NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee running back Derrick Henry is delighted that his Titans teammate Ryan Tannehill enjoys flying and earned his pilot's license this summer.
Just don't expect him to join his quarterback in a small plane anytime soon.
“Oh, no! I am not going up there," the bruising ball carrier said with a laugh. “I pray for him though, pray that he’s safe. It’s been going well.”
Tannehill, 35, earned his pilot's license for single-engine planes that fly only over land earlier this offseason. He said it offers up a nice break from his job, even if both require constant attention on the task at hand.
“It’s a little escape for me,” Tannehill said in June. “Something I have to be totally focused on and in the moment, be present in the moment. But at the same time, it’s an escape for me.”
He called flying a lot of fun earlier this year after his wife shared on social media that he had earned his license and taken her and their children up for a flight.
Tannehill has had some interest from teammates about taking to the skies with him, but 6-foot-4 Titans coach Mike Vrabel said he wouldn’t be going up with him because he has cars bigger than the plane his quarterback is licensed to pilot. Tannehill also has seen his share of teammates over the years who hate being in a plane that hits turbulence.
How can he tell? Tannehill says everyone else is joking except for those suddenly in a panic.
“They’re in a full sweat and gripping the armrest and seatbelt tightened down as tight as it can go and, you know, the blank look on the face,” Tannehill said. “So, you feel for those guys whenever they get in those situations.”
Getting a pilot's license is allowed under Tannehill's contract. The Titans quarterback said he kept Vrabel in the loop on his new hobby and credited his head coach with pushing him to even take his pilot skills up a step higher.
“I said, ‘That’s a little bit out of my league right now, and I’ll stick to where I’m at,’” Tannehill said.
As far as hobbies for Henry, he'll stick to relaxing, watching movies and working out.
“I ain’t flying on planes," Henry said. “I know that.”