The start of training camp for the Tennessee Titans on Friday, marked the beginning of the Marcus Mariota era in Nashville. NFL free agents and draft picks have been discussed to ad nauseum for almost six months, and now it’s time to get the pads on and get down to the business of playing football.
The success fans in Music City are looking for, and very possibly the future of the Titans brain trust will be riding on the arm of the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner. Is everyone having as much trouble as I have, waiting for fall, and some meaningful football on Saturday and Sunday afternoons?
As a Titans fan, I had some very high expectations as training camp gets underway, but Andy Benoit has found a way slap me back into reality.
A trip down memory lane outlining the failures, since the turn of the century of head coaches who have rolled the dice and bet their futures on spread quarterbacks. The landscape since 2000 is littered with project quarterbacks who have went down in flames, and head coaches who have undertaken the projects that just didn’t work.
"None of these guys honed genuine pocket poise and mechanics because, prior to turning pro, they never had to. When you grow up being faster than everyone you face, your mentality becomes predicated on moving. That works fine until you encounter the athleticism and intelligence of NFL defenders.The one exception from the list of mobile QBs would be Wilson, but he’s an exception only to a certain extent. Wilson still hasn’t developed a true NFL-caliber dropback pocket game. Because of his height, he probably never will. He compensates with a rare ability to play out of structure."
I’m not sure what crystal ball Devon Lloyd is looking into, but he must have found it in Nashville where expectations are high going into this 2015 season. Maybe he should have read Andy Benoit’s column and got a dose of reality.
I agree with Devon’s assessment regarding the improvements the Titans have made across the lineup, but the transition from a 2-14 season in 2014 to the playoffs in 2015 is a big ask.
"If the Tennessee Titans can gel quickly this season they will have the opportunity to compete for a wild card birth and the chance to finish 2nd in the AFC South behind theIndianapolis Colts. I think this team is talented enough to be better than both theJacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans and could end the playoff drought in 2015."
There were concerns when drafting Marcus Mariota that coming out of the high octane Chip Kelly offense in Oregon that he would not be able to throw passes into tight spaces, and not be able to throw receivers open.
After a 13 of 22 performance on Saturday in combined drills, the perception is beginning to change. It has become apparent that the rookie has spent some time with a quarterbacks coach, and a lot of time in Ken Whisenhunts playbook.
Mariota has yet to throw an interception in training camp, and left the first interception of the season to veteran Charlie Whitehurst.
"Why not one more Mariota note? He also showed his mobility today in a couple of different ways. We saw his first designed runs – both plays in which he took shotgun snaps, paused and then took off. In addition, he scrambled to extend plays on a couple of occasions, once hitting Wright well down the field on the right sideline."
Taylor Lewan wants Titans to have ‘chippy, gritty, salty’ O-line – Paul Kuharsky ESPN
Former Oakland Raiders head coach, John Madden told us back in the 70’s that “football games are won by the mooses in the trenches”.
The Titans second-year offensive tackle, Taylor Lewan says that after the terrible 2-14 season in 2014, he feels like the Titans owe Nashville.
People in Music City will certainly respect his candid review of the offensive line’s performance during his rookie year.
"“To be brutally honest, I think we were soft,” he said. “And I think [offensive line coach] Bob Bostad would say the same thing. That’s one thing he’s definitely been preaching this offseason. We want to be tough, we want to road grade, we want to run that power like no one’s ever done it."