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Dungy not worried about Mariota’s quiet nature

One of the knocks on quarterback Marcus Mariota flows from the perception that he’s too quiet to lead an NFL team. Former Buccaneers and Colts coach Tony Dungy, who is a firm believer in Mariota as an NFL quarterback, addressed those concerns during a recent visit to PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio.

“What players want the quarterback to do is make plays when the plays are out there to make,” Dungy said. “I remember Joe Montana coming in, I was with the 49ers Joe’s rookie year. He didn’t say two words to anybody. But when he got out on the field, you understood this guy was all business, he knew what he was doing, pressure didn’t bother him. And he was a leader.”

Dungy sees that same quality in Mariota, who played college football with Dungy’s son, Eric.

“I promise you Marcus Mariota had everybody’s support at Oregon,” Dungy said. “Everybody knew with the ball in his hands what he would do. He was the guy that got people organized in the offseason and worked and all those things.

“So to me there’s no question about that. He’s not your typical guy that maybe people think this is what it should look like on paper, but I promise you he’s a leader and there never was a question about that from the first day he stepped on campus at Oregon.”

Apart from the words he used, there was a conviction in Dungy’s voice that makes his comments even more compelling. Which makes me even more convinced that Chip Kelly, the man who recruited Mariota to Oregon and coached him there, will do everything he can to move up to get Mariota. To hear it for yourself, click here and select Hour Three from the April 28 edition of the show.