Stop The Marcus Mariota To RGIII Comparisons Already


It appears that one of the new terms being used around sports this year, is “pump the brakes”.  I thought after reading an article on the ESPN web site by NFL writer, Jason Reid that details some similarities between the Tennessee Titans rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota and Washington Redskins signal caller RGIII, we needed to indeed “pump the brakes”!

Both Marcus Mariota and Robert Griffin III(RGIII) were taken as the second pick in the NFL Draft in their respective years, and both quarterbacks came out of a fast paced spread offense in college. RGIII out of Baylor University in 2012, and Mariota this year out of the University of Oregon, but the comparison needs to stop there.

First and foremost, RGIII has more ego than talent, and his early success in the Nation’s Capitol was largely due to the brilliance of head coach, Mike Shanahan, the threat that running back Alfred Morris brought to the game, and sleepy defensive coordinators around the NFL.

Once injuries caught up with RGIII and he no longer had the speed to get to the edge and defensive coordinators devised a way to stop the read option, the first downs, touchdowns and division titles stopped.

The only thing that is left of that miracle season, is RGIII’s ego and new head coach Jay Gruden attempting to pick up the pieces.

Shanahan had this to say:

"“As a coach, you have to understand your personnel; don’t try to turn a quarterback into something he’s not,” Shanahan told me over the phone this week. “If you have a guy who’s not used to playing in the pocket … maybe he’ll get there in time. Maybe he won’t.“But you have to utilize his ability. You don’t stick with the coach’s philosophy if that’s not what the player can do right away. It just won’t work. These guys, these defensive coordinators in the NFL, are pretty darn smart. Believe me, they see everything. You’re not going to fool anyone. And if you try, you could wind up hurting the player. Before you know it, he could be out of the league.”"

Marcus Mariota doesn’t seem to be bringing the same baggage to the NFL that has slowed the RGIII development.

I think the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner and head coach, Ken Whisenhunt know they have one season to use Mariota’s legs, and that should buy them enough time to develop his pocket game.

Marcus Mariota looks be be well grounded in reality, and knows he needs to develop over time as a pocket quarterback if he wants to win Super Bowls.

I also think Mariota brings a better understanding of the X’s and O’s to the table. He will spend his time developing his skills as an NFL quarterback, and not waste time stroking his ego.

The Titans coaching staff will take advantage of Mariota’s 4.52 speed this season to snag a couple of first downs, but I don’t expect a steady diet of what made RGIII’s first season such a success.

Coach Whisenhunt had this to say about running his young quarterback:

"“I’m not going to put a number on [designed runs], but you can’t have a tremendous amount of them for him. He’ll take a pounding at this level,” Whisenhunt said. “But he’s very athletic, so you want to have a blend of things he’s got experience doing as well as the things he’s going to be doing in the NFL as a conventional quarterback. That’s what we’re really trying to get to.”"

Marcus Mariota and Robert Griffin III are two entirely different players, so lets stop the comparisons already!

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