Mariota: Would be 'fun' to reunite with Kelly, Eagles - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Mariota: Would be 'fun' to reunite with Kelly, Eagles

Mariota says it would be "fun" to rejoin Chip Kelly in Philadelphia. Mariota says it would be "fun" to rejoin Chip Kelly in Philadelphia.
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Ernest Hemingway once wrote, "It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."

Football has provided quite the journey for Marcus Mariota, and after reaching lofty heights in high school and college, the Heisman Trophy winner has begun preparing for a slew of workouts designed to prove he's capable of reaching them in the National Football League, too.

"I'm going to try to be myself, but find ways that I can be better," Mariota said. "There's opportunities to grow in the pocket. There's opportunities to get better within the passing game a little bit. But this time, before the draft and before the combine, has allowed me to find those weaknesses and hopefully make them into strengths."

Mariota is, of course, referring to the critics and NFL analysts who call him a system quarterback, a product of Oregon's lightning-quick tempo instead of a product of his own hard work.

"Guys just don't get wide open in the NFL," said Washington Redskins safety Ryan Clark, who serves as an NFL analyst on ESPN studio shows during the offseason. "You have to make tight throws."

"You have to make tough throws," said former Indianapolis Colts general manager Bill Polian. "Getting used to an NFL offense, getting used to reading the whole field instead of half the field."

The intricacies of the NFL game are things that, no doubt, Mariota will have to adjust to. But the Hawaii-born quarterback discredits the notion that he'll be unable to modify his game to fit the professional style.

"People's opinions," Mariota said. "I'm going to get myself as ready as I can, and whatever team that i'm a part of, I'll prepare and play my best for them."

If recent reports are to be believed, there's a chance that team could be the Philadelphia Eagles, pairing him with head coach Chip Kelly, who recruited him to the University of Oregon as a student as Saint Louis School in Honolulu. The Eagles have been rumored to be interested in Mariota, and may even be willing to trade up in the draft to obtain his rights.

"Even the fact that they are talking about that stuff is pretty cool," Mariota said. "He provided me the opportunity to play at the University of Oregon. I think it'd be a lot of fun to be a part of that team, to be a part of that offense again. It's kind of fun that Coach Kelly's rumors are out there."

Still, regardless of where he ends up, Mariota maintains he's ready to get to work.

"You have to play for whatever team takes you, and whatever happens, happens," Mariota said.

The 2015 NFL Draft takes place on April 30 in Chicago, Illinois.

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