Tannehill: Mentorship remarks about Willis were blown out of proportion
"As soon as it blew up, I reached out to him and said, 'Hey, I'm going to be a great teammate to you. I'm going to support you. They're making this out to be something that it's not to be,'" Tannehill said, according to Paul Kuharsky of PaulKuharsky.com.
"I meant no disrespect to Malik or anything close to that. We've been in constant communication since he was drafted, through the madness that ensued after my last press conference," the veteran passer added, according to Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk. "We're happy to have him in the room. Really just disappointed in how things got spun and twisted a little bit."
Tannehill drew criticism from around the NFL after saying earlier this month that his job isn't to mentor Willis, whom the Titans selected in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Willis recently spoke about Tannehill's remarks, saying he has no issues with the veteran QB and what he said. Titans head coach Mike Vrabel also defended Tannehill.
Tannehill went as far as to praise Willis' performances at practice on Tuesday.
"He's coming up to speed with the way we work, the way we do things, and how we do things," he said. "That's one of my charges as the leader of the room is to try to help him out. He's done a good job of getting with the room and working to get better."
Tannehill has started 43 regular-season games in Tennessee since joining the team in 2019. The 33-year-old passed for 3,734 yards and 21 touchdowns last season. He also tossed 14 interceptions, up from seven in 2020.
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