Tennessee Titans fans have been searching high and low for hope after watching their team manage just five wins over the past 32 games.
New offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie has identified second-year quarterback Marcus Mariota as the natural source of optimism.
"Marcus is a special talent, a special guy, a special player," Robiskie said Wednesday, via the Titans official website. "He looks like just a natural-born football player. He looks like a guy who enjoys playing the game and looks like he is having fun doing it."
If Robiskie's effusive praise rings a bell, it's because Titans players and coaches believe Mariota holds the key to their successs.
Veteran pass rusher Brian Orakpo recently told NFL Media's Albert Breer that Mariota is "for sure a franchise guy."
It will be interesting to see the offense drawn up by Robiskie and head coach Mike Mularkey after Ken Whisenhunt spent last offseason concocting a scheme that borrowed from the Eagles, Dolphins and Bengals.
"I have always been a big believer in just aggressive, physical, nasty football. Bloody your nose and let's go play," Robiskie explained. "Marcus kind of opens the playbook up a little bit more, gives you more options. He creates more problems for the defense, so we have to take that into consideration."
If Robiskie wants to play "nasty" football, new general manager Jon Robinson must find a talented power back to complement Mariota's unique ability to throw on the run in an offense that figures to feature play action and roll outs.
While the rest of the NFL world casts a skeptical eye on Nashville, Titans players and coaches are convinced that Mariota is the man to pull their football operation out of the dark ages.