It’s almost impossible to prepare for Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, but the Tennessee Titans will attempt to do so with backup quarterback Marcus Mariota.
If there’s one guy who can even sniff the kind of athleticism Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has in order to help the Tennessee Titans better prepare for him, it’s backup quarterback Marcus Mariota.
The Oregon product is a great athlete who has the ability to use his legs to make plays. It’s for that reason the Titans are using Mariota to simulate what Jackson can do during practice.
Of course, as good of an athlete as Mariota is, he still pales in comparison to Jackson, who ranked sixth in the NFL in rushing yards this season.
The Louisville product’s speed is unlike anything the NFL has seen at the quarterback position, and up until this point, no teams have been able to keep him in check, let alone stop him.
Not only can Mariota’s athleticism help, but his experience running the RPO will also be a benefit, as the Titans will be seeing a lot of that on Saturday night.
Mariota lost the starting job for the Titans after being benched for Ryan Tannehill during the Week 6 shutout loss to the Denver Broncos. Tannehill was officially named the starter the following week, and the Titans reeled off seven wins in their last 10 games.
Since then, Mariota has only seen the field for three snaps, two in Week 17 and one in the Wild Card game against the New England Patriots. He has completed two passes for 28 yards in his limited playing time, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him used in a trick play package once again this week.
Mariota has been nothing but professional since taking a backseat to Tannehill, and the Titans’ current starting QB has raved about how much Mariota has helped him prepare for games.
Despite his limited role, Mariota continues to provide value to this franchise.