Another year with a new offensive coordinator isn’t ideal for Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota’s development, but new play caller Arthur Smith thinks his promotion from tight ends coach to offensive coordinator will help the fifth year signal caller improve in 2019.

Mariota seemingly took a step back in 2018 in Matt LaFleur’s offense, passing for a career low 2,528 yards and throwing a career low 11 touchdowns.

Of course, a lot of Mariota’s struggles had to do with a nerve injury that bothered him all season. The loss of star tight end Delanie Walker in the first week of the season also had a negative effect on Mariota.

Still, despite Mariota’s down year in 2018, the Titans feel comfortable with the direction of the offense. That’s why the team decided to promote Smith instead of looking outside the organization.

Smith believes the continuity that he will provide as the Titans’ new offensive coordinator (the offensive language will stay the same) will help Mariota’s development. Instead of learning a new offense during the off-season, Mariota will be able to focus on mastering a system he already has a year of experience running.

If you’re a Titans fan, I don’t think you should be too worried about the offensive system. I think Smith has a good grasp on what will work and what won’t work.

The big question entering the 2019 season is whether or not Mariota can stay healthy. And if the the Titans will give him another offensive weapon.

Mariota’s health and a reliable wide receiver to pair with Corey Davis are two of the biggest keys to Tennessee’s offensive success in 2019 (along with the continued development of running back Derrick Henry).

A decision awaits

For the first time in Mariota’s career, the Titans are going to get to see what he can do after experiencing a “normal off-season”.

And it couldn’t come at a better time. At some point in the next year the Titans have to decide if they are going to extend Mariota.

2019 should give them the information they need to make that decision.

Featured image via Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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