Back in the spring when the Tennessee Titans 2015 schedule hit the press, I had no aspirations that this young team could travel to Gillette Stadium and have a chance against one of the best quarterback-coach combinations in NFL history, but I had hopes they would be competitive.
The Titans have way too many holes in their lineup to stand a real chance to beat the New England Patriots in a week 15 match-up in Foxboro, but up until last week when it appeared the Dick LeBeau defense quit in the 30-8 loss to the New York Jets, I expected a fight.
I always try to look for positives, even when the odds are stacked against me, and I think this game will be a huge learning experience for a young rookie quarterback like Marcus Mariota, and provide him with some lessons for a lifetime.
Mariota gets a chance to work his magic against arguably the best coach in history with schemes to test a young quarterback, and he gets a chance to see first-hand, how a future Hall of Fame quarterback is able to operate with a questionable offensive line, no wide receivers and big holes in the running game.
In fact, it looks like Mariota is as excited about this opportunity, and is looking forward to the lessons he might learn:
“It is going to be a great opportunity for this entire team,’’ Mariota said after practice on Wednesday. “The New England Patriots are a very good football team, and they have been a good team for a while now. It will be a good challenge, and we are looking forward to it.”
Everyone knows that it’s hard to impress the legendary Bill Belichick, but based on his interview with Titansonline, he is very high on the Titans rookie.
“The offense he’s running is definitely not the offense he ran in college, so there’s no question about that. But I think he’s done a good job,” Belichick said. “He’s hitting a lot of passes, hasn’t turned the ball over a lot, has had his share of touchdown passes, makes his share of big plays, reads coverages. I think you see him throwing the ball to the right spot.
“I don’t know exactly what he’s being told to do but generally speaking it looks like he’s throwing the ball to the right spot, throwing it where he should be throwing it. I think he’s coming along well. I’m sure they have a lot of confidence in him and he’s shown toughness coming back from an injury and taking some hits and all like every quarterback does. He’s done a good job for them.”
I’m going out on a limb here, but I wonder how well Marcus Mariota could have fared as a rookie in the Belichick system during his rookie year with much the same holes in the lineup?
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Would he have had the same success or more?
Would he have been able to put up the same kinds of numbers he has in Music City?
And would he be 3-9 at this point of the season?
As a Tennessee Titans fan, I have to wonder after Belichick’s assessment of our franchise quarterback, if he has plans down the road where Mariota might be in a Patriots uniform.
Tom Brady is a physically fit specimen who wants to play for the next ten years, but let’s take a look at reality.
He is 38 years old and probably has two more years to play at an elite level before father time does the same thing to him that he has done to Peyton Manning.
All Bill Belichick needs to do is wait for the rudderless ship in Nashville to bungle their position(they always do) and he could reload at quarterback in a New York Minute!
The Tennessee Titans lost five games by less than a touchdown, and were robbed in one by the zebras. If they could have won three of these games, especially the week three match-up against the Indianapolis Colts, they could have six or seven wins with a chance to win the AFC South.
That would have given real meaning to this game with the New England Patriots for the Titans, and not a possible audition for Marccus Mariota in a future trade when things don’t work out in Music City.