NFL - Dungy was on “The Dan Patrick Show” and gushed about Mariota, saying “he is going to be a great pro” and calling him “Aaron Rodgers in the waiting.” He also said Mariota would fit nicely with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who presumably will be interested in drafting a quarterback and should have one of the earlier picks in the draft.
Dungy coached the Bucs from 1996-2001 before moving on to coach the Indianapolis Colts from 2002-08; he guided the Colts to the Super Bowl title in the ’06 season.
Dungy knows a lot about Mariota: Dungy’s son, Eric, was a wide receiver at Oregon from 2011-13 before finishing his career this season at USF.
Dungy was asked about Mariota’s mild-mannered demeanor and whether that could hurt him in the NFL in terms of dealing with all the attention that comes from being the quarterback and a face of a franchise. Dungy said Mariota can grow into that role and said that it wouldn’t be a factor unless Mariota ends up in “New York or Philadelphia.”
Asked what he would do if he were GM of Tampa Bay and had the No. 1 pick, Dungy responded, “I’m taking Marcus Mariota in a heartbeat and excited to have him.”
Listen I hope Marcus Mariota is the next Aaron Rodgers. I hope he comes into the league and tears it up and does really well. Seems like a great kid, great head on his shoulders, quiet and respectful and extremely hard working. His coaches love him, his teammates love him, Oregon fans love him. And it goes without saying that he’s incredibly talented. He’s got the record and the Heisman to prove it. Deserves a nice career, some Super Bowl rings and an Olivia Munn on his arm in my book.
But let’s just say I’m a little wary of the draft analysis that comes out of Tony Dungy’s mouth.
If Tony Dungy were still coaching the Indianapolis Colts he’d take Robert Griffin III over Andrew Luck with the first pick in the NFL Draft.
What passes for conventional “wisdom” among pundits who observe the NFL has had Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck a lock for the No. 1 pick. Dungy, though, thinks RGIII, the Heisman Trophy winner from Baylor who has yet to announce his draft plans, brings more to the game. On Dan Patrick’s radio show, he said he is “not sure you have to have the can’t-miss guy.” He admits he’d take Aaron Rodgers over Tom Brady and Drew Brees because of “the pressure he puts on defenses with his running ability.”
“I like those mobile guys,” Dungy told Patrick, saying he thinks they supply an “extra dimension….they are intriguing to me…I like Robert Griffin.”
Over Luck, Patrick asked?
“I do. As I say, just watching him play a couple of games, not studying it every throw and every play.” [Washington Post]
Yeah so no matter how much you love Mariota, just temper the excitement a little bit when you hear words coming from Tony Dungy’s. The guy who wanted to pass up on the most sure-thing ever to take a chance on an extra dimension mobile guy. And that’s not even hindsight being 20/20, pretty much everyone with a brain and eyes knew Luck was the right #1 pick, unless you were a shock-jock looking to get headlines and pageviews…or Tony Dungy.