The Tennessee Titans took a chance on Ryan Tannehill, and it worked out perfectly for the franchise, so could this be what the future of the NFL looks like?
Last season the Tennessee Titans started the season 1-4, and it looked like they were on their way to a 4-12 season. The Titans could’ve slashed the team and began a full-scale rebuild, but with one change, they didn’t have to.
The Titans put in backup quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, and gave the former Miami Dolphin a chance to lead the team. Luckily for the Titans, Tannehill took that opportunity and ran with it.
The Titans finished the season on fire and did just good enough with a 9-7 record to get into the Wild Card Game. After that, all Tannehill and the Titans needed to do were beat the Patriots, the best team in the AFC in the Ravens, and the Chiefs.
Well, two out of three isn’t bad as the Titans made it to the AFC Championship before losing to the Kansas City Chiefs. But you remember all of that, right? Of course, you do.
The way things played out for the Titans doesn’t happen for every team or even most teams, but that’s probably because most teams don’t have a backup quarterback like Tannehill.
Even if that is the case, All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly thinks that this could be a trend in the NFL for the future.
"“I think there’s a model that’s kind of in place right now with what Tannehill did in Tennessee,” Kuechly said. “You come in as a backup. And then as the season progresses you get an opportunity.”"
There are a few quarterbacks that could serve as backups for teams that are unsure of their future at the quarterback position.
We saw Marcus Mariota depart from the Titans in free agency and sign with the Las Vegas Raiders. As of right now, the Raiders have Derek Carr at quarterback, but who knows how long that will be the case. Mariota could be the Raiders’ Tannehill and resurrect his career as a starter in the NFL.
Newton and Winston could serve as backups and work their way into competing for the starting job. Keuchley thinks that could happen, especially with his former teammate, Cam Newton.
“The biggest thing that I always think about with Cam is how competitive he is,” Kuechly continued. “I don’t think he’s afraid of an opportunity where he might have to work his way into something. He’s not afraid of a challenge. … I think if Cam can get back to being healthy, he’s still a dangerous threat.”
Without them knowing it, the Titans could’ve set the trend for the future of the NFL. There might never be another quarterback that is safe from losing his job to his backup again.
I’m fine with that. I think that’ll add to the competition at the position. For now, the Titans have Tannehill, and that’s all that matters.