Marcus Mariota Is Living The NFL Dream Tonight


Tennessee Titans rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota has had some big days in his young football career, but none bigger than his “NFL coming out party” tonight at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

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The former Oregon Duck has a Heisman Trophy and played in two National Championship games, but told David Climer at the Tennessean that tonight would be “a dream come true”.

Mariota’s family is traveling all the way from Hawaii for preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons, but will more than likely see more of backup quarterback, Zach Mettenberger under center than their son.

"“It’s an opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream and I’m looking forward to it,” Mariota said. “… Ever since I can remember, it’s what I wanted to do. I’ve been very blessed on this journey and I’m excited.”"

The new face of the Tennessee Titans franchise is expected to only play a couple of offensive series(10-12 plays) before he gets a ball cap and relegated to the sideline and a clipboard.

The first preseason game is about looking at free agents and rookies who are on the bubble of making the team, and we all know that Marcus Mariota will make this team, and will start game one of the regular season when the Titans travel to Tampa Bay to take on Jameis Winston in game one on September 13th.

Head coach Ken Whisenhunt would like to see more of his new quarterback tonight, but he wants him playing with the first team, and we don’t expect to see much of them as well.

"“You want him playing with the guys he’s been practicing with at training camp,” Whisenhunt said."

Mariota has had the red jersey on during training camp, but it will come off tonight and he will be fair game for the likes of Falcon rookie pass rusher, Vic Beasley. Even if it’s only for a few series. Mariota hasn’t taken a real hit since losing the National Championship game to the Ohio State Buckeyes back in January.

"“You’re going to get hit and get the cobwebs out of there,” Mariota said. “It’s been a few months since I’ve been hit but it’ll come on Friday for sure.”"

As brief as it will be, it will give the rookie a chance to see the game at NFL speeds, take a couple of real hits, and get a chance to see an opposing defense.

The Titans have been practicing against Dick LeBeau‘s 3-4 defense during training camp and now must face Dan Quinn’s 4-3. Coach Whiz said they talked about some of the differences during the walk-through on Thursday but he was just going to let his team shoot from the hip tonight.

Game one will be more about wide receivers, running backs and work for Zach Mettenberger. Marcus Mariota will get more work next week, and probably play a lot of game three.

I don’t know about you, but I am anxious to see Mariota in action against a real NFL defense, but I can wait. Let’s keep him healthy for that week-one matchup in Tampa.

Hey…it’s preseason football, but it’s football!

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