The Las Vegas Raiders recently signed former 2nd overall pick Marcus Mariota to be the highest-paid back-up quarterback in the NFL.
Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden brought Mariota in to provide ample competition behind veteran Derek Carr. Although Mariota is starting the season as a backup, he could easily become the full-time starter if Carr begins to struggle during the season.
Marcus Mariota began his career as the second overall pick for the Tennesee Titans in 2015. During his time with the Titans, Mariota played under three head coaches and four offensive coordinators. Throughout his time with the Titans, the offense never tailored to Mariota’s strengths which forced him to stay in the pocket for too long and take sacks.
The Tennessee offense is more suited for a strong-arm, pro-style pocket quarterback which is why Ryan Tannehill was so successful in 2019. Marcus Mariota got replaced in Tennesee because Ryan Tannehill fits the Titan’s offensive scheme better, not because Tannehill is a better player.
Marcus Mariota could see great success in Gruden’s west coast offense. The addition of a mobile quarterback to the Raiders offense would make them one of the most versatile offenses in the league, as defenses would have to focus on Mariota’s mobility, Jacob’s running game, and Ruggs’s speed on the outside all at once. Mariota would add another dimension to the offense that Carr couldn’t provide.
If Mariota became a starter, this wouldn’t be the first time the Raiders took a chance on a “bust”. In 1978, the Raiders signed the former 1st overall pick Jim Plunkett. Jim Plunkett was drafted 1st overall by the New England Patriots in 1971 before eventually finding himself in a backup role for the Raiders in 1978. This former bust ended his career as a two time Super Bowl champion and Super Bowl MVP for the Raiders.
Jon Gruden is hoping for history to repeat itself with the singing of Marcus Mariota.
Photo credit: Titans Wire