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Mike Mularkey Open to Marcus Mariota Running More

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Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

There weren't a lot of memorable moments from the Titans' 2016 season, but one of my favorite moments was when Mike Mularkey told Marcus Mariota to run if he had to run before the 87-yard TD run that beat the Jaguars. Mularkey was on PFT Live yesterday and gave his thoughts on Mariota running:

[M]y first time as a coordinator was in Pittsburgh with Kordell Stewart, and we were very good with him running the football," coach Mike Mularkey said during a Monday visit to PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio and NBCSN. "Designed runs for the quarterback, and my feelings are he can protect himself much better running the football than he can standing in the pocket, and you’ve seen it over time. We’re not going to run him like they run Cam Newton with some of these designed counter plays and things up the middle that are gonna expose him by any means, but I think he’s such a threat in the run game for defenses. It just gives you an advantage. The playing surface is evened; they don’t have an extra guy in the box. There is no extra guy when you have a quarterback like Marcus who can, and we saw it last year, go eighty yards if he has to, to be effective in the run game.

Mularkey is exactly right. It would be dumb to have a guy with Mariota's running ability and not allow him to use it. It sounds like the approach Mularkey is going to use when designing the run plays will be a good one. I am excited to see it!