Marcus Mariota starts offseason for the Falcons as a starter: Arthur Smith expects ‘best version’ in Atlanta


This offseason was the toughest in NFL history. From a quarterback move to a full reset of the wide receiver market, no one expected what we’ve seen in the past few months. One of the more underrated signings this offseason has to do with the signing of the Atlanta Falcons to quarterback Marcus Mariota.

There is a clear connection between Mariota and Arthur Smith, head coach of the Falcons, who were assistants to Music City when Tennessee drafted the Oregon product with the 2nd overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. What was not clear, however, was that Smith took advantage of Mariota’s bench in 2019, when Mariota spent his first season as attacking coordinator.

After a 2-4 start, Titans head coach Mike Vrabel decided to bench Mariota for Ryan Tannehill. Tennessee has proven to be the right choice, ending the season 7-3 and finding himself in an AFC Championship game just three months after replacing the quarterback. While Smith enjoyed professional success after benching Mariota, he still scored highly at the age of 28 and believes he could become the franchise quarterback the Titans aspired to be.

“If we have to go back to Marcus that year, [Mike] Vrabel told me at some point. I think he played well.” Smith To Albert Breer of SI.com. “I learned a few tough lessons, he had some really good moments at certain points in his career, and looking back we were definitely not stable around him. And I was with him all the time. In seasons 16, 17 and 18 he had a full A lot of coaches changed and a lot of assistants changed when I played as a time starter.

“And he led us to a playoff win in Kansas City in 2017. I think he’s in a completely different position now because of everything he’s been to. The way he sees the position, the way he sees the job, I think we I think he’ll get the best version of him. Even sitting behind Derek Carr he sees a lot differently than he saw at that point in his life in 2019.”

The Falcons were the second team to pick quarterbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft, and Desmond Ridder left Cincinnati in the third round. Smith has preached competition in all positions, but Mariota will take first place.

“We definitely added competition,” Smith said. through The Athletic. “The fact that Marcus is a veteran gives us a chance to move forward. As with any other position on this team, the best players will play, but obviously it will start because Marcus is a veterinarian.”

Mariota couldn’t get her first job in Tennessee, but she had a lot of good moments. In his second NFL season, he threw 3,426 yards, 26 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. Consistency and health are two things Mariota will have to move forward, but that’s what Smith wanted him to do in Atlanta.



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