Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox recently did an article on the biggest red flag for every NFL team going into 2019, and sure enough it was Marcus Mariota for the Tennessee Titans.
Is Marcus Mariota the biggest red flag the Tennessee Titans have going into the 2019 NFL season?
In an article from Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report, he believes that is indeed the case, as Mariota’s checkered past with injuries and inconsistency is a major concern.
Here’s some of Knox’s write-up.
"Like Jameis Winston, Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota is entering a contract year. While he too has some consistency issues that need to be ironed out, a bigger red flag with Mariota is his history of injuries.Mariota has never played a full 16-game season. He suffered a broken leg at the end of the 2016 season and was hampered by an elbow issue for nearly all of 2018. This is problematic because the Titans cannot possibly have an accurate idea of where Mariota is at in his development without seeing him at 100 percent for a full year."
Knox also cites how Paul Kuharsky noted how bad Mariota’s throws looked in minicamp, but the Titans signal-caller not making good throws in June is the least of the team’s concerns.
Is Marcus Mariota really the Titans’ biggest red flag?
There aren’t many red flags to go around for this 2019 Titans squad.
The defense, which was already excellent last season, has the chance to be the very best in football with the wealth of talent all over the field. That’s one part of this team you can automatically cancel out in the red flag debate.
We already know that running backs Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis are a sensational 1-2 punch that can take a load of pressure off Mariota. And, thanks to general manager Jon Robinson, the receiving corps. has more talent than any Titans group in recent memory and a rebuilt offensive line looks primed to improve on its 2018 showing.
So, what’s left? That’s right, Mariota with his health and overall play on the field.
The good news is the 25-year-old is doing his best to avoid injury yet again this season. Mariota has packed on some extra weight so his body can take a beating and keep on sticking.
While that’s all well and good, Titans fans want to see it to believe it before counting on weight gain to solve Mariota’s injury issues. Tennessee even brought in Ryan Tannehill as an insurance policy, making it clear that the team isn’t so secure that their starting quarterback can get through a 16-game season.
Regardless, Tannehill is just that, an insurance policy. It’s not like the former Miami Dolphins quarterback is some kind of diamond in the rough—he’s had similar issues to Mariota during his career, especially in the last three seasons.
Mariota not only has to stay healthy, but he also has to put up consistent numbers all season long to secure his spot as a franchise quarterback. He’ll get more than a fair shake to do that, so don’t expect to see Tannehill inserted behind center barring an injury or some kind of epic collapse by Mariota during the season that makes it impossible to start him.
There’s no question that on a win-now roster full of talent on both sides of the ball that Mariota remains the team’s biggest question mark. The 2019 campaign will undoubtedly be a make-or-break one for the Oregon product, who will have the brightest of spotlights on every move he makes between the white lines.