Speak For Yourself | “Jalen Hurts is the best QB in NFC” Nick believes Eagles will win SB this year

Speak For Yourself |


Some backup quarterbacks accept their role and will do anything they can to support the starter.

Other backup QBs believe they can still be an effective starter in the NFL and hope they get another chance.


Speak For Yourself | "Jalen Hurts is the best QB in NFC" Nick believes Eagles will win SB this year

Marcus Mariota is a little bit of both.

Not always an easy place to be, but Mariota believes he can strike that balance between a backup who has a lot to share with Jalen Hurts but also believes he can still be a full-time starter somewhere else.

Mariota, the second player taken in the 2015 draft, agreed to a one-year contract with the Eagles a couple weeks ago and finally made it from Hawaii to Philly this week. On Wednesday afternoon, he met the media to talk about his decision to sign with the Eagles.



“My role is just to provide information and just share experiences,” he said. “I think as a guy that’s played in the league now for eight years, I’ve been cut, I’ve been a starter, we’ve won playoff games, I’ve been benched, so I just really believe I can relate with a lot of guys and to be able to just continue to build that chemistry in the locker room and just be a voice and make an impact any way I can.

“But specifically for the quarterback position, ups and downs, you’re going to face those throughout your career and just being a guy for Jalen and just being a resource any way that I can to hopefully make him better and make the team better.”

Mariota, the Heisman Trophy winner for Chip Kelly at Oregon, spent his first five years with the Titans, and in 2016 he sure looked like the QB of the Future they expected when they selected him at No. 2. He was 10th in the NFL with 26 touchdowns and a 95.6 passer rating, and the next year he beat the Chiefs in a playoff game in Kansas City, the Titans’ first postseason win in 14 years.



But by the middle of 2019, he was benched for Ryan Tannehill and since then he’s bounced from the Titans to the Raiders to the Falcons and now the Eagles. He actually started 13 games last year, going 5-8 before getting benched for Falcons rookie Desmond Ridder and ultimately landing on injured reserve for a knee injury that required an offseason scope.

“To be a starter again after sitting for a couple seasons, I just had a lot of fun,” he said. “At the end of the day, it didn’t work out the way that anybody wanted it to.”

Mariota turns 30 in October and he’s at the point of his career where he’s happy to do whatever he can to help Hurts continue to improve.

Don’t expect him to start lobbying for the starting role if Hurts has a bad game or if Mariota plays well in a spot start. He’s not wired that way.

“It’s a great opportunity for me to hopefully help a young guy out,” he said. “I’ve experienced everything. I’ve been the guy, I’ve been a scout team guy, I’ve been released. So through all those different situations and scenarios, I’ve just gathered a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge. I’m at a point in my career where I just want to enjoy the game. I want to have fun doing it.

“The fact of the matter is I feel like I can help Jalen, and if we can make Jalen a better player, this team’s going to be better. And to be part of a team that was a play away from winning the Super Bowl was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.”

There was a point in April of 2015 where there seemed to be a very good chance Kelly would trade up for Mariota, but it never happened. He went his way, Kelly went his way, and now, eight years later, Kelly is at UCLA and Mariota is an Eagle in a very different role.

In his career, Mariota is 34-40 in 74 starts with 92 touchdowns, 54 interceptions and an 89.3 passer rating. He’s also got over 2,000 rushing yards, 17 touchdowns and a 5.8 average.

Only 15 players in NFL history have averaged 5.7 yards per carry or higher on at least 300 carries, and the Eagles signed two of them this offseason – Rashaad Penny and Mariota.

Mariota, now with his fourth team in five years, said right now his priority is doing whatever Nick Sirianni asks and whatever Hurts needs.

If he’s a starter again one day in the future? That’ll be great. For now, that’s not on his mind.

“When you go out there and compete against yourself every single day and you try to make yourself better, I think that makes the room better,” he said. “And that’s always been my focus. I try to just be the best version of myself day in and day out. Best teammate, best quarterback, best father, best husband, and when it comes down to that, I can just take those little days one at a time.

“You know, hopefully, I’ll get another opportunity but for now I’m excited to just be a great teammate. And I’m excited to learn from Jalen, I’m excited to learn from this staff, and I think together we can go and accomplish great things and that’s what my main focus is.”


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