Tennessee Titans: End of Week Notes and Links – Marcus Mariota Edition

NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 18: Marcus Mariota autographs a football during the 16th Annual Waiting for Wishes Celebrity Dinner Hosted by Kevin Carter
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 18: Marcus Mariota autographs a football during the 16th Annual Waiting for Wishes Celebrity Dinner Hosted by Kevin Carter /

Bringing you the best bits of news or information about the Tennessee Titans that has circulated around the internet during the week.

Missed anything about the Tennessee Titans throughout the week? Don’t worry, we’re here to update you on anything you might have missed about your favorite team! This week features a lot of praise for Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota and some defensive line news.

Let’s talk about some of this in reverse order.

Camron Johnson was named MVP of the tournament after playing both sides of the field. Johnson is a four-star wide receiver from Brentwood and has committed to playing for Vanderbilt University. Nashville football fans will be seeing plenty more of Johnson for the next few years, and possibly beyond.

I’m on record as saying I didn’t like the Sly Williams signing at all, mainly due to his underwhelming production and performance as a former first-round pick. Regardless of my opinion of him, he’s going to be a key cog in the Titans defensive line. The Titans defense relies on a space-eating nose tackle to hold up double teams and allow the bookends and outside linebackers more room to operate. If Williams could do just that on a consistent basis, then the entire Titans defense will be better off for it.

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One of the bookends Williams will be eating up space for could be Jimmy Staten, who supposedly flashed at rookie camp and OTAs. Staten was drafted in the fifth round in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks and has bounced around six different practice squads without making a game appearance. Returning to the state where he went to college and reuniting with former teammate Kevin Byard might provide the jolt his career needs.

Now we get to the good stuff: The showering of Marcus Mariota with praise and adulation.

First up is Stanford head coach David Shaw, who saw firsthand the potential Mariota had in the three games they faced off during Mariota’s time at Oregon. While many critics of the Hawaiian believed Mariota’s transition to a pro style offense would be rough and take time, Shaw wasn’t of the same thought process: “But for me, when I watched Marcus, he wasn’t a “spread” quarterback. He was a good quarterback. He could play from the pocket, and he could make all the throws from the pocket. I saw him check off from one (receiver) to 2 to 3, and saw him go through progressions.” Many will probably have changed their opinions of Mariota since he came out, but Shaw is as believable as they come.

Next up is former offensive guard Geoff Schwartz, who was an underrated player during his NFL career. One of the “critics” or “skeptics” of Mariota in the NFL was Schwartz himself, who is an Oregon alum. He was skeptical because a spread offense quarterback has never won a Vince Lombardi Trophy, but Schwartz concedes that Mariota might very well become the first one to do it. The inception of Mike Mularkey’s offense set Mariota on an inspiring path of progression: “By forcing Mariota into an old school offensive structure, it made him learn to play quarterback from the beginning — start under center, learn the proper reads, and improve as a pocket passer.” The last paragraph of his piece should make any Titans fan giddy: “Everything is looking up for the Titans and Mariota. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Titans, behind their franchise quarterback, win the division and go deep into the playoffs.” Agreed!

Last but not least is Cian Fahey, an NFL analyst who does some of the best analysis of quarterbacks I’ve ever seen. If you’ve never seen his GIF threads of Mariota, then I highly implore you to find them somehow. His article is too in-depth for me to pick out a few quotes, so you should really just read all of it, but I’ll leave you with a gem: “That (additions of Eric Decker and Corey Davis) will help the Titans move closer to the playoffs. It will help Mariota move closer to the spotlight. It will help us acknowledge that he is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL…and the best young quarterback in the NFL.”