Titans Agree to Terms with First-Round Pick Marcus Mariota

Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota, 2015 NFL Draft

The Titans have locked up their top draft pick, quarterback Marcus Mariota, nine days before players report for training camp, Mike Wells of ESPN.com reports.

Financial terms were not revealed. The four-year deal includes a fifth-year team option, which is standard for all first-round draft picks.

Mariota was the last unsigned first-round pick from this year’s draft. The sides had been at odds over offset language, which allows a team to recapture guaranteed money if a player is released and signs with another team.

The Titans and Mariota agreed to partial offset language, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Caplan.

Titans Expecting More in Year Two From RB Bishop Sankey

Tennessee Titans v Jacksonville Jaguars

Bishop Sankey was the first running back chosen in the 2014 draft and the 54th overall selection, but Sankey did not explode onto the scene for the Titans last year, John Glennon of the Tennessean reports.

He averaged 3.7 yards on his 152 carries and his longest run was for just 22 yards. Sankey contributed a bit in the passing game with 18 catches for 133 yards, but again, not as much as the Titans envisioned. Sankey missed OTAs because of school commitments and never quite seemed to catch up.

Sankey is the odds-on favorite to be the starter when the season gets underway, simply because he has a year’s experience and a full offseason under his belt.

Assuming that’s the case, who backs him up? Dexter McCluster is a possibility, but he’s more of a situational player, not a workhorse. David Cobb is a draft pick and a versatile player, but he also missed much of the offseason with a hamstring injury.

Andrews will as usual be an underdog, but he showed enough promise in the preseason and practices of 2014 that he will be given a good, long look.

 

Feud Between Titans QB Mettenberger and Texans DE Watt Resumes

Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans

Old feuds die hard, and in the AFC South, it appears a feud between Titans QB Zach Mettenberger and Texans DE J.J. Watt is far from over.

The spat started about 9 months ago when a back and forth started between the two over a Mettenberger-photographed selfie.

Mettenberger, in an interview with CampusSports.net, opened the wound back up and went after Watt.

“J.J. had to say it’s a bit high schoolish that I take selfies, and I think he still rags me on Instagram every time he posts a selfie,” Mettenberger said. “At the same time, if that’s high schoolish, he got a letterman jacket made — a Texans letterman jacket.

“That’s pretty high schoolish to me, don’t you say?”

The jacket pic of Watt went online back in October, and the two continued to go back and forth about Mettenberger’s many selfies.

The Texans DE tweeted today about the situation.

The jacket was given to Watt as part of a Texans team function during the 2012 season.

Mariota Impressing Teammates Already in Camps

University of Oregon Spring Game

NFL.com reported today about Titans rookie and second overall pick Marcus Mariota, a player who has been impressive at camp thus far, to the point where even his teammates are raving about him.

Veteran receiver Harry Douglas recently raved about the “unbelievable accuracy” Mariota showcased in OTAs and minicamp.

“I feel like Marcus has done everything he needs to do to get the ball to his receivers,” Douglas added, via ESPN.com’s Paul Kuharsky.

Douglas isn’t alone in that assessment.

Wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson noted that Mariota has been “deadly accurate” in practices.

“No. 1, it’s his accuracy,” Jefferson continued. “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 in that huddle and take control. … I am just giddy about his future going forward.”

Former Titans Linebacker Colin McCarthy Announces His Retirement

San Francisco 49ers v Tennessee Titans

Former Titans linebacker Colin McCarthy has announced that he is retiring from the NFL.

The 27-year-old former Miami Hurricane confirmed in a message to Susan Miller Degnan of the Miami Herald that he is “officially retiring today.”

“Truly blessed to have played the game as long as I have!!” McCarthy wrote on Twitter. “To my family, friends, teammates and fans, Thank You!!”

He was a fourth-round pick in 2011 by the Titans, and spent the 2014 season on injured reserve after undergoing shoulder surgery, McCarthy also battled a concussion and ankle and hamstring problems earlier in his career.

The LB started 19 of his 36 games, recording 161 career tackles, forcing three fumbles, and snagging three interceptions, including one for a touchdown.

Titans Plan on Using Marcus Mariota Plenty in the Shotgun in 2015

Marcus Mariota's Party, 2015 NFL Draft

Titans rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota, who operated a spread offense out of the shotgun formation at Oregon, will face plenty of changes at the next level. One of them will include working from under center.

The Titans ranked sixth in the NFL in snaps out of the shotgun in 2014. Of the 919 plays run by the Titans a year ago, 596 were out of the shotgun formation — 64.9 percent of the snaps, Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean reports.

So it’s not like Mariota will be giving up the shotgun cold turkey in the NFL. Hardly.

“This league,” Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt said, “is going toward a lot more shotgun snaps because of protection benefits.”

Yet Whisenhunt admits the team’s high percentage from a year ago is probably a reflection of how games went in 2014. The Titans, of course, usually were in catch-up mode, losing nine games by at least two touchdowns en route to a 2-14 finish.

Still, Titans quarterbacks coach John McNulty said the team would prefer to operate in the shotgun “probably 50 or 60” percent of the time in 2015. Mariota began practicing snaps under center not long after his college season ended, and he showed off his skills at the NFL Combine and his pro day. He’s had few issues since, coaches say.

On a daily basis, the Titans are preparing him for life under center and in the shotgun. But it’s safe to say Mariota will be doing what’s most natural to him more than half of the time.

“I think you are in the ‘gun a little more now anyway,” McNulty said. “The under center gives you a little more threat of the run and play action, and to push the ball down the field type of thing. But the way things go with the pass rush, you are in the ‘gun a big part of the time.

“Marcus has adjusted well to it all. He’s a natural. Marcus is just one of those guys who kind of just picks the ball up and says, ‘What do you want me to do?’ “

Titans QB Marcus Mariota Leads All NFL Jersey Sales in the Month of May

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Last season Browns QB Johnny Manziel was the best selling jersey in the NFL. Here’s hoping that May’s top jersey seller doesn’t end up with the same results as Manziel.

The player that led the month in sales is none other than Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, the second overall pick in this last May’s NFL Draft.

Mariota outsold Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, who was the first overall pick.

The ranking is based on sales on the NFL’s official online store from May 1-May 31.

Perhaps more shocking is that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who is appealing his four-game suspension for his alleged role in Deflategate, finished at No. 3 in jersey sales for the month.

The ranking is surprising not only because it suggests strong support for Brady over the past month, but also because he has been in the same jersey for the past 15 seasons, more than any other player in the top 25 best-selling jerseys in May.

Rounding out to the top 10 were Patriots suspended QB Tom Brady, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.

Here’s the list of the Top 10:

1. Marcus Mariota, Titans
2. Jameis Winston, Buccaneers
3. Tom Brady, Patriots
4. Russell Wilson, Seahawks
5. Odell Beckham Jr., Giants
6. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots
7. Colin Kaepernick, 49ers
8. Dez Bryant, Cowboys
9. Aaron Rodgers, Packers
10. Peyton Manning, Broncos
— Source: NFLShop.com

Want to buy a Marcus Mariota jersey? Click HERE and grab one today!

Marcus Mariota The New Face of the Titans Franchise with the Second Overall Pick

2015 NFL Scouting Combine

The Titans have their QB of the future – as in the first round of the NFL draft with the second overall pick, the team took Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota.

Here’s a scouting report on Mariota, who threw for 42 touchdowns last season.

There is no doubt that the Heisman Trophy winner is an outstanding college quarterback and a top prospect for the NFL. Mariota will be drafted early in the 2015 NFL Draft, and some team will look to him to be its difference-maker quarterback who can be the face of the franchise.

Mariota was a dominant point-machine throughout his time as Oregon’s starting quarterback. In 2012 as a first-year starter and redshirt freshman, Mariota completed 69 percent of his passes for 2,677 yards with 32 touchdowns and six interceptions. He completed 64 percent of his passes in 2013 for 3,665 yards with 31 touchdowns and four interceptions. On the ground, the redshirt sophomore ran for 715 yards with nine scores.

In 2014, the junior led Oregon to a conference championship, a win over Florida State in the playoff, and came up short against Ohio State in the National Championship. Mariota completed 68 percent of his passes on the year for 4,454 yards with 42 touchdowns and four interceptions. On the ground, he totaled for 770 yards (5.7 average) with 15 touchdowns.

Mariota had a number of great performances in 2014, including the Pac-12 Championship victory over Arizona. He also impressed against UCLA, Washington, Stanford and Michigan State. In the Ducks’ mid-season loss to Arizona, Mariota had opportunities for big plays, yet missed a number of throws with poor accuracy and ball placement.

Therein lies the concern with Mariota as a system quarterback. He has good height and the strong arm to be a pocket passer, but he isn’t consistent yet. Mariota didn’t always scan through the field as a Duck, and there were times where he looked to run when his first read was covered. Mariota also missed some throws with placement that was off and didn’t consistently fire the ball into tight windows as Oregon’s offensive scheme led to a lot of wide-open receivers. That will have to change in the NFL as he will have to get better at pulling the trigger with accurate passes into a small opening. There were plays where Mariota demonstrated nice pocket-passing potential with reading the defense, scanning his options and delivering a good pass. He just needs work and enters the NFL at a similar level to Cam Newton. Mariota was very good at avoiding interceptions in college, but displayed a tendency to fumble the ball.