Over the offseason, Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden made it a priority to improve the backup quarterback situation. Last year, the team used a combination of Mike Glennon, DeShone Kizer and Nathan Peterman to back up Derek Carr. However, Mayock and Gruden decided that positioned had to fixed over the offseason.
The Raiders signed former No. 2 overall pick Marcus Mariota, who started 61 games for the Titans since 2015. But midway through the 2019 season, he was benched in favor of Ryan Tannehill and the Titans made a run all the way to the AFC Championship Game.
While Mariota wasn’t a factor in the actual games during that 11 game stretch, he did help the Titans in other ways. According to his former teammate Logan Ryan, Mariota dominated as the scout-team quarterback. Here are Ryan’s exact words on Mariota via the Double Coverage Podcast:
“He started killing us every single week. Like, he started ripping us in practice. Marcus Mariota was the practice quarterback and he was destroying us. And it made us better.”
Mariota being able to help his own defense prepare for upcoming opponents is just another reason why the Raiders were smart to bring him in this offseason. Not only will he help the defense prepare, but Mariota should help of the down-the-roster wide receivers and tight ends develop as he will be the primary quarterback throwing them the ball in practice.
Even if Mariota doesn’t take a single snap for the Raiders during the 2020 NFL season, it will be a worthwhile signing for the club as he can contribute in other ways.