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Marcus Mariota: Is it Time ??

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If it was someone else's comment, I can't say one way or another.  If its the hyperbole I mentioned, it was that more than half the sacks were attributed directly to Mariota.  I acknowledged Mariota's high completion percentage was somewhat linked to him not throwing the ball away and taking a sack instead... I even posted an article which focused on this issue... the article focused on Rodgers' numbers (not Maritota's), but still drove that point home.   

It's clear to most of us that Mariota lost trust out there... whether that be him, or the OL, the WRs, the system... whatever... although its highly likely a combination of all those factors. 

His injuries... The interior of the OL was giving up quick pressures... Conklin was all the way back... the receivers had a case of the drops early on... it took a few players longer to catch on to the new system.  He lost his security blanket in Walker... some of us went as far as wonder if that would help him improve, as he'd have to look at other options since he's always relied on Walker so much.  Etc... a lot of factors. 

And I hope everyone realizes it wasn't only sacks.  Yes, he took the most sacks of his career... yes... the sack % was double what it had been the past couple of seasons.  But he also rushed more often than he has in his career.  While the number only increased by a few carries... the % is more significant (seeing as he played far less this year than he had the past couple of seasons).  Mariota rushed on 14.6% of his chances. He had previously been around 11% the previous 2 seasons.  Combine his rush attempts and his sacks... and Mariota did not throw the ball 24.3% of the time he didn't hand the ball off.  Previously, that % had been 16.3, 15.5, and 16.1.   So just because he wasn't "hit" doesn't mean he wasn't pressured.  He could have been hit after he got back to the LOS. 

                 

year

total opportunities

pass attempts

sacks

runs

combined runs and sacked

attempts

%

sacks

%

% w/out runs

runs

%

2015

442

370

83.7%

38

8.6%

9.3%

34

7.7%

16.3%

2016

534

451

84.5%

23

4.3%

4.9%

60

11.2%

15.5%

2017

540

453

83.9%

27

5.0%

5.6%

60

11.1%

16.1%

2018

437

331

75.7%

42

9.6%

11.3%

64

14.6%

24.3%

               
                 
                 
                 

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Seeing as Smith is not a LaFleur guy, per se... I wonder how much he brings back some Mularkey principles.  Again, remember that not all of us were gung ho about firing Mularkey last year (had he accepted to cut ties with Robiskie). 

The biggest challenge/opportunity facing Smith is combining all these different principles that he's been assisting the past few seasons.  If he can somehow get Mariota to trust the protection, and apply some of those route concepts from last year... I think that's the winning combo.  Keep play action, keep 2 TE sets (if that's the strength), etc...

The opportunity for success is definitely there... but it's going to be a challenge.  It appears Smith was pretty instrumental in assisting LaFleur and coaches before him... hopefully he can find a guy or 2 that can do that for him now. 

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@ragevsuall17 It was a reference to anyone who basically said he took a few more sacks than he needed to, but that I and others who made the claim had blown it completely out of proportion. In regards to when you said it, I believe it was because I said he took a sack on the majority of his pressures in the Ravens game and cited Geoff Schwartz saying it on Twitter, but as I'm typing this I can tell you that I misspoke. Schwartz' actual tweet said that Mariota was hit 11 times and sacked 11 times in the Ravens game, not pressured 11 times and sacked 11 times as I stated.

I wasn't making anything up that I didn't mean to be taken seriously. I simply misquoted someone and couldn't find the tweet afterwards. Even so, I believe Mariota was pressured 21 times and sacked 11 times so even that wasn't technically incorrect lol, but not what I actually meant when thinking of Schwartz' comment. I don't believe I have ever said that the majority of the sacks over the course of the season are on Mariota, although I believe I attributed potentially 5 or 6 of them at least partially on him against the Ravens if that is what you are referencing.

Although I seriously doubt the number of designed runs is higher than previous years, I'd be curious as to how much that affects the statistics. Either way, I think the quote "Combine his rush attempts and his sacks... and Mariota did not throw the ball 24.3% of the time he didn't hand the ball off" goes hand in hand with Herndon's quote that "the Titans quarterback’s response to targets not being open in 2018 was too often a panicked scramble that landed him in harm’s way". Many of us felt like he was quicker to drop his eyes and try to run than we have ever seen him. I've mentioned several times that I think he does well when he actually throws the ball, but it just felt like he wasn't willing to stand in the pocket last year. To me, the WRs were more open than in any year under Mularkey. The OL was definitely worse and I think it potentially had him on edge.

Edited by TitanSS

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4 hours ago, TitanSS said:

Either way, I think the quote "Combine his rush attempts and his sacks... and Mariota did not throw the ball 24.3% of the time he didn't hand the ball off" goes hand in hand with Herndon's quote that "the Titans quarterback’s response to targets not being open in 2018 was too often a panicked scramble that landed him in harm’s way". Many of us felt like he was quicker to drop his eyes and try to run than we have ever seen him.

I think we all definitely agree on that.  I think we saw a qb who didn't trust what was in front of him.  Something messed his internal clock up.  It could have been the elbow... he just didn't trust himself to make a throw, didn't want to get hit on the elbow and make it worse... so he panicked and became a runner (sacked or ran).  Maybe the key drops early in the season played over in his head... and although that problem went away as the season progressed, maybe he never fully trusted most of the WRs (losing Walker and Matthews early plays a part of that).  Maybe he didn't trust his line to give him enough time to throw the ball... he heard footsteps, even when they weren't near him.

Again, probably a combo of all those.  But bottom line, you can't have a QB that doesn't trust himself and/or his teammates out there.  Smith has his hands full designing and trying to get this offense together.  But O'Hara has just as important a job fixing this with Mariota.  If he can't get Mariota to trust everything around him on that field, then there's no helping him.  But as much as keeping Smith for some semblance of consistency, maybe O'Hara is just as important in that aspect. 

There's still plenty of good, even the past couple of statistically down seasons.  He's still an amazing leader who can will his team to victory... he fires his team up like the best of them (KC block, Jax stiff arm, NYG block, the TD catch vs the Pats, etc).  This team, not just the offensive guys, love playing with him.  His accuracy was great this year... even if he didn't test it as much as we wanted him to.  But it's hard not to like what we saw even on those deep passes, the deep one completions, but also the drops by Taylor, Jennings, and Williams for example... his accuracy overall just looks improved. 

The Titans did a good job last offseason of putting the best offensive weapons around him... unfortunately losses to 2 of those biggest assets hit us bad.  Barring something crazy again this year, he should be surrounded by a very talented team... Davis took a step forward and is ready to break out... Walker should be back at his usual dependable self... Jonnu showed signs of things finally clicking for him... Henry was a beast to end the season and is playing for a new contract... sign just one more dependable WR and this offense should have the weapons to pop.  All eyes are on Smith to get the offense together, but as much of the onus falls on Mariota and O'Hara to get him clicking with everyone around him. 

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