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Nashville, TN, United States / The Game Nashville

By now I’m sure that everyone in Nashville that can tell you the team’s name know that Marcus Mariota is the new quarterback of the Titans. While he has yet to throw an NFL pass, Mariota has brought hope to the city and the fan base who has been starving for a marketable player since Chris Johnson’s 2000 yard season in 2009. But Mariota isn’t seen as a sure fire star by everyone. Some are quick to knock his slender frame and the spread offense he ran in college. But let’s see if we can put some of these questions to bed. In 3 years at Oregon, Mariota threw for 10,796 yards, completing 66.8 percent of his passes, and 105 touchdowns versus just 14 interceptions. And that’s just with his arm. Compare that with Andrew Luck’s college stats while at Stanford (9430 yards, 67 completion percentage, 82 touchdowns and 22 interceptions) and factor in another 2237, 29 touchdowns rushing and it’s hard to understand why Mariota is being looked at as a high risk player by some. It seems like Mariota is being judged based on the struggles of other mobile quarterbacks like Robert Griffin III. But I believe in Mariota.
Of course I’m no “expert” but Mariota passes the eye test for me. In college he was extremely productive while limited mistakes. To me there are 2 questions regarding Mariota: Can he stay healthy? And who will be his playmakers with the Titans? To answer the first question, Mariota did not miss a start at Oregon and even played through injuries at times. So as long as long as he is a smart runner, I don’t think Mariota’s injury risk is as high as publicized. The 2nd question is a little murkier. Yes the Titans added Dorial Green-Beckham and David Cobb in the Draft along with Mariota, and Delanie Walker is coming off of a breakout season, but questions abound as to how much depth the Titans have on offense. The offensive line should be better with the development of Chance Warmack and Taylor Lewan and Kendall Hunter is a serviceable number 2 wide receiver, but Justin Hunter and Bishop Sankey need to elevate their games for the Titans offense to become a dangerous unit.
That being said, the Titans seem to have laid the foundations for a formidable offense in the near future. They just need to keep building on what they have, and all of it will be build upon the shoulders of Marcus Mariota.

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