There is set to be a heavy dose of familiarity when the Tennessee Titans and the Cincinnati Bengals clash in Nissan Stadium this Saturday in the AFC Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs. Much has been made of Kristian Fulton and Ja’Marr Chase’s friendship, which dates back to their high school days before they won a national title at LSU together. But Titans QB Ryan Tannehill and Bengals head coach Zac Taylor also have history together, dating all the way back to Tannehill’s college days at Texas A&M University.

Tannehill and Taylor spent four years (2008-2011) together in College Station with the Aggies. Tannehill entered Texas A&M as a wide receiver, but transitioned to quarterback his junior year. Like Tannehill, Taylor also arrived at Texas A&M in ’08 serving as an offensive graduate assistant and the tight ends coach. In Tannehill’s two seasons as the signal caller, the Aggies made two bowl appearances where the team went 1-1, losing in the Cotton Bowl in Tannehill’s junior season before winning the prestigious Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas his senior year.

Both Taylor and Tannehill broke into the NFL in 2012, Tannehill was the first round draft pick of the Miami Dolphins, which just so happened to be where Taylor had been hired as the assistant quarterbacks coach. One year later, Taylor took over as the team’s QB coach — a role he held for four seasons.

With Taylor by his side, Tannehill found some success in his first four years in Miami. In his rookie season, Tannehill set Miami Dolphins records in passing yards, completions, and attempts and was the first Dolphins rookie QB to start all of the team’s games. Tannehill threw for an impressive 15,460 yards in his first four seasons in the league, which ranked third in NFL history at the time, only trailing quarterback legends Peyton Manning and Dan Marino.

It should come as no surprise to hear that Taylor and Tannehill still hold admiration for each other. With Taylor in the running for the NFL’s Coach of the Year against the Titans’ head coach Mike Vrabel, while Tannehill carried an injury-riddled football team to the No. 1 seed in the AFC, it is clear that things worked out for the pair.

While they remain close off the field, both will be trying to put an end to each other’s season come Saturday.

Featured image courtesy of Kareem Elgazarr – The Enquirer