Ryan Tannehill took plenty of heat for his comments on Malik Willis, with the one line of “it’s not my job to mentor him” blowing up on social media over the past few weeks. Tannehill now regrets how the comments were blown out of proportion.
He also seemed to call out the media for spinning and twisting what he said.
“I meant no disrespect to Malik or anything close to that,” Tannehill said at Titans’ OTAs on Tuesday. “We’ve been in constant communication since he was drafted. … He’s a good person, he’s a talented player, he’s coming off a great college career, so we’re happy to have him in the room.”
“I’m really disappointed in how things got spun and twisted a little bit. I pride myself on being a great teammate. … It’s been something that’s been important to me from the beginning and will always be important to me. It’s something I’ll try to instill in my kids as they start playing youth sports as being a great teammate. When I say that, I mean trying to help out whether it’s on the field, off the field, supporting each other, and just building those relationships.”
Willis, meanwhile, made it known last week that he’s on great terms with Tannehill.
“Oh, man, we chopped it up. I mean, it was never anything negative,” Willis told reporters. “Ryan’s a good dude. Like i said he had us over to the house. Everything’s cool.”
Tannehill’s remarks led to a firestorm of criticism, including from Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner, who tweeted, “I will never understand the ‘I’m not here to mentor the next guy’ mentality…so for all you young QBs that need a mentor, DM me & I’ll be that guy, happy to help in any way I can!”
The 33-year-old and 10-year NFL vet led the Titans to the top seed in the AFC playoffs but were beaten at home by the Bengals in the divisional round. Tannehill threw three interceptions in the game. Then the team drafted Willis 86th overall.
Last season, Tannehill passed for 3,734 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions with an average of 7 yards per attempt.