The 2015 second overall draft pick did nothing to prove his supporters wrong in his rookie season. He lived up to his expectations. Sadly, his team’s record didn’t show that, which leaves some to question how good he will be when the entire team is good as well.
Marcus Mariota was the Titans‘ MVP in 2015, but here’s five reasons why he will be the league’s MVP sometime soon.
1. He’s a true leader
Last season, Titans players raved about how Mariota took the offense by storm. He instantly became the leader that even the veterans looked up to. Recently, the well liked quarterback gathered up a handful of his teammates to practice at Father Ryan High School. If he keeps this win-now mentality, it’ll certainly rub off on his teammates.
2. With a bad o-line, he still broke records.
Everyone could agree that the Titans’ offensive line was pretty bad last season. Nonetheless, that didn’t stop Mariota from breaking franchise and NFL records throughout the season. He became the first player in NFL history with 250+ pass yards, 100+ rush yards, and three touchdowns passes in a game during a 42-39 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. His 87 yard touchdown run during that game was the second-longest run by an NFL quarterback in NFL history. Furthermore, Mariota was the first rookie in history to finish two games with four+ touchdown passes and zero interceptions in a season. As you can tell, the list of his accomplishments can go on for a while.
3. He’s calm under pressure situations.
When Mariota was being blitz, he did only what a veteran would do: throw it away or just fall. Usually, rookies would get excited and either throw a prayer pass or take off and run. Even though those two situations rarely work when you have a dismal offensive line. Whenever the Titans were in a must-win situation, Mariota never seemed to panic. Those situations were rare for him, though, but whenever he was in one, he seemed calm and relaxed. Quarterbacks aren’t measured based on what they do when the team is winning, but how they react when their team’s backs are against the wall. In those situations, Mariota showed great poise.
4. He’s a dual threat.
He’s not just a quarterback who can throw a cannon pass accurately. He’s not just a quarterback that proved everyone he certainly can throw from the pocket. He’s a quarterback who, at any given moment, can take off and accelerate. Head coach Mike Mularkey said they will use his legs more often this season, which will force defenses to keep an eye on him, DeMarco Murray, and Delanie Walker. That will be a tough challenge.
5. More Weapons are being added.
New general manager Jon Robinson knows exactly what Mariota needs to flourish. Granted that he’s added some young, unproven players along with some veterans who has proven themselves already. This just isn’t about offense, but defense as well. Adding playmakers on defense could mean more turnovers, and shorter fields for Mariota and the Titans offense. With DeMarco Murray in the backfield, it’ll be less focus on Mariota from opposing defenses, which could allow for some creative play action.
For the most part, it took ten years for Tennessee to find their franchise quarterback. Just ten years ago, Mariota was a little kid running around with only a dream of being in the NFL. Now, with perfect timing, he’s the franchise quarterback for a Tennessee team with a bright future. Just like it was destined to be.
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Headline created by @skinnybeardedbastard on Instagram as part of TNS’ #FiveReasonsFriday!