“Marcus, Marcus, he’s our man! If he can’t do it, no one can!”
I’ve written a lot about Marcus Mariota. In case you missed allthose pieces, here is a quick recap about my feelings on the 5th year quarterback:
1. I was not convinced he was the right choice when the Titans drafted him. 2. I quickly became convinced that I was completely wrong about point 1. 3. I would adopt Marcus Mariota if he needed a family. (Marcus, if you need a Middle Tennessee family, we are here for you.) 4. I believe he can lead the Titans to a Super Bowl.
That sums it up. I am well aware what his detractors say. There are a surprising number of Titans’ fans who are ready to move on from Mariota. I can’t say I agree with that perspective, but I am aware of it. When I listen to Nashville talk radio, scan Titans Twitter, or talk to fans, I encounter many naysayers.
I get it. After two seasons, Marcus Mariota looked like an up-and-coming franchise QB. Marcus Mariota was everything the team could want, both on and off the field. He put up fantastic numbers that second season; Marcus was nearly unstoppable in the red zone. He was great in the final minutes of a game. Mariota was unflappable, poised, accurate, and his numbers in the second half of that season were as good as any QB in the league. He was special.
My man-crush on Marcus Mariota is real and spectacular.
If you had polled Titans’ fans prior to last season, I am convinced that an overwhelming majority of them would have been “all in” on Marcus Mariota. They would have believed he had proven that he was the franchise quarterback this team has been looking for since the Steve McNair era. Then the 2017-2018 season happened and the narrative about Mariota changed. Drastically. He went from being one of the most exciting young QB’s in the game to one of the most head-scratching. He threw more interceptions than touchdowns last season, his accuracy seemed to get worse, and he clearly did not have the same sort of electric speed and mobility of his first two professional seasons. Now, it is not uncommon to hear Titans’ fans talk about Mariota being a bust or that the team needs to draft his replacement. We live in crazy times.
I am firmly in the camp that believes that last season was an aberration. Due to a myriad (yes, I used myriad – deal with it) of factors, Mariota took a step back in his development last year. Here’s a quick recap of a few of those factors:
When all else fails, I talk about the Titans. (1,131 words)
I’m too hyped about tomorrow’s game between the Tennessee Titans and the Pittsburgh Steelers to get any real work done this week. It is easily one of the best matchups of the season with two division leaders squaring off in prime-time. If you have read this column before you know that I am a die-hard Titans fan. Have been since 1999. More on that in a bit. For today’s edition of The NFL on REO, my brain naturally turned to all things Titans – even in ways that probably won’t make much sense to anyone else. But, as I have said before, it’s my article and I will do whatever I want.
The Number One Titans’ recap on Rambling Ever On is back!
As I watched the Tennessee Titans play their second preseason game, I found myself jumping back and forth between optimism and pessimism. Between hope and despair. Certain players looked great, and certain players didn’t. Certain positions groups looked regular-season read, and certain position groups looked ready for the cut list. I figured I might as well share my thoughts with my 37 loyal readers. Let’s start on a high note. (To facilitate easy comprehension, I’ve included cutting-edge images to communicate my feelings for each entry.)
It is one of the worst things that can happen to a professional sports’ franchise. Anger, frustration, and even pure hatred are almost more desirable than apathy. You want the fans of your team to feel something, anything. But sometimes, things get so bad that apathy is the only reaction that feels natural.
That is where the Tennessee Titans have been for the past few seasons. Due to a mind-numbing combination of poor on-the-field performance and astounding incompetence from the ownership, the franchise has found itself as the laughing stock of the NFL. The Titans don’t merely lack respect from the rest of the league and the media; they aren’t even taken seriously.