Titans want to give Marcus Mariota more chances to run

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When Mike Mularkey took over the Titans, he made it clear he wanted to run an “exotic smashmouth” offense.

That extends to his quarterback, as he said he wants to make sure Marcus Mariota has more chances to run the ball, even after the team acquired running backs DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry this offseason.

It’s going to be in the game plan,” Mularkey said, via Jason Wolf of the Tennesseean. “We’re going to obviously take what the defense is going to give us when we’re playing against them. If we see something that’s not going to expose him that we have guys to block players — we’re not going to leave anybody unblocked for the plays we’re going to design.

“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 ran for 2,237 yards at Oregon, but only got 34 rushing attempts as a rookie. Of course, part of that had to do with missing four games with knee injuries, and it’s reasonable to wonder whether giving him more chances to get hit is a good idea. But Mularkey said it was also a result of the injuries keeping him from being able to defend himself fully by moving his feet, so they didn’t use that part of his game as much as they might have.

On the other hand, Mariota also ripped off an 87-yarder against the Jaguars which served as a hint of what he’s capable of.

“He runs the ball and he brings another dimension to the game,” Titans linebacker Brian Orakpo said. “You guys seen what he did [against Jacksonville]. It was ridiculous. You bring that to the game, it really demoralizes a defense. He definitely wants to get the ball downfield with his arm, but when the play breaks and he has to make something happen, a quarterback that can make something happen with his feet, pass rushers and guys getting after the quarterback hate chasing running quarterbacks.

“I’m speaking from experience. I used to hate chasing Michael Vick when he was in his prime. And Marcus has that same capability with his speed. It brings a whole ‘nother dimension, and I fear for the guys, because you get a guy that’s a dual threat guy, it’s really an advantage for us.”

Having the threat along will help serve as a deterrent, but the Titans are also built to run in the traditional manner and it might be safer for them that way.

21 responses to “Titans want to give Marcus Mariota more chances to run

  1. I hate seeing guys with potential run so much. It will shorten his career and expose him to more concussions. I like Mariota but so glad we have Winston in Tampa.

  2. I for one would have him use his mobility to extend plays but not run so much. Running a lot at QB may work in college but in the NFL they will catch you and you will eventually get hurt.

  3. This is Mularkey knowing this is his job short term & not caring about the damage it does long term. He’s just trying to win now to keep his job a little longer, knowing eventually he will lose it because he is not cut out to be a HC. Thanks AAS

  4. I think that’s nuts.
    Run if there is an opening, but not as a designed play.
    He’ll end up getting hurt, and may become a run first pass second passer.

  5. So do the Colts, Texans, and Jaguars want to see Mariota run a lot more.

    As for chasing Michael Vick, didn’t Vick end up getting hurt all the time?
    Whats the cost in terms of wins of having a backup QB playing a few games because the starter got hurt?

    Is it worth a loss or two over the season?
    Does it impact the longevity of your franchise QB?

  6. Somebody remind me when a running QB last won a Super Bowl?

    Every few years a guy comes along who is going to “revolutionize the game” and it never happens.

  7. Russell Wilson’s name has not been listed on a weekly injury report since he was drafted four years ago.

    But by all means, let’s all pile on and say Marcus will get injured again, or be ruined like RG3.

  8. jimbo75025 says:
    Aug 2, 2016 2:51 PM
    Somebody remind me when a running QB last won a Super Bowl?
    Russell Wilson won a few years ago.

  9. Birdgang says:
    Aug 2, 2016 3:01 PM

    Russell Wilson won a few years ago.
    Wilson is drop back QB who can run if all else fails. Same for Luck. Maybe even Aaron Rodgers earlier in his career,

    Big difference between that and where planned QB runs are a huge part of your game plan

  10. 87 yards against a 5-11 Jaguars team.

    The ‘experiment’ is over, it’s a passing league. Having a pair of legs to get the job done when you have no other option is called ‘Plan B’! I mean who the hell runs their $5k diesel generator when the electricity is working? I’ll tell you, an idiot.

    Russell Wilson just came of his best year with 30 TD/4k+ yds. which directly coincided to him rushing less and only when needed. He’s said so himself.

  11. This is tough because he has a great ability to run because he’s so fast (see 87-yard TD last season), but obviously he would be making himself more prone to injuries. Luckily he’s smart, and I think he knows when to step out of bounds or slide. We’ll see. I fear a repeat of Jake Locker.

  12. Mularky is joking, right? Even if he’s not joking, this is just designed as misdirection then, right? A coach couldn’t be this dumb, right? I mean other than Rex Ryan.

  13. All these comments about Mariota getting hurt running, but he was injured IN THE POCKET both times last year. He is a smart guy, either slides or gets out of bounds before a hit. Mularkey said it would be part of the game plan..he never said it would be a huge part. Also said they will take what the defense gives them, so if it’s not there he won’t run. As for the comment that he can’t/won’t outrun defenders, ask Jacksonville about that. ps he’s nothing like Jake Locker!!

  14. Its too bad that Marcus is stuck in the butthole of the universe. Under even adequate coaching he would be among the top 5 QB’s, as it stands he’s the only Player tennessee has and they will run him into the dirt shortening his career tremendously. I don’t care how much money you were offering I’d rather starve than work for a guy named bud.

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