Marcus Mariota: certified nice person.
One of the knocks on Marcus Mariota when he was a draft prospect was that he was "too nice." A quiet, laid-back kid whose personality reflects the chillness of his native Hawaii, some scouts wondered whether Mariota has what it takes to command a huddle and locker room.
While Mariota's play this season has been less than stellar—10 touchdown passes, 14 interceptions isn't an ideal ratio—he's proven that he can lead a football team. But he sure as hell hasn't lost his soft side.
Mariota issued a completely unnecessary apology to the media on Wednesday because his mother yelled at him for being rude after Tennessee's 12-7 loss to Arizona last Sunday.
"I want to say I am sorry for the way handled the press conference," Mariota said at Wednesday's media availability. "I know not everybody that was there is here. But I was rude and inappropriate, and I just want to say I apologize for it."
After a media member told Mariota that he was not rude nor inappropriate, Mariota spilled the beans about his Momma.
"It's funny, I got an earful from my mom. That’s how I was raised and I appreciate you guys for understanding."
This apology would suggest that Mariota cursed at reporters or walked out on a question, or something egregiously inappropriate. Nah. Nothing like that happened. Mariota was just somewhat terse in his responses, which is understandable given that his two second-half interceptions led to a loss that took Tennessee out of first place in the AFC South. We've seen way worse from athletes and coaches following losses.
It's easy forget because he's been in the spotlight for so long, but Mariota is still just a 24-year-old who listens to his mother. What a guy.