Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Titans’ Ryan Tannehill discusses ‘dark place’ he went to after playoff loss to Bengals

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George Walker IV / Tennessean.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill spoke with reporters for the first time this offseason on Tuesday, and there was plenty to discuss. Over the past week, Tannehill lost his star wideout A.J. Brown, found a new intriguing weapon in Treylon Burks and now has a young talented quarterback behind him on the depth chart.

Tannehill spoke plenty about all that occurred in the 2022 NFL Draft on Tuesday, but he also spoke about how the 2021 campaign ended, how it negatively affected his life and how it took more work than usual to prepare for this upcoming season. 

Entering the playoffs back in late January, the No. 1 seed Titans had a first-round bye, home-field advantage and were returning Derrick Henry from injury. Nashville was buzzing for the Cincinnati Bengals matchup. Despite the defense sacking Joe Burrow a record-tying nine times, Tannehill’s play made it hard for Tennessee to advance to the next round, as he completed 15 of 24 passes for 220 yards, one touchdown and three costly interceptions. Tannehill understood that he hurt his team’s chances to chase a Super Bowl, and it’s something he says will follow him for the rest of his life. 

“It’s a scar, it’s a deep scar. It was a lot of sleepless nights. Every time I closed my eyes, I was rewatching the game in my head. Didn’t get a whole lot of sleep for weeks and weeks after the game. Was in a dark place, and took me a while and a lot of work to get out of it. It wasn’t something that went away easily, and it’s still a scar that I’ll carry with me throughout the rest of my life. Just like a cut on your arm, it starts off as a wound. You’re able to heal from it, and it turns into a scar. It never leaves you, but it’s always there and it can remind you and now it’s fuel for me. It’s fuel for me to work and get ready with a passion and come into this season with a fire and a desire to win like I’ve never had before.”

Tannehill pointed to therapy as something that pulled him out of his dark place, saying that he had been doing therapy for some time, but that this was the first time he “absolutely” needed it as he attempts to turn the page for season 12. 

Tannehill was open and honest at the podium on Tuesday. A dramatic season turned into a dramatic offseason, and Tannehill knew he had to work through some things.

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