Titans season preview: Sink or swim for Mariota

Around The NFL's season preview goes to the AFC South.

Change we can believe in

To trade or not to trade the No. 2 overall pick? This will be the question that lingers over the franchise for the next two seasons now that Marcus Mariota is under center. Though his preseason debut was every bit the disaster some of his detractors predicted, the Heisman Trophy winner has been steady ever since.

Believing in Mariota shouldn't be the main concern for Titans fans, though. They must believe in head coach Ken Whisenhunt, who is tailoring an offense around a quarterback with a very unique skill set and schematic background.

Chip Kelly has a way with quarterbacks. His packaged play series and ability to spread a defense with various run fakes and reads set Mariota up for greatness. Now, it is up to Whisenhunt to continue the good times.

Biggest concern

Though the team has holes everywhere, the biggest criticism is and always will be their offensive line. Drafting Taylor Lewan last year was a step in the right direction, but do they have a unit in place that will allow Mariota to work his way through rookie struggles?

Training camp surprise

Second-round pick Dorial Green-Beckham has been quietly building a strong preseason and, according to Titans.com beat writer Jim Wyatt, has discovered a new lease on life after the birth of his first child. Green-Beckham terrified teams heading into the draft, especially those that banked their evaluations on character concerns.

What we'll be saying in February

Mariota is a quarterback that didn't win much now, but has shown enough to lead us to believe he'll win in the future. The Titans aren't panicking about this pick.

Predicted finish: Third place in the AFC South, No. 13 in the AFC and No. 27 overall in Around The NFL's Power Poll.

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