Peter King Calls for Tennessee Titans and fans to have patience


It’s rare to see any of the national sports media around the Tennessee Titans anymore, but Peter King from Sports Illustrated’s Monday Morning Quarterback put in an appearance at Saint Thomas Sports Park on Wednesday to get a first-hand look at our new quarterback.

More at TitanSized: Brian Orakpo brings more than a pass rush

King drew ire from Titans fans after picking them last(32nd) in his 2015 power rankings, but I’ll give him credit for at least coming to look.

He pointed out to senior editor, Jim Wyatt that fans weren’t pleased with the ranking and let him know how they felt about it.

"“I heard from maybe 50 Titans fans. They pretty much said, “You’re an idiot,’’ King said with a smile. “They let me know, “We’re going to be a whole lot better than that.”"

While touring the Titans facility, you know someone on the team had to rub it in, and of course it was Titans safety, Michael Griffin.

"“We’re 32nd in the league?,’’ Griffin, smiling, said to King. “Really? So what do you think now?”"

After taking in the practice session, King said he might have to reconsider the ranking, and said that “the receivers were big, and you won’t have to worry about being 32nd with him” as he was pointing to Marcus Mariota.

I think he liked what he saw!

King later spoke with John Glennon from the Tennessean and told him there were two thing with the Titans that intrigued him, prompting a stop in Music City while on his way to Chicago. Marcus Mariota and Dick LeBeau.

"“This year, (seeing the Titans practice) became a must-do. I sort of filled in some spots around Tennessee because I knew I wanted to see Mariota for a practice. So to me, I think everybody should be excited.”"

He pointed out that Mariota may not be as “pro ready” as Jameis Winston, but that the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner was like a malleable piece of clay.

"I think you can play him in a variety of ways. … I’m fascinated by him. And he’s the type of kid you sort of root for anyway because he’s such a nice guy. So it’s got to be a really, really fun time to be a Titans fan."

Peter King’s big message to Titans fans was “be patient”. Mariota will have some bad days as a pro and even some ugly days, and reminded us that Peyton Manning threw 26 interceptions in his rookie year.

"So the way I look at it is that I have confidence (Mariota) will win eventually. What does eventually mean? I don’t know. We’ll see.“The most important thing for (the Titans) to see is progress. So the worst thing you can do at the start of a year like this is to say we have to have ‘X’ number of wins as our goal. I just don’t think that makes any sense.”"

The Monday Morning Quarterback also wanted to see assistant head coach/defense Dick LeBeau. He pointed out that Jurrell Casey should flourish in the LeBeau system, and that if Brian Orakpo can stay healthy will have a field day with quarterbacks around the league.

King’s final words on the Titans before he left town was:

"“I’m like everybody else. I feel like they’ll be at the bottom of the league. They have a young quarterback. They’re changing a lot of what they do on defense. So much is unproven about the team. But if you have a quarterback, you have hope. That’s as old as the sun in the NFL. Even if it’s not this year, I think (the Titans) have their quarterback.”"

I have a feeling that when the next power rankings come out from SI, the Tennessee Titans will be in the same spot as they were when Peter King came to Nashville….32nd!

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