Before taking on the Jets defense on Sunday, Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill took on some Q&A from Post columnist Steve Serby.
Q: Have you gotten a chance to watch Zach Wilson at all?
A: I haven’t. I’ve seen a few clips or whatever in the cafeteria, from his Pro Day. I saw that throw he made at his Pro Day, which was pretty incredible. But past that, not much.
Q: Your advice to him would be what?
A: Be yourself. That’s what it comes down to. Be yourself, and everything else’ll work out.
Q: How did you deal with the pressures and expectations of being a first-round draft choice?
A: I just tried to go out there and play the game. I tried not to think about anything outside or worry about what others’ opinions or expectations or anything else was. Try to go out and get better each and every day, and try to win the football game.
Q: What was it like working with Adam Gase?
A: Adam was good to me during my time with him down in Miami. Obviously things ended the way they did, we wish we would’ve won more games there, but he was good to me.
Q: Are you surprised it didn’t work out for him with Sam Darnold?
A: It’s a crazy league, you never know what’s gonna happen, and there’s a lot of things that go into it. There’s a lot of other pieces that go into that.
Q: If you could test your skills against any cornerback in NFL history?
A: I got to play this guy early in my career, (chuckle), and he was dominant and would look forward to going back at him again — Darrelle Revis.
Q: What happened when you went against him?
A: I don’t know if I completed a pass against him (chuckle). I don’t remember. I just remember him never giving up more than about 12 inches of separation from his hips and the receiver’s hips (chuckle).
Q: Have you noticed Quinnen Williams on tape?
A: (Laugh) Yeah, I have. He’s a dominant player. They got a group of guys upfront who are fast, aggressive, they’re penetrating, disruptive, pushing the pocket in the pass game and disruptive in the run game. That front is strong and fast.
Q: No Darrelle Revis though in the back end?
A: (Laugh) No, but they have a lot of speed and then (Bryce) Hall has some length on the other side.
Q: Your memories of playing in MetLife Stadium?
A: It’s a great stadium to play in. I always loved going up to MetLife, it’s a good atmosphere, it’s a really cool stadium, I love the way they built it, and looking forward to hearing the JETS, JETS, JETS.
Q: Why would you be looking forward to hear that?
A: (Chuckle) ’Cause it makes the place unique, you know? I think there’s a lot of stadiums that you can go to — they don’t really have something that makes ’em unique.
Q: What is your definition of leadership at the quarterback position?
A: I think it looks different for everybody. Everyone leads in their own way. Some people are more vocal or more demonstrative than others, but at the end of the day, it’s about serving the guys around you, trying to improve them, make them, first off, to be the best players that they can be and then, driving your offense, driving your team, whether that’s holding them accountable on the practice field or bringing energy or trying to translate and get something going on a game day, it’s all part of it.
Q: What do you hope you’re like in the huddle?
A: I hope I’m steady in critical moments, and also bring energy.
Q: Your style of play?
A: I try to play fast, I try to cut it loose if I see something. … We run a lot of play-action here, so if I see something and it’s a tight window, trust it and rip it in there. And try to use my legs whenever I see an opportunity or feel an opportunity to use ’em. Obviously, I’m not Lamar Jackson and never was, and never will be, but if I can create some plays by using my legs, I think that adds an element to our offense.
Q: What’s the most vicious smash-mouth run you’ve seen Derrick Henry make?
A: He has so many huge plays where he’s finishing in a dominant position. Some of those stiff-arms that you see on the highlights are some of the most incredible plays … tossing a full grown man and then they’re flying a couple of yards back. I think about the one last year against Buffalo, another one versus Detroit were very similar plays, but both dominant.
And then you see the other types of runs where you got a DB who is one of the fastest guys on the field and yet Derrick can somehow get around these guys and outrun ’em to the end zone. So he has a rare combination of speed and strength.
Q: If you could pick the brain of any quarterback in NFL history?
A: There’s so many great players who came before. Down in Miami we had Dan [Marino], who was a guy I always looked up to when I was a kid, and was able to spend quite a bit of time with him down there, so thankful for being able to pick his brain over the years.
Q: What was the best piece of advice he gave you?
A: Dan had a bunch of good things to say, but probably my favorite and one that stuck was: “Pick your guy and let it fly.” Something really simple, and definitely translates.
Q: Boyhood idol?
A: I don’t know if I had a boyhood idol, but I had guys that I looked up to. Early in my life was in the ’90s, so that’s … Cowboys when I was in Texas and [Troy] Aikman was winning Super Bowls. Loved watching him play, and had a Cowboys helmet and all that type of stuff. But also during that time, I loved watching Steve Young and Dan Marino play.
Q: What do you like best about this Titans team?
A: I think we’re headed in the right direction. I think our mindset is in the right place, we’re hungry to improve and excited for the opportunities that lie ahead. I think the foundation has been set, but a lot of things need to be cleaned up to realize that.
Q: What was it like being 60 minutes from Super Bowl two years ago?
A: It makes you hungry. It kind of leaves you with a sick feeling, a pit in your stomach just because you’re so close, you work so hard and it’s right there in front of you, and you don’t end up playing good enough ball to make it happen. We didn’t play our best football that day, and when you play a really good team (Chiefs) in a championship game, you gotta play your best ball.
Q: Thoughts on Tom Brady versus Bill Belichick?
A: That’ll be fun. I have so much respect for Tom and what he’s done in his career, obviously in New England, playing against them, and now obviously in Tampa, coming off a Super Bowl.
Q: Any chance you’ll play ’til you’re 44?
A: (Chuckle). The jury’s still out. I don’t know. I’m not gonna say yes, I’m not gonna say no. I think it’s just a matter of how I’m feeling. As long as I’m loving the game and feel like I can do it at a high level and not physically hurting, yeah I’d love to keep playing.
Q: What have you learned about Julio (Jones)?
A: He’s actually surprisingly a really funny guy to be around.
Q: How about as a receiver?
A: He understands the game really well and has a really good feel for what we’re trying to accomplish and how to get himself open. It’s been great to be able to talk ball with him.
Q: What makes A.J. Brown special?
A: There’s a lot of things. Obviously, physical size and strength, and confidence when he goes across the middle. He runs those in-cuts and catches the ball in traffic and is able to accelerate once the ball hits his hands, and I think that leads to a ton of big plays.
Q: Sum up Mike Vrabel.
A: Aggressive. He’s clear in what he wants out of our team and our program.
Q: How has fatherhood changed you?
A: I think it’s given me different perspective. Two kids, your feel a love that you never felt, you feel a responsibility, and you realize how much more there is to life.
Q: Three dinner guests?
A: Jay-Z; Nelson Mandela; Kevin Hart.
Q: Favorite movie?
Q: Favorite actor?
A: Denzel Washington.
Q: Favorite singer/entertainer?
Q: Favorite meal?
A: My wife makes really good spaghetti.
Q: Do you feel like the best is yet to come for Ryan Tannehill?
A: I believe so. I come to work every day excited to get better and try to play my best football each and every week out on Sunday.
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