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Titans coach Mike Vrabel says Marcus Mariota’s approach won’t change without long-term contract

Mike Vrabel, Titans, Marcus Mariota

Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel did not commit to starting quarterback Marcus Mariota beyond this upcoming season as he enters the fifth and final year of his rookie contract, via Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk:

“When you make a commitment to the QB you want to make sure that this is going to be your guy for the next 7-10 years when you look at the percentage of the cap quarterbacks are driving,” Vrabel said, via Robert Klemko of SI.com. “Nobody is more proud of what Marcus has done in the offseason than me. He’s come back stronger, bigger, with greater understanding of what we’re doing offensively, being able to communicate it to players the field.”

The 43-year-old shot-caller in Nashville added that he doesn’t “look at the lack of a long-term extension as a negative.” Vrabel also clarified that his QB will be focused on football and that his “demeanor…won’t change” because of his expiring contract.

Last year, the then-fourth-year, 25-year-old QB out of Oregon led the Titans to a 9-7 record, finishing third in the AFC’s South Division and narrowly missing the playoffs. Tennessee overall has a 30-34 with Mariota under center.

The Hawaii native Mariota, at 6’4″, threw for 228 completions and 2,528 yards in 2018. Both figures were Mariota’s lowest in his four-year career; however, he threw for his career-best 68.9 completion percentage.

Prior to Mariota’s arrival to the Titans, the quarterback position has been a revolving door with names like Zach Mettenberger, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Jake Locker peppering the team’s passing leaders before the Heisman winner showed up. Mariota, though, has never earned a Pro Bowl spot.