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Between The Posts: Adaptation

Mariota and Whisenhunt need to make adjustments of their own this season.

With the injection of Marcus Mariota at QB for the Tennessee Titans, there has been plenty of talk about how he fits into a "Whisenhunt offensive system". That system was one comprised of rigidity, and devoted to a dogma that many claim has served the head coach well over the past decade. While I would argue that point, that is not what I wish to discuss this evening.

There has also been a ton of talk about how much Mariota is going to have to do to develop his game to the NFL level, whatever that means. There will be growing pains as with any rookie signal caller, no doubt. But the gulf between his current ability and where he needs to be is smaller in my mind than what has been typically hammered into the jargon of casual fans by a lazy media and its sound bites. The more interesting factor is going to be how much Whisenhunt and the Titans offensive staff tweak the current offense to highlight Mariota's supreme skill set. The staff have been looking at the way the Seahawks deploy and utilize Russell Wilson, how to be smart and keep the QB healthy, and how to use his physical and mental tools to exploit defenses. For the first time in forever, Whisenhunt is showcasing a little flexibility, and that speaks volumes about his faith in Mariota. He has been unwilling to change to a fault in the past, but now we are seeing some welcome audits to "the system".

Both Mariota and Whisenhunt have plenty of adapting to do at this point; the former to the complexity of the NFL, the latter to the new age of dynamic, fluid professional football strategy. They will both need to successfully transition if the Titans are going to reap the rewards in 2015.