Fran Tarkenton Writes Letter to Marcus Mariota After Record Tying Performance


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Former Oregon Ducks Quarterback Marcus Mariota started his career in the National Football League on a high note last weekend throwing for three touchdown passes in the first half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  The debut was worthy of the former Heisman Trophy Winner and tied a record set by Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton who set the record for touchdowns set by a Rookie in 1961. Mariota threw four touchdowns for the game and had more touchdowns in the game than incompletions to go along with two-hundred nine yards through the air. The media took notice, the NFL took notice and named Mariota the AFC Player of the Week and now Tarkenton himself has taken notice.

Tarkenton, through a representative penned a letter to Mariota that was published by the Tennessean. In the letter, Tarnenton gives a little history, talks about his performance and even pokes fun that he not only passed for four touchdowns, but ran for an additional score, “I entered the game late in the first quarter and had a game I’ll never forget. I completed 17 of 21 passes, threw 4 touchdowns, and ran for another—I hope you’ll forgive a retired quarterback for bringing up that little edge I still have on you. We shocked the Bears 37—13 and became the first expansion team to win their first game.” Tarkenton wrote from the heart, spoke of how he has watched Mariota in college and watched the analysts and commentators figure where he was going to land. He talked about his struggles with where he landed following the NFL Draft.

"With hard work and a readiness to learn and grow, you have a bright future ahead of you as a star in this league and for years to come."

Tarkenton shared his advice through his own experiences, “I lost 3 Super Bowls. And no matter who you are, over 18 years in the NFL you lose a lot of games. I never blamed those failures on my teammates, coaches, or anyone else. I took ownership of our failures. I was the quarterback. The buck stopped with me. I didn’t take ownership to be a martyr, but to motivate me to do better in the next game. Because I owned those failures, I examined them in detail. I remember the pain of those failures in detail, but I also remember all the important lessons I learned from them that made me better as a quarterback and, later, in business.”

Mariota and the Tennessee Titans visit the Cleveland Browns and Johnny Manziel, former Texas A&M Quarterback on Sunday, 10am Pacific Time on CBS.

Read The Full Letter In It’s Entirety

Next: Oregon Secondary Struggles In Win Over Georgia State