NFL Wire News

Mariota commands offense, respect with Titans


The Sports Xchange

NASHVILLE. Tenn — Marcus Mariota admittedly has a lot to learn to become the Tennessee Titans’ franchise quarterback, but he already is showing that he can take command of an NFL offense.

That was evident in the team’s first OTA on Tuesday when he looked comfortable calling plays, taking the snap and, most obvious, taking off with extraordinary speed for 30-yard gains when a play broke down.

The Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback taken No. 2 overall in the NFL Draft was not required to do some things at Oregon that have long been basic in the NFL: Taking the snap from center, dropping back and calling the play in a huddle are among the most notable.

Mariota says the most important thing to him is knowing how to call plays and change them at the line when necessary. Tuesday, he had no trouble getting the Titans in the right play from the huddle to the line and through to the play’s execution.

“Being able to articulate it, if you’re kind of stumbling over it or the coach has to correct you, the older players are just going to kind of look at you and not respect that,” Mariota said. “So being able to communicate and show that you have confidence and that you can go out there and practice.”

Earning that respect seems happens in a variety of ways and is already beginning to show.

“A couple of times today when he ran 30 yards down the field when the play broke down, that’ll get their respect pretty quick,” Whisenhunt said. “Just the way he plays and the way he carries himself. You saw that in college. That was one of the things we saw when we went to Oregon to the pro day. You could see the way they respected him. … Guys like having guys who can help them win, and I think they see that in Marcus.”

Mariota said taking command of the offense won’t be an issue for him.

“I don’t think it’s difficult. I think it just depends on who you are as a person,” Mariota said. “You’ve been around the facility a little bit and if you develop the relationships to where guys respect you, you’re able to communicate and express what you feel needs to be done. I thought it went well today in that I was able to do that.”

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