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|Considering the lack of quality depth around him, Marcus Mariota had a good rookie year. The Titans have made it their goal to improve the supporting cast on offense and they’ve certainly made an effort at the running back position. The optimism is being fueled by the offense’s moniker of #ExoticSmashmouth and true battles are being played out at both the running back and wide receiver positions. The offensive line was helped by the No.8 pick in this year’s draft, Jack Conklin. He’s being deployed at right tackle while free agent acquisition Ben Jones is viewed as an upgrade at the Center position. On the outside, Tennessee added the dynamic Rishard Mathews to veteran Kendall Wright and developing Dorial Green-Beckham. The outlook for this trio is promising but somebody will need to step into a playmaking role in order for Mariota to emerge as a worthy fantasy starter. The improvements to the running game should also translate into more scoring drives and potentially less mistakes by the quarterback. As a result, it’s fair to project more consistency and a few more touchdowns out of Mariota’s sophomore campaign. Matt Cassel will take over for Matt Hasselbeck as the grizzled backup QB with diminishing skills. Cassel wasn’t very effective in eight games with Dallas last season and more of the same is to be expected if called upon this year.
| Mariota fractures right fibula|
Expected to need 4-5 months to recover; surgery Wednesday
By: Doug Orth | Mon Dec 26, 6:30 pm
|Titans QB Marcus Mariota will have surgery to repair his fractured right fibula on Wednesday in Charlotte and miss four to five months, HC Mike Mularkey said Monday. Dr. Robert Anderson will perform the procedure, which entails placing a plate on the bone to provide stability. The Titans hope he returns in time for OTAs. (The Tennessean)|
FFToday's Take: Mariota played like a top-five quarterback for most of October and November against the Titans' rather lackluster schedule for most of that time, but he predictably struggled to get much going against Denver or Kansas City before getting hurt. Last year's No. 2 overall pick could use another dynamic receiver to realize his true potential, but Mariota should be considered a low-end QB1 heading into drafts next spring and summer. Matt Cassel will start the season finale against the Texans.