Marcus Mariota shines
While you will hear everyone and their mom talk about a pick that Marcus Mariota threw in practice or a sack that he took, the positive comments are fewer and farther between for some reason.
However, today was all about Marcus Mariota and how good he looked. By all accounts he looked better than he has in a while throwing the ball, especially in 7-on-7 drills.
It should also be noted that for the 100th time, Mariota is throwing to different receivers than he practiced with in OTAs. With A.J. Brown out, Tajae Sharpe is coming in and playing the other boundary receiver spot.
Despite this change and a mercurial offensive line in front of him, Mariota has done well and looks to be fitting into the offense nicely through three practices.
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Speaking of studs in the passing game, Adam Humphries has been so effective in 1-on-1 drills and in the redzone just making Pro Bowl-caliber players look silly with his quickness and understanding of how to get leverage on his routes.
If there was every any doubt that Humphries was going to be a threat from the slot this year, you can relax. Not only is this team not going to force him to play outside if there is an injury (remember they brought Sharpe in but left Humphries in the slot when Brown went out), but he is quickly becoming comfortable with Marcus Mariota.
Speaking of that comfort level, there are times where Mariota honest to goodness just lofts a pass in the air and lets Corey Davis go get it. Look at this:
Sure, Davis is in great position on the wheel route/double move here but Adoree Jackson is right in his hip pocket. The thing here is that Mariota sees that Jackson’s eyes are on Davis and that because he has to catch up to 84 thanks to that quick move when he got vertical.
That slight hesitation was all Mariota needed and he trusted his man to go up and get the ball in the air and that is exactly what he did.
Davis was outstanding all day, but it really seems like he is going to take his game to an even higher level in 2020 and he has really earned the trust of Mariota who isn’t one to just throw up a ball in that sort of situation.