The caveat with that statement, of course, is the "if."
"He does a lot of things that, no matter what offense you run, transition well to the NFL game," Whisenhunt told Sports Illustrated.
Whisenhunt was asked by SI about Mariota's football IQ.
"Very high," Whisenhunt answered. "I think he has very good spatial memory. You say, 'What's spatial memory?' He remembers plays. He remembers fronts. He remembers things in the short term and the long term.
"We're talking about an unbalanced set that USC ran against them three years ago. Like, 'Oh yeah, that was in this game at this time.' Those are the kind of things, to me, that are important for that position. You have to have a memory that can see everything and remember it because when it happens in a game, then you have to come over and communicate that on the sideline, then you have to have a plan of how you're gonna adjust to it. That's what the really successful ones do. So he exhibits that type of quality. We still have a little bit more classroom time with him, but he's been impressive."
Whisenhunt's pronouncement about "if" the Titans take Mariota could be a lot of smoke. But his mini-scouting report rings true: Mariota does do a lot of things that transition well to the NFL. The question is for which team he will do them.