The Tennessee Titans were more than happy to select Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Jameis Winston went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the No. 1 pick, which is exactly what the Titans were hoping would happen. Mariota was considered a better quarterback prospect by many analysts throughout the college football season last year and he certainly is playing like it so far as a rookie.
According to Paul Kuharsky of ESPN, the Titans are torn on asking Mariota to use his athleticism and run more often.
Whiz: Torn about Mariota running more as he's throwing the ball well from the pocket. Will come at some point. Won't force it. #Titans
— Paul Kuharsky (@PaulKuharskyNFL) September 28, 2015
Mariota has been absolutely killing defensive secondaries through the air and has yet to really use his ability to make plays on the ground. Tennessee doesn’t want him to be reckless with his ground game, but they do want him to force opponents to respect that aspect of his game and make them tailor them game plan with that in mind.
Throughout the first three games of the season for the Titans, Mariota has completed 62.9 percent of his passes for 833 yards, eight touchdowns and two interceptions. Both of those interceptions came against the Indianapolis Colts yesterday afternoon in a disappointing 35-33 loss. It appeared that the Titans would knock Indianapolis off, but they made too many mistakes down the stretch and Andrew Luck was able to lead two huge drives for scores.
At just 21 years old, there is still plenty of learning for Mariota to do over the next few seasons. Being more aggressive on the ground is exactly the type of thing that could take his game to the next level.
Expect to see the Titans work with him on running more and making plays with his legs throughout the next month or two. By the end of the season he will likely be more more aggressive in both areas of the game than he is now.