Titans won't rush new offense upon Marcus Mariota


The Tennessee Titans canned Mike Mularkey after the season mostly due to the offense's disappointment in 2017, including the regression of quarterback Marcus Mariota.

In comes new coach Mike Vrabel, along with offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur, who is a first-time play-caller. With the Titans opening offseason workouts this week, the grind begins to integrating the new offense. Tennessee, however, won't put a timetable on its game plan.

"We're not going to rush. I think that's a huge mistake that we could make, is try to rush and try to shove a bunch of stuff down their throats," Vrabel said, via ESPN's Cameron Wolfe. "We do have two weeks before we have a voluntary minicamp. That will be my job, to kind of evaluate where we're at. I don't want to go out on the field with a bunch of stuff and have them not be able to execute. Whatever we feel like we know, then that's what we'll run during the minicamp."

The key to LeFleur's offense will be taking advantage of Mariota's unique skills. Whereas the previous staff attempted to jam a round peg into a square hole, the new crew must strike a better balance between putting Mariota into harm's way and utilizing the QB's skill set with quick throws and specific designed runs.

"The relationship between a coach and a player is critical on all levels. Obviously, we all understand that a lot of that focus is going to be on the quarterback," Vrabel said. "That relationship didn't get started today. It started the day that I got hired and he pops into town and he says hello, or he's got this going on, or we're talking about his brother at Oregon. Whatever may be happening. It takes time and to the point I was trying to make is that you don't want to rush anything. I told our coaches, we don't have to jerk the wheel and try to go get to where we want to get to, just today. Today was one day, it was a good step, and it was also important. You don't want to rush, you know what I mean?"

The fate of the Titans' future rests with Mariota emerging from the cocoon of inconsistency that plagued him the past several seasons. With so much riding on the evolution of a heretofore stuck-in-the-dark-ages offense, Vrabel is smart not to put pressure on the development in the nascent days of the process.