Three years ago, Marcus Mariota was the talk across the NFL thanks to the Heisman and college football successes. But unfortunately, he hasn’t been living up to expectations in the NFL. This can be attributed to his injuries, but they aren’t the only thing to making Mariota get referred to as a bust.
Why is he getting called a bust?
According to Brent Sobleski, his failure to progress his game is partially responsible for him being a bust. Sobleski also suggests that Mariota’s teammates are not that great. According to him, Mariota may have faced a hard time for the last two years, but he’s still the best option at quarterback for the Titans.
Marcus Mariota’s injury problems
While playing against the Dolphins in the season opener last year Mariota injured his elbow. After the game, he said that he could no longer feel his fingers.
Due to injuries, Mariota has slowed down in his career. It all started by missing two games in October 2015 after suffering from an MCL sprain. In December the same year, he ended his rookie season due to another MCL injury.
In Week 16 during the 2016 season, Mariota missed games due to a broken fibula. Since then, he has been dealing with pains and aches from various injuries.
For example, he missed a start and lost to the Patriots due to a sprained quad, and minor knee, shoulder, and ankle injuries.
Is the Titans’ system right for Marcus Mariota?
With Coach Mike Mularkey’s leadership, Mariota had some success in 2016. During this winning season, he had managed to run 349 yards and threw for 26 touchdowns for the Titans.
In an unsuccessful 2017, he had 15 interceptions and only threw 13 touchdowns. This could be attributed to the field constriction imposed by Mularkey. Mariota was only able to make short throws.
Mike Vrabel replaced Mularkey last year. As a defensive coach, Vrabel placed the inexperienced Matt LaFleur as the offensive coordinator. Mariota struggled in the new system, managing only 11 touchdowns to 8 interceptions. Although, his completion percentage did rise last year.
Aside from the coaching changes, the Titans have lacked the offensive firepower need to help Mariota. Delanie Walker has proven to be a reliable option for Mariota. But aside from Walker, Mariota has had little help over the years at the receiver position.
While his career has been largely disappointing, Marcus Mariota can still reinvent himself. When Mariota is healthy he has shown flashes of brilliance, especially when plays start to break down. Mariota needs to focus on his throwing mechanics and adapting to an NFL-style offense.
Entering the final year of his contract, this could be Mariota’s make or break season in the NFL. Be sure to keep an eye on his progress as the year starts.