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On Marcus Mariota’s “short leash” and the Titans “QB competition”

NFL: Tennessee Titans-Minicamp Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Mariota looked OK but not great in the Titans preseason debut. Ryan Tannehill looked good but not great. That has obviously sparked a conversation nationally about there being a quarterback controversy in Tennessee. That fire was stoked even more when Dianna Russini made these comments on one of those ESPN shows last week:

I don’t think there is necessarily anything new there (including a national media member not knowing how to pronounce Mariota’s name). The Titans aren’t overly committed to Mariota. If they were they would have offered him a contract extension already.

The guys on The Midday 180 did a really nice job of breaking it down to start their show yesterday. Listen to that here.

Here is the bottom line as I see it: Mariota is going to be the Titans starter in week 1. There is nothing, outside of an injury, that can change that in the next 4 weeks. Now we can debate whether or not Mariota has earned that, but that is what is happening here.

With that being said, Mike Vrabel doesn’t seem like the type of coach that is going to just let him have the job because it was his job to start the season. If Mariota struggles for the first few weeks, he won’t hesitate to put Tannehill in there. If Mariota is injured and Tannehill plays well while he is out, Tannehill might keep the job.

Those are all scenarios that could possibly play out, but there is no reason to talk about them right now. Like I said above, there is nothing that can happen before week 1 that can change the fact that Mariota is the Titans starting quarterback. It is really a waste of time to talk about anything else.