Marcus Mariota: I've Learned a Lot During Rookie Season


NASHVILLE, Tenn. —Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota isn't ready to close the book on his rookie season just yet.

Mariota's already been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Texans with a right knee injury, but he's still hoping to play in the season finale against the Colts on January 3.

"If I feel great, I look forward to playing in the last game,'' Mariota said Wednesday. "We'll take this week and get healthy as much as I can and see what it feels like on Monday and go through the evaluation process. And if I feel ready to go and I can do it, I will definitely be out there on the field."

Zach Mettenberger will start on Sunday against the Texans. Mariota will remain in meetings, and watch practices, during the course of the week.

He said he'll help his teammates in meetings.

"The frustration of not being able to be out there with the guys bothers me more than what is going on with my knee,'' he said. "I just want to be out there with them, and be able to compete with those guys. So I would say that is the most frustrating part."

If Mariota has in fact played his last game in 2015, it's been a heck of a season.

Mariota, the second overall pick of the NFL Draft, has already broken several franchise rookie records, including most touchdowns (19), completions (230), passing yards (2,818) and passing attempts (370). Mariota has completed three or more touchdown passes on four different occasions during his rookie season. He joined Peyton Manning (four in 1998) as the only rookie to accomplish the feat.

Mariota's stats during the 12 starts during in his rookie season: 230-of-370 (62.2%) for 2,818 yards, with 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. His passer rating: 91.5.

Mariota missed two games earlier this season after suffering an MCL sprain in his left knee in the team's October 18 game against the Dolphins. He injured his right knee on Sunday vs the Patriots.

What has he learned most as a rookie?

"You have to stay the course, no matter what happens,'' Mariota said. "Prepare each and every single day. Enjoy the process, and find ways to get better. And whatever comes at you whether it is an obstacle or adversity, take it with a grain of salt and understand you can learn from it and do your best to prepare and get better for the following week."

Mariota, last year's Heisman Trophy winner from Oregon, acknowledged it hasn't always been easy.

"I kind of expected this to be a tough transition,'' he said. "It is not easy to come from the college level to come play at this level. So I kind of expected it and I'll learn from it and grow from it.

"It is a blessing and a privilege to play in this league, and you have to enjoy it."


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