For the first time since being drafted with the second overall pick in 2015, Marcus Mariota will enter a season without being the presumed starting quarterback of the team he’s playing for.
After signing a two-year deal with the Las Vegas Raiders, Mariota slots in as the backup option behind incumbent starter Derek Carr. Mariota is perfectly comfortable accepting that dynamic in joining a new team.
“First and foremost this is Derek’s team, and I understand that. I understand that going in,” Mariota said, via Rob DeMello of KHOU in Hawaii. “For me my priorities going into free agency was to be a part of a team that I felt could bring out the best in me and whatever happens, whatever comes to that, I’m ready for, but I do know that to play starting quarterback in the NFL, to be at that spot is not any easy job to do, and I think when it comes down to it, a strong, stable, supportive quarterback room makes that job a whole lot easier. That’s what we have to do. I’m going to do my best to support Derek in every possible way that I can and along with that I’m just going to try to become the best player that I can be and see where that takes me.”
Mariota lost his job as starting quarterback with the Tennessee Titans last year to Ryan Tannehill after the Titans failed to score more than a single touchdown in three games over a four-game stretch, including a shutout loss to the Denver Broncos in October. Tannehill helped lift the Titans to a playoff berth and a trip to the AFC Championship game. That signaled the end of Mariota’s tenure in Tennessee.
Mariota said he was looking for a stable organization between the coaching staff and front office and a coaching staff that could get the most out of him. Also, being closer to his home in Honolulu didn’t hurt either.
“I had two priorities that I had while I was going through this free agency process. Number one was to find stability. I wanted to be a part of an organization that had a stable head coach, that had stability in the front office, and secondly for me, I wanted to be a part of a coaching staff that could bring out the best in me. That could embrace my talents and kind of put my best foot forward,” Mariota said.