The Tennessee Titans kick-off the preseason on Thursday against the Green Bay Packers. Following the game, they will have another week of practices before the conclusion of Training Camp.
Thursday’s game will give great insight into the team and make a lot of things clearer. These are the four biggest questions surrounding the Titans heading into the game that could be answered by the final whistle.
1. How will Marcus Mariota look?
It has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride so far in Training Camp for quarterback Marcus Mariota. He’s certainly had his moments, particularly when working outside of the pocket.
At other times, though, he has looked pretty rough. Particularly in and Monday’s and Tuesday’s practices, he missed a lot of throws and threw some ugly interceptions. On Tuesday, he threw a red zone pick to Logan Ryan that would have been a 99-yard pick six in a real game.
While the rough play from Mariota has come in practice and thus should be taken with a grain of salt, some skepticism is certainly warranted. After all, Mariota was a bit of a disaster throughout most of last season, throwing more interceptions than touchdowns. A lot of his picks came at incredibly inopportune times (see: game @ Arizona).
Former Colts QB and ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky said on 102.5 The Game last week that it could take up to 16 months for Mariota to get a complete grasp of the Matt LaFleur offense. For that reason, fans should certainly expect some early struggles.
What fans shouldn’t expect, however, are madly inaccurate passes and perplexing decision making. Those two things, particularly the former, don’t have a ton to do with the scheme.
Mariota probably will not play very much on Thursday night, but what little time he does play will be the first opportunity we have to see him run the Titans’ new offense in a game situation. Titans fans should hope for a clean operation.