NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In mid-April when the Titans resurfaced for offseason work, Marcus Mariota said his intention was to play heavier but he was unable to tell us how much heavier.MariotaWeight

It sounded like it could be as little as five pounds more than last year, a number I didn’t think was going to be a big factor in terms of making him a more durable quarterback in his fifth season.

But it’s not five pounds.

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It’s more than double that.

Mariota currently weighs in at 230. Throw away listed weights from the official team roster, which tend not to be particularly accurate. I’m told his current number is up 12 to 13 pounds from where he ended the 2018 season.

And that is absolutely significant.TicketsCMA1

The trainers he works with when he’s away from the team appear to have always stressed continued work on agility – a quality he possesses naturally, over adding size. Indications now, however, are that the Titans broke through and prompted him to buy into a change in thinking.

That resulted in serious to add muscle in the hope that it would help make the quarterback more durable.

Steve Watterson retired as the Titans strength and conditioning coach before the 2018 season. In a recent visit with The Midday 180, he didn’t want to farm other’s turf, but he spoke generally about how additional weight for Mariota and other thinner players can protect them.

“We know that’s a fact,” he said. “We know that there is a cautionary percent of body fat for different players -- I’ve always said, for example, wide receivers and DBs that are below 5 percent (are too low) and there are a lot that fall under that. You need a certain amount.

“There (are) physics laws. One is with tissue and the absorption of energy and two is the physics of mass and force. Having guys at times really too light in their position. Obviously, you see it in offensive linemen, there is a line. All of a sudden you say a guy’s just going to be overmatched, cause he’s just with a massive individual across the line. It’s not always just athletic ability. Physical variables do matter.”

apple icon 144x144 precomposedSo Watterson would think there is potential for Mariota playing a bit heavier to benefit him on the injury front.

“I think there is potential for that, yeah,” he said.

I’ve been giving Mariota a hard time for saying he’s not changing his approach heading into year five after that approach produced consecutive seasons with 13 and 11 touchdown passes, respectively.

Well here’s a significant change in approach he’s somehow felt compelled to minimize rather than advertise.

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