Titans, Ryan Tannehill Offer No Explanations For QBs' Opening-Day Dud

Ryan TannehillNASHVILLE, Tenn. – Ryan Tannehill got frustrated at his Wednesday press conference after taking what he felt like were too many specific questions about his complete dud in the season opener at New Orleans.

Everyone just wants to understand how things went that badly.

I'm not sure how one example or a few details about what went wrong and what he’ll be working on to fix it would have been bad for a guy whose popularity has been tumbling since a three-interception game in the Cincinnati playoff loss that ended the team's 2021 season.

He not selling anyone out if he says "I was terrible and have to be miles better" while also indicating there are some elements of the new offense that weren't exactly clean right from the beginning. [Unlocked]

We saw the pressure from Carl Grunderson that altered the first interception. We can suspect DeAndre Hopkins -- who said he holds himself accountable -- was supposed to fight back to the ball on that pick and maybe the third one as well. 

Tannehill has been a good quarterback leader, and his overall body of work in the 16-15 loss to the Saints was horrible even if there were contributing factors.

Five times,he told us there were areas he could improve, but never how. Here are some samples:

💥“It’ll definitely be easy to be a lot better than that. Tough to watch that film. I watched it I think five times over Sunday and Monday. I kind of went through everything multiple times and looked at the areas where I can be better, where we can be better. I think we nailed those down and are excited to move forward.

💥“Yeah, it definitely wasn’t my best day obviously. I think there’s no qualms about that. A lot of areas where I can get better. I’m excited to be better in those areas this week.”

💥“I don’t necessarily think that that was it. I’m not going to get in and break down the whole game right here. But there are definitely areas where I can be better for sure.”

💥“Every area where it looked like I can be better, that’s probably it.”

And within three minutes, he was on to this: 

“I just want to move on to (Los Angeles)," he said. "I’m not going to answer any more questions about what happened Sunday. What happened Sunday happened. I’m not happy about it. No one in this building is happy about it. At the end of the day, it’s over. We can learn from it. We can move on.”

Ah, the Belichickian shied, moving on to Cincinnati.

If he bounces back against the Chargers, questions about whether Tannehill is falling off a cliff will slow substantially, or at least they should. Another poor showing and that faucet will be opened all the way.

L.A. can score, and while the Titans' defense can be good, chunk plays remain an issue and Justin Herbert is likely to find some. The Titans are probably going to need three touchdowns plus a week after scoring none. (Yet, let's note, the Titans are only 3-point underdogs with an over-under of 45.5.)

The Titans lost at Los Angeles 17-14 on Dec. 18, 2022. Tannehill was carted off in the first quarter of that game but returned in the second and returned to play. The Chargers have a new offensive coordinator in Kellen Moore now.

“He’s going to respond, I mean he always does,” Chig Okonkwo said of his quarterback, who overthrew him on a wide-open Kuharsky megaphonetouchdown chance at the Superdome. “That’s our guy, who we trust, that we know. Everybody has a bad game. He’s going to respond and come back. He’s super tough mentally and physically as we’ve seen throughout last year.”

Mike Vrabel said the Titans have shown they can protect and that he’s confident Tannehill will hit the passes the Titans are supposed to hit, eliminate mistakes, and not feel like he’s got to force the ball.

“We’ll have to stay efficient,” he said. “That’s a big key for guys is making sure we’re not getting into those disadvantaged down and distances, first-and-15, first-and-20 even looking at our game (against the Chargers last year) when we were able to stay on track we were able to move the ball and stay out of third-and-long against a very good defense, good scheme, good players.”

The Titans didn't have a bunch of first-down penalties in New Orleans. On 13 drive starts, they had one that was not first-and-10 -- their first offensive snap was first-and-15 because of a Trevon Wesco false start.

Tannehill knows he needs the time to work through issues this week. At the same time, he wants Sunday here quickly.

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