Why Marcus Mariota stands out both on and off the field

Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Even while some fans question the future of Marcus Mariota, the Titans have pounded the table in support of their quarterback– and it’s easy to see why.

It goes beyond his 10 touchdowns and just 1 interception the last four games. It goes beyond his ability to stretch plays with his legs and pull off 87-yard touchdown runs. It goes beyond his ability to learn from his successes and his failures.

I’ve always said the quarterback is the toughest position in all of sports. It requires more “intangibles” than any other position. Mariota’s “intangibles” are off the charts. Look no further than Thursday night.

With the Titans rolling the Jaguars 17-0 in the second quarter, DeMarco Murray cutback at the 15-yard line and had two men between him and the goal line, a defender and Mariota.

Mariota didn’t hesitate to throw his body at the defender’s legs and free Murray up for a dive at the pylon and his sixth touchdown of the season. Murray is a former NFL Offensive Player of the Year and made it clear he noticed.

“He’s a team first guy. He doesn’t care about his stats or his anything. Obviously, he doesn’t care much about his body either, but we’re going to have to talk about that. It was a huge play by him,” said Murray.

Murray went on to say that this is Mariota’s team. The finger he put in Mariota’s chest while celebrating the touchdown may have said even more.

Mariota is friendly and nice to fault and deflects praise at every opportunity.

While many marveled at the quarterback’s selfless play, he completely downplayed it saying, “When you have a play maker like DeMarco, the ball can kind of go anywhere and I saw him bouncing outside to the left and really I thought if I could just get out there and give him a block, he could score.”

Mariota then added the clinching line that tells you everything you need to know about a quarterback who knows how to lead his team.

“He really did all the work, I just kind of got in the way.”

Mariota did more than that, and while he won’t say it, 52 other players in two-tone blue all saw it.