Tennessee Titans rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota hasn't done much wrong in his first professional training camp, although he did leave teammates, coaches and fans holding their collective breath during Monday's practice session.
According to ESPN.com (also including info from ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky and The Associated Press), the reigning Heisman Trophy winner collided with Western region scout Marv Sunderland after being run out of bounds on a broken play. Ironically, Sunderland was chiefly responsible for Tennessee selecting Mariota with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft.
Mariota ended up being perfectly fine after the scary incident, which didn't surprise tight end Delanie Walker in the least.
"Marc, I mean he's a tough guy," Walker said, per ESPN.com. "When I [saw] it, I was shocked at first. But, again, like I said, he's a tough guy. I wasn't too worried about it. He [jumped] right up and went to the huddle. He was smiling, so that's a good sign."
Mariota has been extremely impressive in training camp thus far with Walker serving as one of his prime targets, as seen in this Vine courtesy of the Titans' Twitter account:
The former Oregon star has yet to throw an interception through four practices, according to John Glennon of the Tennessean, and he has firmly entrenched himself as the starter under center.
As evidenced by this video, it hasn't taken the 21-year-old signal-caller long to ingratiate himself to the Titans fanbase either:
Mariota has to walk a fine line between competing hard and proving he has earned the right to be an NFL starter while protecting himself and preserving his health at the same time.
The Titans are coming off a putrid 2014 season that saw them go 2-14, and while there are still plenty of question marks throughout the roster, the mere presence of Mariota has fans excited for 2015.
With that in mind, don't be surprised if head coach Ken Whisenhunt and the rest of the coaching staff ask Mariota to dial down his running in practice to ensure that their prized player is in ideal condition when the regular season starts.
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