Marcus Mariota

Chugging tallboy cans of working class beer, Holding a catfish overhead and removing their shirts, The five starting offensive linemen of the Tennessee Titans fired up the crowd at Bridgestone Arena before Game 3 of the NHL’s Western Conference Final between the Nashville Predators and Anaheim Ducks. The quarterback waved a rally towel. You might have assumed Marcus Mariota really wasn’t one of the guys that he was just there because the Predators wanted the sizzle from his big name. You might have remembered NFL scouts had concerns about his leadership ability when they were studying him prior to the 2015 draft. Down seven to the Raiders with less than two minutes to go in Nashville last September, The Titans were driving. A 19 yard pass from Mariota to Tajae Sharpe put the Titans on the Raiders’ 3 yard line, But then left tackle Taylor Lewan was penalized for unnecessary roughness after diving on the pile. The ball was moved back to the 18, The drive petered out and the Titans lost the game. Fans jeered Lewan. He was savaged on social media. ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit called Lewan « An absolute fraud » And a fake tough guy on Twitter. For Lewan, It felt like him against the world. He lost a game, The fans and the trust of his locker room. Then about an hour later, Mariota pulled him aside in a quiet hallway before the players dispersed. « Don’t ever stop being yourself, He told him. « I’m with you, Now Lewan will follow Mariota anywhere. And he isn’t the only one. « We’ll do anything for Marcus, Center Ben Jones says. The invitation to the Predators game was extended only to the offensive linemen. It was their idea to bring Mariota along.