Earlier this offseason, the Las Vegas Raiders bolstered their quarterback room by adding a former No. 2 overall pick to the mix.
Las Vegas signed former Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota to a two year deal in free agency. The Raiders wanted him so much, in fact, that they paid him $17.6 million for those two years.
That makes him one of the highest-paid backup quarterbacks in the league. It also led to questions about whether or not the Raiders have faith in Derek Carr as the team’s starting quarterback.
During practice this week, Mariota finally got back on the field and looked like his old self, according to head coach Jon Gruden. The longtime NFL analyst raved about Mariota’s playmaking ability.
Here’s what he had to say via ESPN:
“He’s interesting,” Gruden said, with a smile, of Mariota. “He took off a couple times today and it really fired me up. He’s been hurt, but looks like the ankle really turned a corner. He’s a dazzling playmaker with his feet, and that’s the key to his game.
“I saw glimpses of that today. It’s exciting. Started off slow on 7-on-7 [drills], but [he] picked it up, had a nice day. Had a real nice day.”
Gruden’s comments about Mariota quickly went viral as fans and analysts alike wondered if the former Oregon Duck could take over the starting role this season.
Derek Carr is coming off of one of his best seasons, but the Raiders brought in Mariota for a reason.
We’ll just have to wait and see what that is.