Titans set up to accommodate more running from Marcus Mariota
After gaining seven pounds during the offseason following a season in which he was out for four games with knee injuries, Marcus Mariota is hoping that the extra pounds will enhance his durability. He does not seem to have slowed down by any means though the Titans acquisition of Dorial Green-Beckham in exercising their NFL free picks would surely benefit his development.
One time, the quarterback who plays for the Titans burst out from a clutch of defenders, then stuttered and hesitated on his run to what was a clear touchdown. Surprise caught Even the coach by the execution of the little Deion Sander-type move by the usually quiet Mariota.
On the second day of the Titans training camp Sunday, Mariota burst into the secondary on two classic running plays, racing past his teammates, following it up with a stutter on the second burst, faked out Marqueston Huff, which got him thunderous cheers from the approximately 2,450 Saint Thomas Sports Park fans. He also managed to put a smile on the coach’s face too.
Shocked Mike Mularkey asked if Mariota had just pulled the Deion Sanders move. “It is quite unbelievable, but I think he has been on very good from these two days; he is enjoying himself out on the pitch. The move was planned and executed perfectly giving him much space to run into.”
What made the execution perfect was that he did not attempt a run on the next play, rather coming out and being in the position he was expected to be in. The coach asserts that he is glad to see him fit, confident and having fun on the field, and hopes that he can stay that way.
This Monday the Titans will for the first time be practicing in pads. It has been a long time since the day Mariota was last seen wearing pads as he lay on the New England turf after a second pocket knee injury put an end to his rookie season.
Mularkey has made a commitment to incorporating more running into games this season with the aim of protecting the young quarterback by controlling the clock. Demarco and rookie Derrick Henry, two bruising running backs have been brought in to revamp the Titans offensive line.
It is evident though that Mariota will be given opportunities to showcase his elite speed and agility as his exhilarating 87-yard run and touchdown playing against the Jaguars in December was the NFL’s longest play from scrimmage that season is a testament to his quality.
Brian Orakpo a linebacker said that he runs the ball and gives the Titans a new dimension. Recalling Jacksonville where he asserted that Mariota was so good that the things he did were just ridiculous. He makes the defense just lose all morale. He likes to get the ball downfield using his arm, but if there is a break in the play, and he has to get things going, he is a quarterback that can pass rushers, intelligently use his feet, and get players that hate running down quarterbacks even more frustrated.
Having played against a speedy Michael Vick in his prime, Orakpo says he hated every moment of it. Marcus has those very same qualities particularly with his speed, which gives his game a completely new dimension. He continues to say that any defense that plays against the Titans is going to get it rough because a dual-threat player like him just makes a team better.