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Facing Uncertain Future, QB Marcus Mariota Thankful for Opportunity With Titans


NASHVILLE – Marcus Mariota stood at his locker on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, his team's season over roughly 30 minutes earlier as a result of an AFC Championship Game loss to the Chiefs.

Already, the Titans quarterback found himself answering questions about his uncertain future.

"I have no idea," Mariota said of what's ahead. "I really just put everything into these guys, into this team. I am not worried about what is going on next. For me, if I can just live in the present, live in the moment, everything else will fall into place."

Mariota, the second overall pick by the Titans in the 2015 NFL Draft, was replaced by Ryan Tannehill as the team's starter in 2019. Tannehill ended up leading the NFL in passer rating and was named Comeback Player of the Year and Most Improved Player by the Pro Football Writers Association while guiding the team to within one win of the Super Bowl.

After starting the first six games of the season, when the team went 2-4, Mariota didn't play for nine consecutive weeks. He ended up playing a handful of snaps in the team's final four games, including one in Sunday's 35-24 loss to the Chiefs.

Over the past five seasons with the team, Mariota played in 68 games, including five playoff games.

Mariota was asked what he learned most about himself in 2019.

"Faith," he replied. "I learned a lot about just having faith in the things that you can't really see. And no matter what happens, I know I've given it everything I've got, and we'll see what happens next."

Mariota said he has no doubts about him being a starting, and winning, quarterback in the NFL.

"I have no doubts at all, no doubts at all," Mariota said. "I'm just hopeful and ready for whatever that next opportunity is."

No matter what happens in the future, Mariota said he enjoyed his time in Tennessee.

Mariota's rookie contract expires with the team in March.

"The organization took a chance on me, and I felt like I gave them everything I've got," Mariota said. "Obviously, we're not sure what is going to happen. But I know when it is all said and done, I gave this organization everything I could.

"It is never easy, but being around these guys, being around this coaching staff, they helped me along with it. I've built a lot of relationships with these guys, and it's been truly special. No matter what, this game will be done for all of us at some point, but the relationships will last. I am truly grateful for the time with these guys."

The Tennessee Titans take on the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020 at Arrowhead Stadium. (Photos: Donald Page)

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