Editor’s note: this Alex Tanney feature article is by guest contributor Crissy Froyd
Last year, the quarterback competition in Tennessee was between Zach Mettenberger and Marcus Mariota for the starting job. This year’s QB position battle in Tennessee will be at the backup position. Coach Mike Mularkey has told sources that he would like to see a “competition at the spot,” between Alex Tanney, Mettenberger, and newly signed Matt Cassel.
Could Tanney come away with the position? The way that the season finale ended in Indianapolis certainly leaves room for some speculation.
Versus the Colts, Mettenberger completed an unremarkable 5 of 13 passes for 38 yards. He finished with a passer rating of just 14.6. The only real highlight of his performance was his first career rushing touchdown for 5 yards. Mettenberger was removed in the third quarter, partially due to a forearm injury, and partially due to his ineffective performance.
Upon being asked about the situation, Mularkey said, “There was a third down throw, an early throw out to Delanie (Walker) that we could have had a big play on, and he just kind of threw it off to the side – almost in the dirt. I thought that’s enough; let’s see what Alex can do.”
It was then that the relatively unknown Monmouth signal caller, Alex Tanney, made his NFL debut.
Tanney had been waiting for the opportunity to prove that he’s much more than just a YouTube “trick shot” sensation, and he did just that.
Tanney almost rallied the Titans to a win, but came up 3 points short in a 27-30 loss in Lucas Oil Stadium. The recently re-signed quarterback completed 10 of 14 passes for 99 yards, including a 5 yard touchdown pass to Dorial Green-Beckham. He ended the game with an incredible passer rating of 114.9.
“Tanney came in and played a hell of a game. We knew he would. He’s a hell of a worker, and he definitely prepares the right way.” Mettenberger told reporters after the game.
Mettenberger isn’t the only one to recognize Tanney’s outstanding work ethic.
Current Monmouth Head Coach, and former defensive coordinator, Chad Braun, praised Tanney when I spoke with him about the quarterback’s career.
“He has earned everything that he has done. It seems like everywhere he has been they have drafted a QB. He has played in a bunch of different offenses and hasn’t had the opportunity to be at any place 2 years in a row. He is a tough minded individual and has been able to overcome a lot of adversity. I really believe a lot of people in his shoes would have hung it up, but that is a testament to his character and determination.”
Braun also claimed that Alex would be more than willing to accept his given role with the Titans, regardless of what it may be.
“I know he will accept whatever role he has on the Titans. He is a great teammate and a great team player. He will do a great job of backing up Marcus Mariota if that is what they ask of him. He will prepare like he is the starter and be ready to go like he was in the Indy game. I am just happy he is going to be in a similar system two years in a row. That will be huge for his development.”
Was Tanney’s performance a fluke, or is he true backup material? We will watch this competition unfold during training camp.
Crissy Froyd is a current student residing in Spring,Texas. She currently covers sports for her local high school’s website, and frequently writes on issues regarding the Tennessee Titans. Crissy intends to transfer to LSU to major in mass communications, and pursue a career in sportscasting.