NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Joe Namath, a man famous for his Super Bowl guarantee and Hall of Fame status, thinks the Titans have a sure thing in quarterback Marcus Mariota.
"I want him on my team every day,'' Namath said of Mariota. "There are 32 teams, right? One of them has him, and the rest of them would take him. I would sure take him."
Namath is also a big fan of Titans running back Derrick Henry, who, like the famous Jets quarterback, starred at the University of Alabama.
"Oh man," Namath said of Henry, a Heisman Trophy winner who ran for 490 yards in his rookie season with the Titans. "I watched him at Alabama and I love him. I love his demeanor, his mindset, the guy he is. He is just a sold good player, and he is going to be around. He has quick feet for a big guy."
Namath made his comments on the Titans during a red carpet interview at NFL Honors on Saturday night in Houston. Namath said he's watched Mariota since his playing days at Oregon. It's where he became a fan of his game, he said.
"Mariota won me over when he was in college, man,'' Namath said. "I saw him do things in college as well as in pro ball. He made the transition rather fast and into the pro game. He takes care of his body, because to be successful in the NFL you can't run as much, but when he needs to he does. And I am very impressed with his passing accuracy."
Mariota completed 276-of-451 passes for 3,426 yards, 26 touchdowns, nine interceptions and a 95.6 passer rating in 2016 before suffering a fractured fibula in Week 16 contest at Jacksonville. He added 60 rushing attempts for 349 yards and two touchdowns in 2016.
Namath, Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl III with the Jets, believes Mariota has big things ahead in the future. But he's going to need to stay healthy, and he's going to need help around him, he said.
"Well, lady luck plays a role with injuries as you know and he does, too," Namath said. "And what kind of team you have, that plays a role, too. I have often said the first Manning to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame would be Archie if he ever had a team, you see.
"So all of that depends on how he develops but I like Mariota. I really like him."
TitansOnline.com looks back at Marcus Mariota's second NFL season in 2016. (AP Photos)