NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Quarterbacks
After facing one another in the season opener in 2015, they haven’t squared off since.
But Winston said he’s paid attention to Mariota, and the Titans.
In two NFL seasons, Mariota has thrown for 6,244 yards, with 45 touchdowns and 19 interceptions with the Titans. His completion percentage in his first two years is 61.6, his passer rating 93.8.
Winston has thrown for 8,232 yards, with 50 touchdowns and 33 interceptions. His completion percentage is 59.6, his passer rating 85.2.
Winston, interviewed by Titans Online on the red carpet at the NFL Honors in Houston, called Mariota “a great competitor.”
“I have a lot of respect for that guy,’’ Winston said of Mariota.
In 2016, Mariota completed 276-of-451 passes for 3,426 yards, 26 touchdowns, nine interceptions and a 95.6 passer rating before suffering the injury in the Week 16 contest. Mariota added 60 rushing attempts for 349 yards and two touchdowns in 2016.
The Titans went 9-7 in 2016, a year after finishing with a 3-13 record. The Buccaneers also went 9-7 in 2016, a year after finishing with a 6-10 mark.
“I haven’t had a chance to reach out to Marcus, but you can tell him for me: I hope he has a speedy recovery and he comes back and balls like he did last year,’’ Winston said. “I know he’s been doing his thing in Tennessee, and from what I have seen they are headed in the right direction.”