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Is Marcus Mariota skittish with people around his feet?

Something to watch early this year.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Tennessee Titans Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Mariota made a remarkable recovery from really serious injury last season (in case you haven’t heard). There was talk right after the injury that he wouldn’t be ready to play until week 1 this year. He defied the odds by making back basically in time for OTAs.

For the most part he hasn’t shown any ill effects of the injury. He said at one point during camp that his leg feels stiff sometimes, and Pete Prisco said while he was at Titans’ camp that he noticed a bit of a hitch, but those things are really nothing in the grand scheme of things.

But this morning I was listening to The Wake-Up Zone on my way in to work and Blaine Bishop said that Mariota looked skittish with people around his feet yesterday. I hadn’t really thought about that, but it really does make sense. He was missing throws high yesterday, and on the broadcast they were talking about his footwork and not stepping into throws. That causes the ball to sail.

It is understandable that Mariota would be a little bit jumpy after having such a major injury last year, but I think it is a little bit early to declare that is the problem. We saw a couple of games last year where Marcus was just a little bit off. Yesterday could have been just that. So while I think it is too early to declare a mental hurdle for Mariota, it is something to keep an eye on.