Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been criticized by former NFL players for saying it isn’t his job to mentor 2022 third-round pick and quarterback Malik Willis.

“We’re competing against each other, we’re watching the same tape, we’re doing the same drills,” Tannehill explained. “I don’t think it’s my job to mentor him, but if he learns from me along the way, then that’s a great thing.”

But former Titans and current New England Patriots tight end Jonnu Smith is defending his old quarterback, saying Tannehill is “one of the best teammates I’ve been around at any level,” while also saying he “learned a lot” from the veteran.

“It’s a highly competitive league folks. I’m sure lil homie [Malik Willis] know that and if he didn’t then he doesn’t belong,” Smith wrote on Twitter. “Ryan [Tannehill] one of the best teammates I’ve been around at any level and he didn’t ‘mentor’ me but I dam sure learned a lot from him.”

Tannehill’s comment was blown out of proportion. He certainly isn’t the first veteran signal-caller to say he wouldn’t mentor the younger guy behind him, and it’s really the coaching staff’s job to do that.

Maybe Tannehill could have chosen his words more carefully, but this idea that he won’t help Willis at all is misguided at best.

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