By: Brendan Smart (@bsmart21)
How many players have a season ending surgery on Wednesday, and travel back to the team facilities on Thursday to support their team, Marcus Mariota is that guy.
Mariota showing up to Titans practice on Thursday to help prepare for the game on Sunday is better than any Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook post to me. I say this due to the fact that fans are frustrated with how “quiet” Mariota is.
No social media, no big charitable donations (where he is front of a camera), and most of all he isn't in the spotlight. Mariota is a classic player, deflecting his own success for “team” success. In my opinion he is the perfect situation- coaches that are making him expand his game, a community that doesn't make him feel uncomfortable, and staying off of social media.
On Thursday morning we found out that the “quiet” quarterback won the Polynesian Award. The Polynesian award was developed in 2014, the year Mariota won the Heisman Trophy at the University of Oregon. Since then Mariota has owned the award. In a video from the Polynesian Hall Of Fame Mariota said,“What an incredible gift.” The Titans quarterback finished his video saying, “I am truly, truly blessed.”
This award is just one accolade that represents who Marcus is as a person. Are fans wanting a football player, or a professional football player? Mariota is a professional football player who puts the team first, rather than being a football player and putting himself first. Make sense? He calls his mistakes out, and has manners only we wish our sons take after. “Yes sir,” “thank you sir,” when Mariota is listening to Head Coach Mike Mularkey or the equipment guys on the sideline.
All of this, and his play unlike any other quarterback we've seen in this league in a while. Best red zone quarterback in the 2016 season, having a rough start, but turning it around to finish the season in the top 10 in QBR (Quarterback Rating).
That kid from Hawaii has maturity beyond many of the adults reading this. His attitude, determination, personality, and most of all his sportsmanship. Not bad for a guy who many predicted to fail at quarterback in the NFL, including myself.