For the first time in the history of the franchise, the Tennessee Titans had to set up perameters so that a line could be formed for training camp autographs.
Yep…you guessed it, it was Marcus Mariota’s day to sign.
A record crowd packed Tennessee’s Saturday practice, and most of the fans were there to get Mariota’s name on a piece of memorabilia. He stayed and signed autographs for nearly an hour after practice.
Sunday morning, ESPN conducted a live interview with Mariota at the conclusion of practice. Analyst and former head coach Herm Edwards even chimed in with advise for the rookie. Mariota also conducted a live interview with the NFL Network, followed by a piece on the team.
Big picture…the Tennessee Titans had their own segment on two prime time sports outlets today.
While media attention is nothing new to the former Heisman Trophy winner, it is to a franchise that has been mired in anonymity the past several years.
For the first time in most of these Titans’ careers, they have an opportunity to shine in front of the camera…because cameras will be everywhere for Mariota’s rookie season.
That all changes this season.
Casual NFL fans will at least notice what the Titans are doing this year, if for no other reason than to see how Mariota does. Tennessee has veteran players on their roster with the talent to be household names, and Mariota just brought them a viewing audience.
The rookie offensive skill players have an opportunity to make an early name for themselves as well. Most of them will see action early on, when the Mariota fever pitch will be at it’s peak. If Dorial Green-Beckham or David Cobb can produce early on, and be attributed to Mariota’s early success, then they too could find themselves being recognized in airports across the country.
Head coach Ken Whisenhunt could be the biggest beneficiary. He could literally go from coach on the hot seat to validated qb guru if Mariota succeeds this year.
Look no further than the season opener, all eyes will be on Marcus Mariota vs Jameis Winston in a nationally televised late afternoon tilt. Subsequently, all eyes will be on their teammates as well.
Increased notoriety leads to increased off the field opportunities, evidenced by Mariota’s numerous endorsement deals. His teammates can grab some of that limelight this season…
All they have to do is help him win.