Titans head coach Mike Mularkey insists that second-year quarterback Marcus Mariota is going to run more in 2016 according to Jason Wolf of the Nashville Tennessean.
It was a major surprise-and not a pleasant one- when Mariota Mariota rushed just 34 times in 12 appearances during his rookie season as one of his prime selling points and the reason he won the Heisman and was drafted No.2-overall in 2015 was his prowess as a dual-threat quarterback. Mularkey says the running aspect of Mariota’s game was limited last season at least in part because of injury and claims this year will be different. . “It’s going to be in the game plan,” the coach said.
“We’re going to obviously take what the defense is going to give us. … So there’s no set number of runs, but if we can — I mean you talk about a threat, a serious threat and a problem for defenses, it’s him running.” Mariota reportedly added bulk during the offseason without losing speed and the Titans’ revamped O-line and addition of bruising running backs DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry should give him a lot more opportunities.
Nine NFL quarterbacks attempted at least 50 rushes in 2015. Mariota displayed his prowess as a runner to the entire league last season with an electrifying 87-yard touchdown run against the Jaguars in December- the longest play from scrimmage in the NFL in 2015. It will be a major shock if Mariota does not join that 50-plus club in 2016.