Titans Watch: 31 More Days

August 13th, 2015
It's huddle time for Marcus Mariota

It’s under-center time for Marcus Mariota

Joe’s already called opening day against the Tennessee Titans on Sept. 13 in Tampa a “must-win.”

It’s not a must-win for the standings. Duh. But it is necessary for the psyche of a fanbase that’s hasn’t seen a home victory since 2013, and compares Jameis Winston to Marcus Mariota.

And they said Mariota wasn’t NFL-ready. Ha! The hated Hawaiian has completed 117 of 186 passes with zero interceptions through 7-on-7 and full-team work in Titans training camp, documents ESPN.

But now comes a real test for Mariota, his first preseason game on Friday night in Atlanta. It’s his first professional look at a 4-3 defense, one that will be similar to the Buccaneers’. Also, Mariota must get under center in real conditions, something he almost never did in college. Per ESPN, his head coach understands the depth of the adjustment.

“This’ll be a different arena when you get out on the field,” [Ken] Whisenhunt said. “I mean, look, he’s played at a high level, played in a lot of games. It’s not that. It’s just doing it now in a different environment where he has different responsibilities. Where he’s got to take the snap under center, he has to communicate the play in a huddle.

“You can’t get the do-over again like you can in practice. So all of those things are important in the progression and development. But I think he’ll do OK.”

Bucs offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter touched on this a bit on WDAE-AM 620 with Steve Duemig yesterday Preseason games, Koetter said, mean there’s no more coaches barking at players on the field because they can’t be heard. Quarterbacks and linemen must be able to communicate, correct alignments and operate in game conditions. That’s a huge leap for a new offense.

Mariota’s new learning curve starts tomorrow night. Joe suspects tens of thousands of Bucs fans will be watching.

24 Responses to “Titans Watch: 31 More Days”

  1. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:

    The Bucs will intercept Mariota within his first 5 attempts, and he will never play a full 16 game season in the NFL

    you heard it here first

  2. celly Says:

    Living in Atlanta, this is the second most important game for me this week of pre-season. I might even make the trip to the Dome to check it out.

  3. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:

    I’m also ready to go out on a limb and say that the Bucs are going to start 3-0 this year

    While the TN game is a “must win” for the fans psyche, the NOLA game in week 2 is an actual “must win” division game that will set up the rest of the season for this new Bucs team

  4. Tom S. Says:

    Whether Mariota can avoid throwing interceptions his problems will be two-fold, one he will get hurt because running QB’s are not long for the NFL and when OSU’s lineman can almost knock your shoulder out of socket the pros will make sure of it. Two, he will do his best Alex Smith impersonation and be a game manager that has trouble with the deep ball.

    You heard it here….secondish?

  5. Fsuking Says:

    Does anybody else see the Mariota storyline as a negative for the Titans? A rookie QB is ripping apart a defense that has been proven to suck with a 200 year old albeit legendary coordinator. I’m not scared.

  6. Espo Says:


    Yes! I keep thinking that.

  7. DallasBuc Says:

    I like the athletecism of our linebackers against happy feet Mariota. I am so excited for that first game.

  8. Pickgrin Says:

    I keep thinking of the Gruden camp segment on Mariota where he had a hard time mumbling the play out loud. There’s no doubt he has talent – but I see his “adjustment period” to the NFL being more than what Titans fans hope for. Especially when he is surrounded by such a crappy team.

    I think Marcus is going to be in for a rude awakening when the bullets fly for real with McCoy and Jack Smith coming full tilt to slam him to the ground.

    Time will tell – but at this point I feel pretty good about the Bucs ability to start the season off with a win.

  9. The original "Kevin" Says:

    Isnt Ken Wisenhunt running a similar spread option offense that minimizes the interceptions. Just like it has done for everyother qb that has played in that type of system? Didnt Tim Tebow and nick foles and a bunch of other qbs have lower int numbers in those systems? When it comes down to it its about who has the best team not just the best qb…

    If we had drew brees on our offense last year we still would have sucked. Team effort in both sides of the ball wins games along with good coaching.

  10. Stanglassman Says:

    I believe Koetter isn’t too concerned about Jameis being able to call a play in the huddle, take a snap under center or needing a do over. This seems like a pretty low bar the Titans have for him. I this quote doesn’t show you just how much differently these two QB are being brought along and the state they are at in development than you are in denial.

    I’m talkin to you Jody. What neutral party do you want to hold the cash?

  11. Buccfan37 Says:

    I don’t know who will win the home opener, and can’t predict, but I will be highly depressed if it’s not the Bucs. This first home game is a huge needed win for the Bucs.

  12. Erik with Clean Athletics Says:

    My official QB predictions for the season:

    Winston: 35 passing TD, 16 interceptions

    Mariota: 30 total TD (passing & rushing), 3 interceptions

    Those numbers might sound high for both, but just bookmark it and remember I said it.

  13. Tom S. Says:

    Erik, I will remember you said that. But I’m not sure you’re going to like it when I laugh about it in a year

    There is no way Mariota is getting 30 total TDs to 3 INTs, that would be the best rookie season in the history of pro football and one of the best seasons ever by any QB.

  14. tickrdr Says:

    But America’s QB will easily cruise to 35 TDs for his rookie year?? The record since 1970 is 26 TDs for Peyton Manning and tied by Russell Wilson. Over the last 45 years, there have been only nine rookie QBs who have thrown for 20 or more TDs in their rookie season.


  15. canadian bucsfan Says:

    Mariota will have 3 ints week 1!

  16. Idontwannahearitanymore Says:

    Why is everyone asking us to remember what they said? Can’t they remember what they said? Who cares? It’s just a guess at this point, not a fact.

  17. papadoc Says:

    Winston will have a hard time in not throwing interceptions as the NFL defenses already know that he panics in a blitz situation. If you think the Bucs defense have put pressure on him in practice recently just wait, watch and see what the other team defenses do. Winston knew that his own team members would not hit him but that is not the case with the other teams. They know how to rattle him and cream him.

  18. McBuc Says:

    how do they know how to rattle him? The big thing from college is he did not get rattled.

  19. Stanglassman Says:

    Winston is known in college for making teams pay who try to blitz him. He may get blitz’d in the NFL but it’s not because he gets rattled it would be because teams know they are starting 2 rookies and the OL was terrible last season. Papa needs to Do a little homework and stop just making stuff up.

  20. Buc1987 Says:

    #3 Siege the Day!

  21. Skyline Crew Says:

    Winston gets rattles so stop with knob slobbin. He gets frustrated and yells. We saw it against Oregon. You homers crack me up. Come back to reality. It is going to be another rough year, but should be better than last.

  22. Stanglassman Says:

    Winston is being blitzed at roughly the same rate [in 2014] as last season and completing roughly the same percentage of passes against the blitz, but a couple of numbers have changed dramatically. … Last season, Winston was sacked 13 times when blitzed (once for every 10 pass attempts), while this season, he’s been sacked just once (with 56 pass attempts) against the blitz. The difference is he’s checking down quicker instead of looking for the big play downfield. His yards-per-attempt vs. the blitz has fallen from 11.8 to 8.1, and his percentage of throws of 10 yards or more on plays when the opposition brings the blitz has dropped from 53 percent to 36 percent.
    In other words he went from being amazing his sophomore year against the blitz to only being being great his Jr year. Sorry fact don’t lie.

  23. Skyline Crew Says:

    Captain checkdown. Didn’t you guys fault Glennon for that?

  24. Tom S. Says:

    There is no such thing as Jameis Winston’s Junior year of college football. He played for two years, as a RS Freshman and RS Sophomore.

    If Winston wasn’t the second freshman in the history of the Heisman to win it wouldn’t annoy me when someone calls him a ‘sophomore’ but it does.