Marcus Mariota is only six days into training camp, but he seems to be progressing in the offense that is being installed to maximize his skill set.
Remember when Titans general manager Jon Robinson announced the firing of Mike Mularkey that he repeatedly emphasized that the next coaching staff would have to find ways to not only protect Mariota, but to maximize the unique skill set he brings.
Enter Mike Vrabel, aided and abetted by new offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur.
The offense being run by the Titans – in the bits and pieces that have been revealed in training camp, show a much more open offense, designed to allow Mariota to better use the passing game, and to mix in the occasional designed run for himself to go with the run game.
While saying it might be a better question for the coaches to assess where he is in the offense, Mariota still admitted, “I like where the offense is at. We’ve made some big plays. At the same time, if we can take care of the football, do the things that are expected of us, execute and make sure we’re not having mental errors, we’ll be able to go out there and be successful in the offense.”
One benefit is that Mariota has hand in it, by getting to voice his opinion and have input as the players learn the system..
“It’s been really good. I’ve been able to express my opinions on certain things. Again, he’s installing the offense. We’re all still learning. But, being able to express your opinions and really just sit down and develop what we think is the best plan for this offense will be huge for us moving forward,” Mariota said.
Mariota added that communication with the receivers is on-going as well.
“I think communication has gotten a lot better. Guys are talking – whether it’s Corey (Davis), Taywan (Taylor) or Tajaé (Sharpe). They’re all saying, ‘This is what I’m seeing.’ We’re all just communicating,” Mariota said. “If there is a certain route where I expect him to be at, I may go over there and voice what I want. Those guys are doing their best to achieve that. When we’re able to go out there and compete and it’s an open form where everyone is communicating, it allows us to be on the same page. Eventually, hopefully, that will create some success.”
Vrabel said that the communication between Mariota and his receivers is of the utmost importance, because the development of confidence and trust between them is what will make the offense successful.
“I think the biggest thing for receivers and quarterbacks is that confidence, and that trust of, ‘Man, I know that this guy is going to be there, and it may not look really good right now, but when I pull the trigger, that guy’s going to be there. I got to throw to a spot, and I got to trust that he’s going to go make a play,’” Vrabel said.