The meaningless Mariota streak continues


Every year at this time, a storyline emerges in the early days of training camp. This year, sparked by the fact that Titans rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota has yet to throw an interception during practice.

It’s a meaningless stat, during the portion of the calendar where the only meaningful thing that happens are injuries. But we focus on it, because we need to focus on something.

On multiple occasions during Saturday’s practice, as noted in the tweets of Terry McCormick of, Mariota almost threw that first interception of training camp on two or three different occasions, but the defensive backs (proving why they play defense) failed to make the catches.

Even if Mariota had thrown three picks today, or three every day, it’s impossible to read anything into any of it. Maybe the team’s defense really is bad. Maybe Mariota is playing it safe. Maybe the coaches are playing it safe with him, in the hopes that he’ll gradually build confidence.

Picks or no picks, there’s no way to draw any real conclusions. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw five all year in 2014; he already has thrown five in training camp. And it’s clear that, for Rodgers, the interceptions are part of the process of determining which receivers he can — and can’t — trust.

That’s what this camp is all about,” Rodgers said recently, via “It’s about sorting those things out, seeing who is going to be sticking around for the season, and who’s going to be looking for a job. You have to show it in practice in order for me to feel comfortable making those throws in the game.”

It’s an excellent point from Rodgers, who is testing his receivers to see who can do it right and who can’t. The stat sticks to the quarterback, but the memory becomes glued to the man who ran the wrong route or who didn’t run it the right way or who didn’t display the ball skills necessary to come down with the throw.

23 responses to “The meaningless Mariota streak continues

  1. How many of these throws are deep down the field or are splitting the CB and the safety? Not throwing interceptions because all of your throws are “safe” isn’t impressive.

    I agree with Rodgers. Make the tough throws to see who you can trust and build confidence and familiarity when you actually have to drive the ball down the field.

  2. Next practice, first play, he should just throw the ball right to the safety. Maybe then the guys will find something else to talk about. At some point the pressure will build and guys will start to analyze whether he hasn’t thrown any because he is afraid of taking chances or letting his receivers make plays, or he won’t throw deep, etc. Get rid of all the garbage talk in one meaningless play in practice

  3. This reminds me of a headline that had me excited hasef on training camp performances. Chris Cook had 3 interceptions in one afternoon in training camp as a rookie. After 5 seasons, he still hasn’t intercepted a pass in the regular season.

  4. Sure, it’s training camp. Of course the stats don’t mean anything. But if he came out and threw five interceptions, you guys would be all over him. Do you have to piss on any positivity, just because they’re not Brady and the Patriots? Or Rodgers and the Packers, as it were.

  5. Now watch him put up 25 in the regular season. If anything you want him to make mistakes now so he can learn while it “doesn’t count”. Then again, maybe he’ll shock us all. Time will tell.

  6. Dear Titans fans…hold off buying those afc championship 2016 teeshirts… just.practice. he.will show his.true colors when gameday arrives

  7. If you are a rookie starter still drinking from a firehose trying to learn a new offense at NFL speed, managing situations is a bigger practice goal than it would be for Rodgers.

    Mariota has thrown downfield, split defenders, done all of it. He’s had good series and not-so-good, and the defense has had some legitimate chances to pick him off.

    But he doesn’t seem particularly prone to glaring rookie mistakes where he stares down his receivers, throws too late, looks unsure of his reads or forces things and gives up easy INTs. That’s notable.

    And for Titans followers, if you compare it to where Vince Young and Jake Locker were at this point in their rookie camps, it’s definitely NOT meaningless. Mariota looks far more advanced to this point. But there’s still a long, long way to go.

  8. This is really important and meaningful. If you do it in practice, you do it in a game. Right now, Mariota is playing at an All-Pro level and Winston is a complete bust.

  9. A veteran QB should be testing limits in camp, and will likely have a few INT’s. They know it won’t hurt them. A rookie is wise to make safe, consistent throws. They’re being evaluated.

    At this point, Mariota is not failing, so that’s a positive for the Titans. That’s all it means…

  10. As a Titans fan, I agree with you about the interceptions, Florio. But make no mistake, there are plenty of meaningful things happening in camp with Mariota:

    First time I’ve heard of a rookie QB being so confident with the first chapter of his playbook that he used hard counts in his first training camp practice. (Drew the Titans’ starting defense offsides twice.)

    Despite coaches telling Mariota at the end of OTA’s that they would correct some footwork issues on handoffs early in camp, they discovered when camp started that he had already worked the kinks out on his own.

    Mariota continues to stay poised amidst the barrage of Dick LeBeau’s complicated blitzes.

    Despite hardly being under center at Oregon, Mariota hasn’t fumbled a single snap under center in camp.

    Titans receivers report that Mariota often throws the ball to the anticipated location rather than waiting for them to get open.

    Mariota continues to outshine Mettenberger in camp … and it’s not even close.

    And there’s so much more: his command of the huddle, winning over Mettenberger fans like Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter, Mariota’s unusual regimen in the weight room, etc.

  11. Maybe it’s because he didn’t throw an int last season at Oregon until near season’s end. And that was the receiver bobbling and tipping it to the defense. Maybe he’s just that good.

  12. Rodgers and other vet starting QB’s are in a much different position than a rookie QB. Mariotta needs to gain the trust of his teammates and coaches and prove he can play at the NFL. So INT’s and bad throws mean a lot more to him than to Rodgers.

  13. Make no mistake about it this kid is not dunking and dunking the ball, the coaches aren’t playing it safe with him, he’s not throwing the check downs, the easy passes only. He made one play where he split McCourty and Griffin, put the ball where only the receiver could get it and that’s just one of many. Mariota has shown that this game is not too big from him. Yes, it practice. But rarely does any first year player come in and be essentially mistake free. Coming from Oregon were he never called a play. He’s not fumbled his words one time since early OTAs. This guy is a professional.

  14. Rodgers takes no risks in real games. That’s why he has so few interceptions and even fewer big game throws. Seriously, for such a ‘great’ qb, can anyone name one hallmark pass he has ever thrown?

  15. justintuckrule says:
    Aug 9, 2015 9:46 AM
    Rodgers takes no risks in real games. That’s why he has so few interceptions and even fewer big game throws. Seriously, for such a ‘great’ qb, can anyone name one hallmark pass he has ever thrown?

    Game 16 of 2103 season, first game back after breaking collarbone, hit Randall Cobb for a TD to win the game, knocking everyone else in the North out of the playoffs. Rodgers has a hallmark per game it seems. The year they won the Superbowl, he dominated everybody with hallmark passes in the playoffs and superbowl. Maybe they don’t stand out as much with him because there are so many. A tougher question would be to name a bad pass. Guarantee you would love him if he was on your team, too bad for you.

  16. justintuckrule says:
    Aug 9, 2015 9:46 AM
    Rodgers takes no risks in real games. That’s why he has so few interceptions and even fewer big game throws. Seriously, for such a ‘great’ qb, can anyone name one hallmark pass he has ever thrown?
    lol – all he does is try to force passes deep.
    Check out the plays to Jordy, The Fake Spike against the Dolphins, Those scrambling passes with Suh/Aldon Smith and those guys hot on his trail.

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