning opportunities among players, but it is definitely not their function,” Tomlin said. “Their function is to have themselves ready to go and be good teammates, and I think that’s probably what you speak to just in terms of providing common human decency and courtesy to someone if you can help them along the way. I’m sure Ryan is open to that, but I think he was just stating the obvious, that he was not employed to do that. He’s employed to play quarterback.”

That’s it. Full stop.

There was nothing malicious or derogatory in what Tannehill said, and there was no negativity in his tone. He’s fighting for his own job in Tennessee and remains focused on winning before their window of opportunity closes. That’s what any coach should want out of their starting quarterback.


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