The biggest questions about quarterback Marcus Mariota leading up to this year’s draft had to do with how quickly he’d be able to make the transition from running the University of Oregon’s spread offense to running an NFL scheme, something that didn’t worry the Titans enough for them to pass on Mariota with the second pick in the draft.
Mariota is still early in the process and not much of consequence can be gleaned from organized team activities, but the Titans can be pleased that Mariota’s not having a hard time grasping what the team is asking of him. Quarterbacks coach John McNulty says that the rookie hasn’t been overwhelmed by all the information about the scheme being thrown at him this offseason.
“The fact that we’ve been able to handle it makes it a lot easier,” McNulty said, via ESPN.com. “There hasn’t been any point where we’ve said, ‘OK guys this is too much.’ He’s been eating it up pretty quickly.”
It probably helps that the much discussed need for Mariota to learn how to play the game while taking snaps under center might not be quite as pressing as some thought. As mentioned in Wednesday’s one-liners, the Titans expect to play out of the shotgun quite a bit and McNulty said, via the Tennessean, that they’ll operate out of it “probably 50 or 60” percent of the time this season.
That would actually be a drop from last season, when the Titans took 64.9 percent of their snaps from the shotgun. That had a lot to do with how often Tennessee was playing from behind, something that should happen less often if Mariota’s able to continue his quick immersion into the NFL once the Titans start facing defenses other than their own.