Shawn Jefferson Boasts “Mariota is Deadly Accurate”

Marcus Mariota 2

“He’s a project … second-best quarterback in the draft … not pro ready!” Such were the cries of many draft analysts in the first quarter of the year. Of course, they were talking about Marcus Mariota. Many so-called “experts” such as Bucky Brooks, had Mariota falling to the late teens before being drafted. Many others saw him as playing second fiddle to Jameis Winston, questioning his ability to learn a pro-style offense or to be a true leader. Despite all the negatives, he was drafted with the No. 2 overall pick and now his coaches and teammates in Tennessee have something to say.

The Titans are realizing just how accurate Mariota is.

Craig Strobeck

The Titans are realizing just how accurate Mariota can be.

In his article for NFL.comChris Wesseling quoted the Titans’ wide receiver coach Shawn Jefferson as saying, “No. 1, it’s his accuracy … No. 2, he’s come in and grasped the offense. And No. 3 is the way the guys respond to him, the way he’s able to go into that huddle and take control.” And stated “… I am just giddy about his future going forward.” Jefferson also called Mariota “deadly accurate,” with veteran wide receiver Harry Douglas agreeing with his assessment. Jefferson then added, “… Douglas recently raved about the “unbelievable accuracy” Mariota showcased in OTAs and minicamp.” Mariota’s college stat line supports the idea that he is “deadly accurate” and has “unbelievable accuracy” because he completed more than 68% of his passes last season.

But the more interesting part to me is how Jefferson spoke about Mariota grasping the playbook and how his new teammates have responded to him. Even with reports coming out that the Titans are, “studying Mariota’s college scheme … the offenses of the Eagles, Dolphins and Bengals to create a system that will best enhance their new quarterback’s unique skill set,” it’s still a big deal that he is picking up the offense so quickly.

Rather running or throwing, Mariota is always a playmaker.

Kevin Cline

Whether running or throwing, Mariota is always a playmaker.

This is really important, because one of the top things critics liked to say before the draft was how he would adjust to a “real playbook” with “real plays” — as if Oregon was a Pop Warner team running plays drawn in a coloring book. Oregon fans can now wag the finger, because Mariota has learned the “real playbook” and the Titans coaching staff have tainted the “real playbook” with some of the Ducks “fake plays.”

Moreover, Jefferson praised Mariota’s ability to take control of the huddle and have the players respond to him–a nice metaphorical slap to the face of his doubters. It’s always nice to see reality destroy the negative preconceived notions about players prior to the draft.

While he isnt the most fiery player, Mariota is still a superb leader.

Kevin Cline

Although he isn’t the most fiery player, Mariota is a superb leader.

Although the praise heaped on Mariota should be no surprise to us who have been watching him every Saturday for the last 3 seasons, it’s great to see it happen so soon and with such magnitude. Thankfully, the pre-season will be upon us leading to the regular season — then we can bask in the glory of Mariota against all odds.

Top photo by Craig Strobeck

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Noah Smith

Noah Smith

Noah is an undergraduate student from just outside of New Orleans, Louisiana. Noah is currently pursuing a communications degree with the goal of becoming a sports journalist. Noah is a die hard Duck fan, mainly because of his obsession with football's X's and O's. In his free time he enjoys watching both pro and college football games,playing and listening to music, and drawing up his own playbooks.

  • MAITAIDUCK

    Great stuff Noah and I had to laugh at all the EXPERT analysis as this guy can’t play. I said all along Mariota would become the next generation’s great NFL QB and he will eventually pass up Winston probably be no later than year 3. Did anyone watch Winston in the RB and look at the competition FSU had in the Atlantic 10 as basically they all sucked except Clemson. Winston is over rated and it will end up biting Lovie Smith for having the stupidity to select him with the NO.1 pick. Lovie isn’t or hasn’t really been successful as a HC. Tampa Bays offense would of really lit it up with Marcus behind center but I’m glad he ended up in a better situation with Wisenhunt as his Coach. That game against Tampa Bay will show a lot of these Experts at what I have no idea but will how them truly who the better of the two are.

  • Anthony Joseph Gomes

    bucky brooks gets paid $40,000 a year to hate mariota because ESPN tells him to. why do they tell him to? he probably doesnt even know himself.