Marcus Mariota is the face of the Tennessee Titans and a true rising star in the National Football League. But, if you don’t know who he is, it is not obvious. Mariota is soft spoken, mild-mannered, and known for never crossing a teammate or calling a press conference. That politeness is just who he is and a part of what makes his coaches rave about him.
That being said, being nice in the NFL doesn’t work. Everything in football begins and ends with the quarterback and Marcus Mariota is showing he knows that.
Coming into his second year, Mariota has shown his growth to becoming a vocal leader. Mariota has reportedly been much more assertive through the off season workouts.
Tight end Delaine Walker told Titans Online, “You can tell he is starting to be more vocal. I think he is starting to get more comfortable with the system, and the guys are knowing that he is a leader on this team.”
Seeing Mariota’s growth from year one to year two as a leader is encouraging, especially with the influx of so many rookies. As much as they do not admit it, players respond to expectations their teammates have for them. Newcomers such as Ben Jones and Jack Conklin need Mariota to remind them of what they are doing wrong just as Mariota needs to tel them.
There is a chain of command in the NFL and it begins with the quarterback. A more vocal Mariota seems has derived from his hunger for winning, something he was very accustomed to at Oregon.
“For me, what’s most important … is stepping up as a leader and being more vocal, and then just from there, finding ways to win,” Mariota said. “I think that’s just been the tone for the last few months here, just finding ways to win, however that may be.”
If the Titans want to compete for division titles in the AFC South, they have to be tough and on the same page, every week, together. Mariota has tasted a hit from J.J. Watt, 13 losses, and an unmatched physicality that only the NFL offers. Now he is making sure the guys he will go to battle with are ready.