A Long Way From Kalaepohaku

January 5th, 2015


Franchise quarterback prospect Marcus Mariota seems like one heck of a great guy.

He’s also a quarterback from a land far, far away from the shores of St. Pete Beach.

That has nothing to do with how well Mariota plays QB for the mighty Oregon Ducks, but NFL general managers do consider how top draft picks might adjust to their new environments. And that’s especially true for  quarterbacks drafted to save a franchise.

One of the few knocks on Mariota is that he’s considered shy and possibly missing the personality and demeanor successful NFL quarterbacks typically possess. Maybe that’s true; maybe it’s overblown.

Regardless, the Bucs will consider how Mariota might adjust being so far from his familiar Hawaii and Oregon environments, as well as how long it could take him to feel at home, if at all.

Joe found this recent Hawaii TV feature on Mariota quite interesting and heart-warming.


72 Responses to “A Long Way From Kalaepohaku”

  1. DB55 Says:

    Off topic but that cup o joe sure looks tasty. If you know what I mean. :p

  2. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    The Polynesians take their culture and their football very seriously. And so Mariota was striving to get that Heisman not just for himself, but more so for his people and the football programs back in Hawaii and Samoa.

    This kid is incredibly motivated and for all the right reasons. It’s not about the money, bling, or chicks for him, it’s about representing for an entire group of people.

    Think somebody who is that motivated to rep so well for his people might also be a good rep for a franchise.

    If Mariota doesn’t make it in the NFL it won’t be for lack of effort or coachability.

    Can we make that same statement about Jameis. Perhaps.

  3. BucNears Says:

    Can’t just have a nice article about the guy can you Joe? Always having to throw a negative light on the guy. It’s amazing you can use being shy as a negative when your boy has so much alarming crap about him that you never seem to write about.

  4. Wombat Says:

    I don’t think he would be the worse QB we ever drafted in the 1st round, but 1st overall ya wanna be sure you have a man of character and not hope that whoever you pick doesn’t end up throwing parties on a Friday before a game….

  5. Kalind Says:

    This isn’t really a big deal for me. I’m a huge Winston supporter, but if Mariota fails it’ll be because of his inaccuracy down the field, play style-caused injuries, and system translation problems, not because he moved across the country.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Mariota has known for some time that QB opportunities on the west coast were very limited…..Rivers, Carr, Wilson, Kaepernick,…….at least Tampa has some weather/water allure for Marcus & his family. If jet fuel prices stay low…..that coupled with no state income tax….should make travel less expensive.
    Welcome MARCUS!!!! and welcome Joe….to reality. Finally a Mariota article….

  7. DB55 Says:

    Sure fire can’t miss way of picking a qb. See how hot their girlfriend is. You heard it here first guys. First tip is free. Lol

  8. Kalind Says:


    It’s not joes fault people criticise Mariota for that. I’ve heard tha plenty. Joe isn’t making it up. The kid is apparently soft spoken an not much of a locker room leader. Big deal? I dunno. But the stories are out there. Lay off.

  9. theodore Says:

    If he is from Hawaii, the Bucs need to make sure he’s not really an anti-colonial, Kenyan, super-secret-Muslim instead.

  10. HawaiianBuc Says:

    I’ve spent many a days on Kalaepohaku, as my father coached at Chaminade back in the day. St. Louis has had it’s fair share of NFL players, Olin Kruetz being one. A lot of people who aren’t familiar with Hawaii might have the idea that the St. Louis area is very “country”, but nothing could be further from the truth. It’s right in the middle of Honolulu. As far as environment, Tampa is much closer to Hawaii than many other NFL cities. It shouldn’t be a problem at all.

  11. HawaiianBuc Says:

    As far as the too shy thing goes, I’m not buying it. St. Louis is an all-boys school where football is king. They recruit the biggest, baddest Polynesians to play football there every year. They are, and have always been, a bunch of bad arses. You aren’t soft if you go to St. Louis. That isn’t even debatable. I have tons of friends that have played there, and I’ve heard some crazy stories. There is no way in a million years he would have survived there without being tough and having leadership qualities.

  12. Terry4505 Says:

    Wait… he’s not from Florida, and Chucky wouldn’t work well with him…?

    Man, these negatives just keep piling up.

    Un-freaking-real the lengths the Joes will go to portray this guy in a negative light while continuing to shove these daily Jameis updates down our throats.

    I know, I know, I could just take my browsing elsewhere. I appreciate the site, but man this is getting old.

  13. Waterboy Says:

    Hopefully he can run a pro-style offense and won’t require a team to hire an offensive coordinator to implement a system that only about 5-10% of the nfl teams run as there base offense. Almost like buying a luxury vehicle with only 2 mechanics in the state that can work on it.

  14. 77bassguitarist Says:

    Actually trying to be objestive joe?….

  15. Snook Says:

    He’s a lot like Freeman in interviews and press conferences.


  16. knucknbuc Says:

    That’s our future stud qb right here!!! Can’t wait until 2015 mariota to Evans is music to my ears.

  17. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Again we come up with “running a pro style” offense. Really. What game are you guys watching.

    Neither of the QB’s in the Cowboys-Lions game took a snap from under center on any 3rd down longer than three yards.

    Somebody do the charting for me I’m too freaking lazy. But just watching it seems that NFL teams ARE spreading it more than 50% of the time and on EVERY critical 3rd down play the QB is in the shotgun.

    We are not talking about drafting a wing T running QB. We are not talking about a QB who runs first and throws second or even a QB who is not smart enough and skilled and fast enough to either get out of bounds or slide.

    An athlete is an athlete. If he has brains he can adapt to whichever offense the team runs. If you have an elusive QB who may be the fastest in the league it probably would make sense to take advantage of those abilities.

    And so is Russell Wilson a “pro style” QB? Does he run too much? Aaron Rodgers? How much time is he in the gun and how often does he run?
    Colin Kaepernik?

    I won’t even list Cam Newton who is the running star on his team. He runs with a true purpose. That’s the kind of QB who is more likely to get injured not a Wilson/Rodgers kind of running QB. Can you say Mariota?

  18. John Says:

    I remember a QB named Dan Fouts that was quite and not a big leader in the locker room. He was great on the field though. Give this kid a chance. He may surprise us all.

  19. kh Says:

    Yea shyness isn’t something shared by franchise NFL QBs but being an unadulterated immature jackwagon? I mean all the greats are.

  20. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I like having a QB that can run……what’s wrong with that???

    Actually, I think Freeman was ruined when he stopped running……when running as an option is taken off the table a QB has only 3 choices……take the sack, throw into coverage or throw it away……(Glennon)
    I don’t think Mariota is a “run first” QB…..but if he needs to run…..he can really scamper!!!!

  21. cbell96825 Says:


  22. Waterboy Says:

    What are you basing your assumption that he has brains on? His GPA is 3.1 Winston has a 3.5 or 3.6 if I’m not mistaken.

  23. Posey99 Says:

    “NFL general managers do consider how top draft picks might adjust to their new environments.”

    I would say Hawaii to Oregon is a more drastic change than Oregon to Tampa…

  24. biff barker Says:

    Just because he’s quiet and shy with the media doesn’t mean he’s the same in the locker room. It’s pretty obvious that he leads by making the plays when it counts.

  25. Robert 9 Says:

    has he stole any crab legs?

    accusted rapist?


    nah, and he like football.

    sign him!

  26. Skyline Crew for Mariota or Winston Says:

    Him being soft spoken and quiet is no problem as a leader. Him moving to Florida is no big deal considering it will be much better weather than Oregon and won’t be cold as hell as it would be up in the northeast.

  27. Waterboy Says:

    I’ve watched the games on Mariota over Christians break his offense is very basic it’s almost like an option. You start off in pistol formation fake to the rb while keeping your eyes on the DE who’s unblocked if he steps inside let the RB keep it. If not pull the ball and then your next read is the CB if he takes the short WR then dump it over the top to the WR running the long route. If the CB goes with the deep WR hit the short route. That’s very basic offense and doesn’t require reading the whole field. It works in college but tougher in the pros where they’ll play a lot more man to man coverage and blitz.

  28. lightningbuc Says:

    What are you basing your assumption that he has brains on? His GPA is 3.1 Winston has a 3.5 or 3.6


    You’d think someone who has a 3.6 GPA (allegedly) would know not to walk out of a Publix with crab legs without paying.

    You’d think someone who has a 3.6 GPA (allegedly) would know not to use BB guns to shoot up other’s personal property.

    You’d think someone who has a 3.6 GPA (allegedly) would know not to stand on a table in a busy student union and yell vulgarities.

    And spare me the “he’s 20, we all did dumb stuff”. We all did dumb stuff – but most of us didn’t steal and shoot up property.

  29. Eric Says:

    I don’t care if the man says a word, just throw and run for touchdowns.

    Remember what Brooks said. Get ready to play your position, leadership flows from that.

    I don’t think Winston is at all the guy he is portrayed, but Marcus has handled himself much better overall.

    Bob Griese was quiet….

  30. Waterboy Says:

    *Christmas break*

  31. Tampabaybucfan Says:


    Shocked to see you’re a Mariota fan……coun’t me in the club….the more I study this guy, the more impressed I become….

    And, who said he isn’t capable of adjusting to any style necessary…..thiis guy is a super athelete….has great size with speed…..and is a really solid citizen.

    Drafting Marcus Mariota could be one of the greatest achievements in Buc history.

    We will see…..

  32. Skyline Crew for Mariota or Winston Says:

    “Conventional wisdom says there’s no way conservative Tampa Bay coach Lovie Smith would go with a spread offense. But Smith went 2-14 last season and the offense was dreadful, so conventional wisdom goes out the window.

    Why not bring in an offensive coordinator like Rob Chudzinski? He had a lot of success running the spread offense with Carolina and Cam Newton.

    Who says the Bucs have to make Mariota fit in their system? If they build a system to take advantage of Mariota’s strengths, they might end up with the first true franchise quarterback in team history.” -ESPN

  33. Waterboy Says:

    RG3 is a smart guy, great athlete, solid citizen and great college qb too but sucks as a pro QB. It’s great that they’re nice but I’m more focused on who’s a better player not someone to date my daughter.

  34. Kalind Says:


    Stop with the rape thing. Show me evidence. (Good luck.) anyone can be accused of anything. I accuse you of being a Martian! …see? Stupid. You have to prove it. Being accused of something is evidence of nothing.

    The BB guns? So what? I did that at FSU as well. And that was 10 years ago. Who cares? Talk about picking nits. Jeeze.

    All you guys complain that Mariota is criticized for small things, but then you turn right around and blow Winston ‘issues’ ou of proportion. Congrats hypocrites.

  35. lightningbuc Says:

    Kalind Says:
    January 5th, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Stop with the rape thing


    Please read my post again and tell me where I mentioned rape. You might want to get your money back from FSU for that “education” you paid for.

  36. Skyline Crew for Mariota or Winston Says:

    Waterboy Says:
    January 5th, 2015 at 11:49 am

    What are you basing your assumption that he has brains on? His GPA is 3.1 Winston has a 3.5 or 3.6 if I’m not mistaken.

    If I’m not mistaken Winston is majored in an Exploratory degree (Basically electives). While Mariota has a degree in Science. I’ll take the Science degree over electives.

  37. Eric Says:

    Remember the rock drafted Freeman with the full knowledge he had a mental disorder.

    After that disaster I imagine the Glazer Boys are going to demand a full vetting for both guys, And I do not think they will allow anything other than taking QB at 1.

  38. Skyline Crew for Mariota or Winston Says:

    “He was arrested for shoplifting crab legs. He was involved in a BB gun battle that damaged his apartment complex, and hours later Florida State police stopped him and handcuffed him for carrying a pellet gun near campus (he said he was using it to shoot at squirrels). Before last season’s national championship game, Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher kicked Winston out of practice and explained later that he wanted Winston to understand that “it’s not about you.””-Profootball talk

    Only thing going for Winston right now is that he has been out of trouble since being suspended a game.

  39. ToesOnTheLine! Says:

    Another plus for Mariota…he has extra incentive to get selected to the pro bowl to play in front of the hometown crowd. Still wouldn’t burn the #1 on him unless the Bucs hire the right coaches and assistants to fully utilize this guy’s skills and strengths and help him adjust to the speed of the NFL game. If they do that then feel free to make the Duck a Buc

  40. Nybucsfan Says:

    He seems like a guy that you could build a round. And he isn’t a accused rapist thief and has a filter on him mouth. And he isn’t joes first pick we all know how well joe scouts QB. Joe wants the creep to be the QB

  41. LJS4th Says:

    We will have to see who declares by the 15th or we might not be having a conversation about which QB is better, as both or one might stay in school. As far as living in Tampa vs Hawaii, they have much better year round weather but Tampa is the best place to live!!!!

  42. kh Says:

    Mariota has a 3.3 GPA in what is basically Oregon’s pre-med program, Oregon’s athletic academic adviser said he’s in the top 1% of student athletes he’s worked with in 20 years at Oregon. Jameis Winston meanwhile is “majoring” in exercise science.

  43. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Waterboy

    You may be interested in this pre-Heisman article on Mariota……He was a waterboy in highschool….


  44. pick6 Says:

    freeman, glennon, mccown…go even further back to the likes of chris simms…it seems like while meekness is a red flag for QBs all over the NFL, we like ’em meek down in tampa.

  45. Skyline Crew for Mariota or Winston Says:


    Last I saw Winston was majoring in an Exploratory Degree, which means electives. So I think he dropped the exercise science.

  46. JFat Says:

    The more I read, the more I don’t want Jameis @1. I really hope if we stick with the #1 pick we take Mariota.

    Since ESPN started tracking QBR in 2004, Mariota had the 3rd highest season total in CFB history this season, behind Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson. Better than the best seasons for guys like Manziel, Newton, Winston, Kaepernick, Bradford.

    His QBR has also gone up each season he’s played. His lowest QBR of 86.2 in 2012 is nearly 12 points higher than Winston’s score for this year (74.5 19th in CFB). Winston’s QBR dropped nearly 15 points this season. Since this rating takes defenses faced in to account as well as the QB’s decision making ability, I would like to see another year of Winston in college before I felt comfortable giving him the keys to the organization.

  47. Skyline Crew for Mariota or Winston Says:

    That was a good read TBBF.

  48. Waterboy Says:

    Where you find information on Winston’s major? I saw 1 article but it was dated back in 2013 which would’ve made him a sophomore. The latest quote that I saw from July 2014 below seems like he’s a Social Sciences major with a minor in Business.

    Winston Quote:
    “I was always raised as a student first and an athlete second,” said Winston, a social sciences major with a minor in business. “I think that’s the main purpose in college. Some athletes lose that perspective. It’s about being a student-athlete, and not just getting that easy money and going to the league. Even if kids leave early, I would want them to come back and get that degree.”

  49. Waterboy Says:

    When I Google “marcus mariota gpa” it shows 3.22 in General Sciences which is a basic study of all of the science fields. Anybody with a science degree can call that pre-med but they would still be required to get accepted into a medical school and 3.22 is probably not going to get you into a top medical school program.

  50. 87ForJamesOrMariota Says:

    I think Oregon’s O being so unpredictable, is what makes Mariota. I really do. No wonder he only threw what 3 picks all season, the opposing defense is always kept off balance not knowing whether they will run or throw.

    I think the Oregon O makes Mariota look better than he really is.

  51. kh Says:

    3.22 GPA with a Heisman trophy listed in your extra circulars will probably get you into a good enough medical program if he wasn’t going to make millions in the NFL. Takes a time commitment outside of academics.

  52. JFat Says:

    @87 I’m sure it helps. But his speed and decision making are part of the deal there. If his legs weren’t a threat, either to run or extend plays, it would make life easier on opposing defenses. If he wasn’t making good decisions, those INT numbers would be up regardless.

    If we get an OC that will move the pocket around a bit and not just leave the kid under center, I think he’ll do just fine. Quick release, good at scrambling and still looking to pass and he already slides to avoid the big hit.

    I think the fact that Jameis looks so much like Byron Leftwich (Play style and appearance) may be unfairly weighing my opinion of him.

  53. John Says:

    Tony Dungy was kind of a quite coach that led by example. Maybe those quite guys do well in Tampa.

  54. Skyline Crew for Mariota or Winston Says:

    I looked up his athlete status. It puts their major on there. It was under his baseball one from last spring. He may have changed it again. It was under Seminoles.com

    “PERSONAL: …member of the 3.0 GPA Club at FSU (Spring 2013)…exploratory major….”

  55. Waterboy Says:

    Yeah that was last year he would’ve been a Freshman or Sophomore at the time. Not uncommon for kids out of high school to come in undecided. I’m still impressed by his GPA while being a dual sport athlete.

  56. Skyline Crew for Mariota or Winston Says:

    Mariota also got his degree in 3 yrs when it takes others 4-5 yrs to get their degree.

  57. Soggy Says:

    Maybe some of lovies loudness and emotions will rub off on him..lol

  58. Reality Says:

    Mariotta threw 5-6 passes downfield against FSU. One was interecepted and two others should have been.

    If you take a less accurate Kaepernick #1 overall, you get what you deserve. Best case you get an RG3 type who’s nearly unstoppable for his first 6-8 starts until the league adjusts and he gets hurt running.

    He’s fast, but he’s not NFL fast. He’s not Mike Vick fast. He’s not a professional level passer, either.

  59. Skyline Crew for Mariota or Winston Says:

    Sorry, but Mariota doesn’t run as much as everyone wants them to believe. Rosebowl for example. Mariota and Winston both had 8 attempts at rushing.

  60. biff barker Says:

    87ForJamesOrMariota Says:

    I think Oregon’s O being so unpredictable, is what makes Mariota. I really do. No wonder he only threw what 3 picks all season, the opposing defense is always kept off balance not knowing whether they will run or throw.

    I think the Oregon O makes Mariota look better than he really is.
    It’s great football IMO and Kelly’s done well with it in Philly too.

    Many thought Tedford was going to run elements of it here. Draft Mariotta and get an OC willing to run some of the Ducks O here.

    It sure gassed the FSU defense early.

  61. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    Actually, I think Freeman was ruined when he stopped running……

    I couldn’t agree more TBBF. When they cut his legs from under him it turned Free into an average QB at best. Dude could throw a ball through a brick wall..IF he could hit the brick wall…and that wall could be six feet away waiting on a simple swing pass and he’d throw it through the wall.

    But JFro WAS a physical specimen and an athlete. Should have let him run and take our chances. Cam Newton runs with too much purpose for me. Same for RGIII….there is running (Wilson/Rodgers) and there is running..(Newton and RGIII and formerly Jfro)

    JFro was an instinctive player and they messed to much with what obviously a defective head to begin with. Should have let him run a lot more!!!

  62. chris Says:

    I find it now hilarious that Joe wants an NFL prototype qb. Last year we were beaten in the head about how we needed Johnny partyball. Elusive, next generation of elusive qbs, etc, like Cam, Colin, Wilson. Now we have a chance at someone faster, taller, with a better arm, no off field issues. I think you like the controversial guys, headline makers, probably a lifelong affection for Joe Namath. Well those days are over, you need someone serious about their craft.

    You might want to look up Johnny Football’s numbers throwing from the pocket in college. And the “NFL prototype” is a guy with mobility. Lovie said himself he wants his program to be like those in Seattle, Carolina and San Francisco. –Joe

  63. JayBucBoi Says:

    About time Joe! Been waiting for you to give us more on Mariota. You see the poll results, we want to read more about this guy. Whenever I want to know more, JoeBucsFan has more. I search all the sites but I’m always enlightened with the info you provide, and not to mention the volume of Bucs talk you push out. We have the #1 pick for the first time since ’87.. We need a franchise QB.. There’s TWO big time prospects expected to be available for the draft.. A daily on both Jameis and Marcus would be nice that we the fans are as informed as we can be on both these guys, even though Marcus is that dude! Future face of the NFL, why would we not want that work ethic & character representing Tampa as our franchise guy. More please.

  64. ndog Says:

    I just want to see all these posters comments when Mariota has that dear in the headlights look when his offense is not going 100 miles an hour and the defense is not confused. With the offense they run they are always the ones in control and in the NFL it just won’t be that way and he is going to be lost then just tuck it and run (and be a after thought within 3 years). How is this not obvious to everyone? Trust me I am a season ticket holder and will fully support him if drafted but after watching him play I have zero faith he can get it done.

  65. Billy Bob Picklenuts Says:

    You may be a season ticket holder, but if that’s your evaluation of Mariota— you don’t know sh’t about football.
    Go climb back on Winston’s jock.
    We know that makes you happy.
    But nothing you say is gonna get Winston the top pick in this draft.
    Winston will be lucky if he’s still in the top 5.
    Mariota, on the other hand?
    Talent and high character.
    The 2nd coming of Roger Staubach.
    Whoever gets Mariota will be proud to have him as their franchise guy and will build around him…like the 1970’s Cowboys did with Staubach…until the win Super Bowls.
    I’m not psychic.
    But THAT’S gonna happen.

  66. TNT*D@n Says:

    It’d be fun to catch this guy on a wave sometime if he ever made it to Melbourne Beach, just not my wave.

  67. TNT*D@n Says:

    Thank you Mr. Joe’s. This article and video inspires me to think Mariota would blaze a mighty, propa´ fya for this team. His floor is the locker room and his ceiling will bust through the roof of the Blazer boys bar, through to Mr. Rog’s coffee table.

  68. ndog Says:

    Hey if you want a guy that’s just ok then Mariota is your guy. Think Alex Smith or Cam Newton those were also #1 overall picks and they are in the same class as Mariota. You don’t just unlearn everything you have been doing in college and all of a sudden get really good at things you have never been asked to do espically against the best in the world. In any other business would you take someone into a role and say ok everything that made you special we are not going to let you do BUT we want you to be awesome at all this new stuff with people that have been doing it for years trying to stop you. It’s not about being on anyone’s jock it’s about having watched my whole life and knowing what a elite NFL QB looks like and seeing the traits that make them successful. I am sure Mariota is a great guy but I can name a ton of great guys who could not cut in the league, many of them on this very team. And to be clear I am saying he will not be good just not elite like I believe Jameis will be.

  69. TNT*D@n Says:

    ndog, ok then = Lovie’s guy

  70. TNT*D@n Says:

    …and Tebow in FA to give him a cushion as well as the new OC. Lol Bucs answer to GB. Imagine having a Bucs Tebow home jersey and a Bucs Mariota away jersey…it would be a must have staple of every distinguished Central Florida Boy’s wardrobe.

  71. PhantomVash808 Says:

    I would be proud to have a fellow island boy be the franchise QB of my Bucs.

  72. Armando Says:

    System (Gimmick) QB, will get buried in the NFL