The Tennessee Titans used the second pick in the 2015 NFL Draft to select Marcus Mariota, who they thought would be their quarterback of the future. Five years later, it looks like Mariota’s time in Tennessee is at an end.
During the third quarter of their game against the Denver Broncos, head coach Mike Vrabel pulled an ineffective Mariota for Ryan Tannehill.
After the game, Titans Vrabel said he would reevaluate the situation with general manager Jon Robinson to determine who the team’s starter is.
Vrabel told reporters after the game that he made the decision to bench Mariota because the team’s offense needed a spark.
“At that point we were really just trying to find a way to move the football and score some points. I felt like we were in the game and needed to find a way to score. I told [Tannehill] to get warmed up and get ready to go try to score points,” Vrabel said.
Who Will Replace Mariota for Tennessee Titans?
For his part, Titans Mariota did not appear to be upset that he lost his job to a rookie quarterback and considers it to be a learning experience.
“Things happen for a reason, and I truly believe that. I can learn from this and grow from this, and I’ll become a better player from it,”
Mariota said after the game. “For me as a competitor, I would love to be out there with my guys. But again, it’s going to be completely up to the coaches and what they decide.”
Even though they have played well so far, safety Kenny Vaccaro wants the defense to elevate its game so the Titans offense doesn’t have to do too much.
“We are at that point now where we can’t let them score period,” said Vaccaro. “If we don’t score, the game has to at least be a tie. Our job is to make them score less than what we score. If it’s zero then we have to give up zero. That’s what I am at. We have to be better. If we have to give up zero points for the rest of the year, then that’s what we have to do. That’s the standard. Sixteen points is too much. We have to stop giving up touchdowns. We have to be like the ’85 Bears, the 2000 Ravens. That’s the standard. Why not? It is what it is.”