I thought predraft that the Tennessee Titans would be better served drafting Marcus Mariota instead of Jameis Winston, and the more I see and read the more I think that I was right.
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In an NFL.com post by Connor Orr (of the Around the NFL group/occasional podcast corespondent) he compared what Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie quarterbacks Jameis Winston is doing compared to Marcus Mariota. He said:
“Because early training camp practices are an immensely poor indicator of future progress, we’ll ask you to take the following information with a grain of salt: According to reports out of Tennessee, No. 2 overall pick Marcus Mariota has not thrown an interception in camp yet.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Jameis Winston was intercepted three times in the first five passes of a team blitz period on Monday. Per The Times, he evened out toward the end of practice.
There are a couple of things that I don’t agree with in this post.
Firstly, while early on in training camp isn’t a great way to extrapolate what you think a player is going to do this post makes it seem like it is no big deal that Winston threw three interceptions in five plays. That is plays with a “p” not days with a “d”.
That is a huge deal, I mean, I get that Lavonte David and Gerald McCoy are good, but I don’t think he is throwing the interceptions to them is he?
Secondly, all we have heard about is how he, Austin Safarian-Jenkins, Mike Evans, and Vincent Jackson are going to be unstoppable. Who is he throwing to in this drill that can’t catch these passes? I doubt Evans/Jackson are running the wrong routes considering how well they did last year. So that means that this has to be bad ball placement or decision making by Winston.
Thirdly, in what way is Tampa Bay’s generic Lovie Smith defense “better and much further ahead than the Tennessee Titans?” Both teams are in the second year of a new system but one team is clearly better at defending the pass. The Tennessee Titans passing defense was better in sacks, passing yards allowed, yards per attempt, passer rating, completion percentage, and essentially every important category.
Give me that defense plus Dick LeBeau and Brian Orakpo instead of that Tampa Bay defense.
So how can you not say at this point that Marcus Mariota is preforming at a higher level than Jameis Winston.
Now granted, this is early in the year and they have yet to play against an opposing defense, but at this point if you are saying that Marcus Mariota will struggle and that Jameis Winston won’t because of a college system you either aren’t reading or watching these quarterbacks or you are just lying to yourself.