Originally published by RaidersNewswire.com
While the Las Vegas Raiders didn’t replace Derek Carr as their starting quarterback this offseason, they did bring in a high-profile backup in Marcus Mariota.
The former No. 2 overall pick out of Oregon had an up-and-down career with the Tennessee Titans, which ended with him being replaced by Ryan Tannehill last year.
There’s no doubt that he profiles as one of the best backups in the league though, and after signing a two-year deal with the Raiders, he may even put some pressure on Carr for the starting spot.
While the Raiders have yet to see what Mariota is capable of on the field, all indications are that he is healthy and Jon Gruden is excited about what he brings to the table, via Kyle Martin of Raiders.com:
“I’ve been impressed,” Gruden said during his media availability Thursday. “The number one thing with Marcus was to get healthy. He had a shoulder problem, an ankle problem, so it’s a real credit to him to get his injury rehab done during all of this social distancing. The distraction of finding a doctor, being safe, and he did a great job of getting himself healthy and learning the system.”
Another thing that Gruden has been impressed with has been Mariota’s ability to pick up the playbook during virtual meetings:
“It’s been impressive,” Gruden said when asked about Mariota’s knowledge thus far. “Being in the room, chat sessions with Derek Carr every day has really helped him. Derek is very advanced and very quick mentally, and Marcus is as well. So, he’s learning pretty fast and he’s applied it pretty fast with our rookies on the field during walk through.”
Carr is coming off a career season statistically, and the Raiders added some much-needed offensive weapons this offseason, so expectations are still high that he could get the team back to the postseason in 2020.
Having insurance like Mariota as a backup is always a positive though, especially considering Carr’s injury history.
The post Raiders News: Jon Gruden Impressed With Marcus Mariota This Offseason appeared first on Raiders Newswire.