NASHVILLE, Tenn. (HawaiiNewsNow) - Marcus Mariota never had to worry about huddling up to call plays at Oregon. He and the Ducks simply glanced to the sideline for what to run next.
Now with the Tennessee Titans, it's up to Mariota to huddle up his teammates and call a play only he has received from the sideline. The play can be as short as three words or as long as 11.
"For me, learning a whole new system, I have to go over it constantly so that I know what's going in," Mariota said.
Mariota showed his command Tuesday as the Titans took the field for their first organized workout this off season. Whisenhunt says that hasn't been an issue since Mariota arrived as the No. 2 pick overall.
"He's obviously comfortable doing that," Whisenhunt said. "He fits naturally in there."
NFL quarterbacks get plays called into their helmets from a coach on the other end of the radio, and the Titans also have given Mariota a wristband as a backup aid for calling plays.
"He works very hard at it outside of his time here, so I think the biggest thing is just time with him," Whisenhunt said of Mariota. "It'll click. He's just got to continue to hear it as we continue to build, and we're going to continue to throw things on him."
On his first day with all his new teammates, Mariota showed off both the strong arm and speed as a runner that helped him win the Heisman Trophy. He took off for a 30-yard run at one point, though he also lost a fumble and also threw an interception.
Whisenhunt called it a typical first day with Mariota just one of many new players on offense. Yet Whisenhunt expects the rookie quarterback's speed and ability to run for big gains to help him earn his teammates' respect pretty quickly. The respect Mariota had from his teammates is something the Titans noticed when scouting the quarterback during his pro day at Oregon.
"They like having guys that can help them win, and I think they see that in Marcus," Whisenhunt said.