As one of the most intriguing NFL prospects in this year’s draft, Marcus Mariota has received compliments and criticisms from everywhere…
Former NFL head coach and Hall of Fame finalist Tony Dungy shared his thoughts on 2014 Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota as an NFL prospect and compared him to one of the best in the NFL.
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Dungy, who is one of a select number of finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame when the 2015 Class is announced on Saturday, spoke to JoeBucsFan.com and told Joe that Mariota reminded him of Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers coming out of college.
“He does remind me a lot of Aaron Rodgers coming out of college. You know, Aaron Rodgers didn’t play for three (or) four years in Green Bay, and now he’s arguably the best quarterback in football… But I think Marcus has a lot of the same skill set. He has the same drive and determination. I just really think the world of him as a person. I just think he’s special.”
Mariota won the 2014 Heisman Trophy after leading the NCAA in total offense and passer rating while bringing the No. 2 Oregon Ducks to a PAC-12 Championship, a Rose Bowl win over the defending college football champion Florida State Seminoles, culminating in a loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes in the National Championship game. While many have praised Mariota’s athleticism and leadership, some have questioned his NFL-arm strength.
Dungy coached in the NFL for 13 seasons. From 1996 until 2001 he coached the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, accumulating a 54-42 record and setting a Buccaneers franchise-record for most playoff appearances with four – only two other coaches have ever taken the team to the playoffs. He also led them to a franchise-record 30 wins in three seasons from 1999 to 2001.
Dungy was fired in 2002 and joined the Indinapolis Colts with Peyton Manning at QB. Together, the pair went 85-27 (an astounding .759 winning percentage in the regular season) and won Super Bowl XLI over the Chicago Bears. In doing so, Dungy became the first African-American head coach to win a Super Bowl.