NASHVILLE – In recent weeks, the quarterback situation in Tennessee has garnered plenty of attention from a national perspective.
The subject? Whether there’s a quarterback controversy involving Titans quarterbacks Marcus Mariota and Ryan Tannehill.
Well, NFL.com analyst Gil Brandt is bringing up the position with a much different tone.
In his mind, the Titans have the most enviable QB situation in the NFL – ahead of the Patriots, Saints, Giants, Chiefs and Colts.
Here’s what Brandt, the vice president of player personnel for the Cowboys from 1960 to 1989, wrote on NFL.com while mentioning Mariota, Tannehill, and Logan Woodside:
“You might be surprised to see the Titans here, given that Mariota is heading into the fifth and final year of his rookie deal and still hasn't quite answered the question of whether or not he's a franchise quarterback,” Brandt wrote. “But this ranking is as much about the man behind Mariota as it is about the former No. 2 overall pick. Before we get into that, I have to say, I really like Mariota. He has tons of upside, excellent speed and top-notch athletic ability, and he's shown flashes of fulfilling his considerable potential. Ideally, the presence of Tannehill will help bring out the best in Mariota. But if Mariota should falter -- notably, he has yet to play a full 16-game season -- Tennessee could turn to the best backup quarterback in the NFL, a former first-round pick in his own right who showed in Miami he has what it takes to carry a team to the playoffs. (Though he missed the 2016 postseason with a torn ACL, Tannehill started 13 games for the Dolphins that season.) I can understand how some would find the uncertainty around Mariota off-putting. But the Titans are actually in the rare and quite enviable position of having two young, capable, starter-caliber options at the most important position in sports."
In making the list, Brandt said he decided to take a slightly different approach, by “weighing the starter and the other QBs on the roster, taking into account stability, flexibility and both the immediate and long-term picture."
Brandt said Tom Brady’s presence with the Patriots is enough to command a top-five ranking, and he likes Drew Brees and back-up Teddy Bridgewater in New Orleans. Eli Manning’s pairing with Daniel Jones with the Giants should bring optimism in New York, Brandt said, and the Chiefs have “star power” in Patrick Mahomes. Despite some current health questions, the Colts have a pretty good situation in Andrew Luck and Jacoby Brissett, Brandt said.
As for Brandt’s least enviable QB situations, he went with the Dolphins, Bengals, Redskins, Buccaneers, and Jaguars.