Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon gave his insight into Marcus Mariota’s past and future with the Tennessee Titans.
Mariota, who is a free agent this offseason, lost his starting job to fellow signal-caller Ryan Tannehill during the 2019 campaign. As a result, he will likely move on from the team that drafted him No. 2 overall in the 2015 NFL Draft.
While down at the Super Bowl in Miami, Moon gave some insight into Mariota’s career with the Titans and what might have gone wrong, per Jim Wyatt of Titans Online.
"“A lot of pressure was put in his shoulders come out as the No.2 pick, same thing with Jameis Winston in Tampa Bay. They just haven’t been able to live up to the pressure they had to play with, having been asked to play Day One. Neither one of them was put in a situation where they had a veteran behind them and somebody they could learn from, kind of like Patrick Mahomes, where he had Alex Smith for a year, or Aaron Rodgers, where he had Brett Favre.”"
Like the vast majority of people who follow Mariota and the Titans, Moon believes a change of scenery is just what he needs in order to revive his career, much like Tannehill did in Tennessee in 2019.
Moon also thinks that Mariota is still very capable of being a starting quarterback in the NFL, despite his failure to remain the No. 1 man in Nashville.
"“I think sometimes quarterbacks just need a change of scenery if things aren’t going well in one place, and that may end up being the case with Marcus,” Moon said.“But I think Marcus can play in this league, and he just needs to find the right situation, and I think it will work for him. He is very talented, there’s no doubt about that."
Moon also added that Mariota tends to play “a little tentative” and that he needs to “just let it rip.”
Where Mariota ends up playing next remains to be seen, but it will be one of the more interesting storylines of the 2020 offseason.
What Mariota needs to do is find a team that has a vulnerability at quarterback where he can potentially compete for a starting job, or take it over once the inherent starter has burned out and failed. He can also target a place with an aging or injury-prone starter.
Despite the way things ended with the Titans, Mariota’s time with the team should still be looked at as somewhat positive. Sure, he didn’t pan out the way you’d expect a No. 2 overall pick to, but he did help pull a franchise out of its dark ages to become a playoff team.
Whatever the case may be, because he was such a class act during his time here, Marcus Mariota will always have a fan base back in Nashville wishing him the best — as long as that best doesn’t include beating the Titans.