It’s no secret that Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota has yet to reach his full potential.
After four years in the NFL, a lot of fans, and analysts, are still trying to figure out who Mariota is as a quarterback.
But the reasoning for Mariota’s lack of identity isn’t necessarily because of his ability. It has a lot to do with the circumstances that have surrounded his first few years in the league.
Mariota has dealt with a plethora of random, mostly unrelated, injuries. He’s also been forced to play under a multitude of head coach/offensive coordinator combinations.
At this point, most folks know that Mariota needs a year of clean health and some continuity in the offense for us to truly figure out what kind of quarterback he can be in the NFL.
One of the folks who doesn’t seem to know that, however, is national NFL writer Clark Judge, who recently spoke with Oregon Live about Mariota and his career.
Judge suggested that Mariota needs a change of scenery to truly unlock his talent. He then goes on to cite the same issues I’ve already cited here. You know, the kind of issues that have nothing to do with “scenery”.
From Oregon Live:
“I think he needs a change of scenery. When he came in, I thought, ‘This guy is going to be a star.’ I’ve been disappointed with him after this great start because he’s been hurt… I do think having a turbulent situation with all these offensive coordinators is a problem…and he’s got to stay on the field.. there’s no consistency with his game… I think he needs to get out of there and get a fresh start somewhere.”
He’s right about the the reasons why Mariota hasn’t excelled, but a change of scenery doesn’t seem like it would be very productive. Mariota, who is entering his second season under head coach Mike Vrabel, will have a new offensive coordinator in 2019 (Arthur Smith was promoted to replace Matt LaFleur), but the offense is expected to remain mostly the same (with a few tweaks/new concepts of course).
A change of scenery would just mean another change for Mariota. Which would once again stunt his development as a NFL quarterback.
I think a lot of analysts/fans forget that Mariota has helped the Titans become one of only six franchises in the NFL to post a winning record in each of the last three seasons. And he’s done that amidst coaching changes, devastating injuries to key players and injuries of his own.
The only change of scenery Mariota needs is on gameday. He needs to see all 16 games from under center in a Titans uniform, while fully healthy.
If that happens, then I think you’ll see Mariota’s full potential on display in 2019 and beyond.
Featured image via Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports