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Titans coach deciding whether to bench Mariota for Tannehill

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By TERESA M. WALKER

The Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel is taking some time before deciding if Marcus Mariota remains his starter or the time has arrived to turn the Titans over to backup quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

This isn’t a decision the second-year head coach wants to rush, even though he plans to tell both quarterbacks and the Titans some time today.

“I just want to make sure that we’re going through everything that we need to go through and what we want to do offensively, not use the emotion of the game to make a decision,” Vrabel said Monday.

Vrabel benched Mariota in the third quarter of a 16-0 loss in Denver, the first time the Saint Louis School graduate had been pulled because of his play. Mariota was 7 of 18 for 63 yards, sacked three times and intercepted twice — his first turnovers of the season.

Mariota is being paid $20.9 million in the final year of his rookie contract, but the Titans’ offense has managed just one touchdown in the past 10 quarters. The Chargers (2-4) visit on Sunday.

“We’re 2-4, we’re coming back home,” Vrabel said. “We have to find a way to win a football game.”

Three-time Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker said the coaches will do what they feel is best for the Titans. Asked about Tannehill, Walker said he was an elite quarterback in the NFL a year ago in Miami. Against Denver, Tannehill was 13 of 16 for 144 yards and was sacked four times.

“I don’t know what the situation is going to be, but soon enough we’ll all find out,” Walker said.