The throw was a bit short, and cornerback Brandon Harris closed and broke it up. Mariota had a big lesson for the day.
“It definitely was an incredible play on his part, his ability to react to that throw was something that you’re not really used to seeing in college,” Mariota said Wednesday on The Midday 180 in Nashville. “Those types of plays will be made every single day and it’s being able to understand that that is a possibility and being able to adjust the throw.
“For me, going back on it, you just kind of lose track on that corner there. He’s supposed to be having his third of the field and comes over and makes a play on the ball. Again it’s one of those types of deals that you just learn as you go."
That throw and deeper out throws rate as the hardest for Mariota so far, he said.
A couple more notes from the interview:
Mariota has spoken about his efforts to articulate play calls in the huddle as a way to ensure he gains respect from veterans. He didn’t have to verbalize play calls in the signal-based Oregon offense. His practice has involved his dad, who read him calls he had to repeat, and his iPhone, which he used to record himself and listen back.
Left tackle Taylor Lewan told media that Mariota asked into a group card game in the locker room early on. “We’ve been playing sevens,” Mariota said. “Taylor was able to kind of teach me how to play that game. I’m getting better. The veterans are pretty savvy at it, know all the right plays, so to say. And I’m still learning, so I’m still sort of the rookie in that sense.”
Mariota told media after practice Monday that "I learned a long time ago that if you compare yourself to somebody else, you're going to inhibit how good you really can be." Was that ever hard? “My dad really kind of instilled that principle in me as an athlete,” he said on the radio. “So it wasn’t something that even kind of crossed my mind.”