2023 will be Marcus Mariota's ninth season in the NFL – he's been through a great deal during his career that's been shared between the Titans, Raiders, Falcons, and now, the Eagles.
The newly signed backup quarterback was selected second overall in the NFL Draft, had starting seasons, assumed backup roles, persevered through an MCL injury, and even was released. It's no secret he holds a wealth of experience in the league.
Now, as the Eagles' QB2, Mariota's goal is to use what he's learned to help the team, and Jalen Hurts in particular, continue to grow.
"My role is just to provide information and just share experiences." Mariota said at his introductory press conference.
"I just really believe that I can relate with a lot of guys and be able to just continue to build that chemistry in the locker room, be a voice, and make an impact any way that I can ... I think specifically for the quarterback position – ups and downs, you're going to face those throughout your career. Just being a guy for Jalen and being a resource any way that I can to hopefully make him better and make the team better."
Mariota will join Hurts and Ian Book in a room led by new Quarterbacks Coach Alex Tanney, whom Mariota knows well.
Tanney joined the Eagles as a quality control coach in 2021 following a nine-year NFL career, which included a three-year stint as a backup behind Mariota in Tennessee.
When Brian Johnson was selected to be the team's new offensive coordinator, Tanney was promoted as well – his second in two seasons – transitioning from assistant QBs/offensive assistant to Johnson's former role as quarterbacks coach. His rise in the coaching ranks has been quick, but it's been no surprise to Mariota.
"From early on, I could tell that there was coaching in his future, and I really think that he helped me jumpstart my career pretty fast early on. Fortunate for me, my first couple years were probably my best years, and he was a part of that," Mariota said.
"To be reunited with him again is something that I'm really looking forward to, and I think he's just got a natural touch. A guy that can just understand the game and be able to explain it very easily."
Tanney is one of plenty of familiar faces for Mariota in NovaCare Complex, including Head Coach Nick Sirianni.
During Mariota's 2015 pre-draft process, he had dinner with Sirianni who then served as the Chargers' quarterbacks coach, at a small restaurant in Eugene, Oregon. Mariota said he worked out for the Chargers as well.
His positive memory of Sirianni and Tanney are two of a handful of Eagles coaches who have left a good impression on Mariota, driving his decision to sign in Philly.
"Even Michael Clay, I played with at Oregon. T.J. Paganetti (Eagles run game specialist/assistant tight ends coach), he was there with me in Oregon as well. At the end of the day, I was really looking for an opportunity to be a part of a team that will just enjoy playing the game that I love, and the relationships that I have here were very important to me," Mariota said.
As for his new teammates, Mariota said he first ran into Jordan Mailata, with whom he shares Samoan roots, when he entered the building during his visit to the NovaCare Complex on Wednesday. Mariota was born in Honolulu, and the two got to talking about the islands.
"I think it's pretty cool to be a part of a Polynesian community that is so tight knit. As you look across the league, now you'll see Polynesian players at different stature, at different positions, and to be a part of that is really cool for me and something that I've always held in high regard. So no matter what, I try to represent where I come from, who I am, and our Polynesian community to the best of my abilities," Mariota said.