HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Saint Louis great and newly re-signed Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Marcus Mariota was back in the islands this week to reset and relax ahead of his second season in the ninth island.
The former Crusader was in town shooting a new commercial for Island Insurance, while taking a break from training for the upcoming season, something the former Oregon Duck never takes for granted — mostly using that time to give back to several communities, especially during the pandemic.
“Providing meals to public schools was an awesome event that we were able to do.” Mariota told Hawaii News Now reporter Kyle Chinen. “We try to help wherever we can, but to be able to help during the pandemic, to be able to kind of share the load was something special for us and at the end of the day, were all going through this together, were here to help and I’m glad Motiv8 (Foundation) was able to fill some voids.”
Mariota recently signed a restructured contract with the Silver and Black to return to the team for another year, despite taking a severe pay cut, the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner saying that you can’t put a dollar value on playing for the team closest to home.
“The amount of local families that you see whether it’s on the street or walking around, it really does make you feel like home, so that aspect for me was something that I didn’t really realize and I think now I definitely will not take for granted.” Mariota said. “Being here, being from Hawaii it’s such a small island, I think to be able to carry that sense of community somewhere else is special and I’m glad i’m a part of it.”
Signing with Vegas ahead of the 2020 NFL season, Mariota spent most of the year behind starting quarterback Derek Carr, only getting one game of on-field action after Carr would go down with a groin injury.
Mariota balled out, showcasing a version of the quarterback that many thought had faded, following the game he opened up about the mental challenges that he faced while a member of the Tennessee Titans and how learning from adversity is something he hopes translates to his young fans.
“You know it’s not all peachy, I think if it was a rainbow colored world and everybody was able to kind of do what they wanted and it was easy, everybody would be playing football, but it’s not an easy journey.” Mariota said. “Everyone’s going to go through adversity whether it’s at the pop warner level, high school level, college or even at the highest of levels, so I think the continued belief that you have to have in yourself is the most outstanding thing that I learned because at the end of the day people are going to judge you, people are going to call you certain things, people are going to say you can’t throw, but at the end of the day if you believe in yourself you can accomplish anything. I’m just privileged to be able to learn that and hopefully share that with other people.”
Up next, the Saint Louis alumni heads back to the ninth island to begin training for year two with the Raiders, albeit in a virtual format as Las Vegas is one of the many clubs in the NFL opting for another year of virtual off season training.