Tennessee Titans backup quarterback Alex Tanney is aware he's probably best known for the trick-shot video he starred in while playing at Division III Monmouth College in Illinois.
But as the Titans get set for their fourth and final preseason game on Thursday against the Minnesota Vikings, Tanney is hoping to use what is expected to be extended playing to prove he can do more than complete gimmick passes.
It's the video that's most associated with Tanney, at least for now, having racked up more than 4.2 million views on YouTube since 2011.
"It always the first thing that comes up, every place I've been," Tanney said, per ESPN's Paul Kuharsky. "It was good was good exposure for Monmouth College and Division III football, I think. When we made it, we didn't have the intention of, 'Hey, this is going to go viral and maybe this will help me in my career.' It was just kind of me and some friends having fun."
Tanney, who has yet to appear in a regular-season NFL game, spent the last two games of the 2014 season on Tennessee's practice squad. He's completed 12-of-14 passes through three preseason games, including a 56-yard touchdown pass to tight end Chase Coffman against the St. Louis Rams.
Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt said the team has been impressed with Tanney's performance, despite limited playing time behind starter Marcus Mariota and backups Zach Mettenberger and Charlie Whitehurst.
"Sometimes I think overcoming the aura of the trick-shot guy works against you," Whisenhunt said. "We weren't so much interested in that as we were in him having been in other places where I had information about the type of player he was.
"He came strongly recommended from some offenses that are similar to what we do. He's done a nice job. He hasn't gotten a lot of reps, but when he has he's been effective with them, he's handled practice well, he's played well in the games."
With the Titans set at quarterback with Mariota, Mettenberger and Whitehurst, Tanney is unlikely to make the 53-man roster.
But with Mariota unlikely to play against the Vikings and Mettenberger not figuring to see extensive time, Thursday's game could offer Tanney a chance to show another quarterback-needy team his current 136.3 preseason passer rating is worth taking a chance on.
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