Marcus Mariota To Start For Tennessee Titans: Will He Fare Better Than Johnny Manziel? [Video]

Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans hope he will succeed as a run-oriented rookie quarterback where the likes of Johnny “Football” Manziel and other much-hyped college prospects have failed. Right now, things seem promising enough. According to the Tennessean, Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt has reportedly pegged Mariota to act as starting quarterback during the 2015-16 season.

When asked if there was to be a “pecking order” amongst the quarterbacks, the coach smiled and said, “After Marcus?” The Titans seem to have a great deal of faith in Mariota. That kind of optimism can be a blessing and a burden. The rookie may feel quite a bit of pressure during his early days.

Ken hopes avoid overwhelming Marcus during the young quarterback’s first few weeks.

“You’ve got to find that balance of giving [Mariota] enough, yet being diverse enough that it keeps teams off-balance a little bit.”

In other words, he wants Marcus knowledgeable, but not pinned down by too many by-the-book expectations. The Tennessean notes it was the rookie’s “natural athleticism” that drew the franchise to him. It’s hoped that those abilities won’t be lost in translation while acclimating to the NFL.

There are many eyes on Marcus Mariota, a Heisman winner who was the No. 2 overall NFL draft. While he arrives on the wings of a great deal of hype, he at least brought humbleness and a strong work ethic with him. It is an attitude that football fans did not see with Johnny Manziel.

Manziel’s troubled first season at the Cleveland Browns is well documented. Though he seems to have turned himself around, Manziel will be proving himself from the bench all season — if he sees on-field action at all. With Marcus Mariota the “golden boy” of the moment, it’s quite possible we may not hear a peep about Johnny at all this year.

It’s quite possible that by the time Manziel does get the chance to prove himself, NFL fans may have moved on. If it’s indeed too late for a turnaround, Johnny might only be remembered as a footnote in the history of NFL’s most squandered rookie seasons.

As for Marcus Mariota, the thought of failing to impress doesn’t seem to have weighed him down. He is very “excited” to have this chance.

“Everything I’ve done in my lifetime, in my career as a football player, has built up for this moment, to kind of get ready to make the most of it. [I] can’t wait to get things going.”

[Image Credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images]

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