Ryan Tannehill has thrown five interception in his last two games, but apparently the ones in practice bother him the most. The Miami Dolphins quarterback apparently belittled a practice-squad player who picked him off in practice.
Tannehill, who signed a six-year, $95 million contract in May, denies he ever made disparaging comments about the player’s paycheck.
Either way, not exactly a great look for a guy who is allegedly your franchise quarterback.
“I take great offense to that as somebody that was a backup that’s fighting for your job,” That Other Pregame Show host Bart Scott said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “They replace practice-squad guys all the time. Talk about being the first man out. They’re signed until somebody else signs you from another team or they just cut you all the time. You’re always looking over your shoulder. You only make like $80,000 a year. We used to give practice squad players and special-teams players money (for good plays). Since then, they’ve made this a rule you can’t do that, but the veterans understand that everybody’s not making money. Everybody isn’t secure financially. So you want to make these guys feel as important as anybody else. So special teams, first tackle inside the 20 – bam, $1,000. Big hit, you knock somebody down – $50 every time you knock somebody on the opposing team down. You want to make practice as uncomfortable as possible.”
The practice squad isn’t full of scrubs, either.
“When I was there, our 2s was pretty much Terrell Suggs, Adalius Thomas, Aubrayo Franklin, myself – we had a squad that could start,” Scott said. “We used to kick the mess out of Kyle Boller. They didn’t complete anything. When they got in the game, it was a vacation for them.”
Which is why Scott was so bothered by Tannehill’s comments.
“Listen, football is all about respect,” he said. “Sometimes those who are first will be last and those who are last will be first. I came in as the low man on the totem pole, right? And I watched all these first-round guys come in and they couldn’t play dead. So what happens is, you want to judge me today, but tomorrow I’m the guy and now you want to act like we cool. Guys will never forget that. Guys around him won’t support him. If you treat me like I’m a piece of crap, like I’m insignificant, I’m going to keep trying to bust your butt and I hope to God I go to another team so I get an opportunity to hit you for real.
“It’s all about the respect,” Scott continued. “We’re all part of the same team. We’re here now, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stay here, and if I do stay here, so what? I’m your teammate. You want to make me feel like I’m less than you just because they gave you a paycheck? If I was a player on that team, I’d say yeah, they gave you a paycheck because they had nobody else to pay. How’s he going to feel when one day he’s a backup if things don’t turn around for him? He’s going to understand what that player felt like being that guy that’s not seen as the guy that contributes a lot. Really, what does the backup quarterback contribute? I think a guy like Mark Sanchez understands it now. He’s hoping to God he gets another chance to be a starter in this league.”
Scott said there is a sense of classism within NFL locker rooms.
“You have the guys that make a lot of money – not on every team – and they hang with their guys,” Scott said. “The practice squad people aren’t invited to some of the same stuff. They don’t get to hang out. I remember not being invited over to stuff, and you develop a disdain. You develop a hatred. . . . This goes back to my whole Geno Smith thing. Your teammates should love you. You’re the quarterback. You have to understand that it’s not about you. You get all the glory for winning, but you know it’s not all about you. And a lot of times that just comes with the position. Sometimes the quarterback is the weakest link on the team.”