Marcus Mariota: I’ll play as much as Arthur Smith lets me play in preseason

Quarterback Marcus Mariota last started a regular season game as a member of the Titans in 2019 and he’s on track to change that in the Falcons’ season opener this year.

Mariota is ahead of rookie Desmond Ridder on the depth chart after reuniting with former Titans offensive coordinator and current Falcons head coach Arthur Smith. Before Mariota can take the field against the Saints on September 11, however, the Falcons will have to play out three preseason games.

The first of them is against the Lions on Friday and Mariota said he isn’t sure how much Smith plans to play him against the NFC North club. Mariota may be on the path to the starting job, but he said on Tuesday that he’s down for as many snaps as he can get this week.

“I’ll play as much as he lets me play,” Mariota said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Whatever they decide. Whatever the game plan is, I’m going to go out there and have fun playing. I don’t have a pitch count, a snap count or any of that. I’m just more excited just to get out there and play.”

In addition to breaking in new quarterbacks, the Falcons are still looking to settle three starting spots on the offensive line while also integrating new receivers into the offense. That gives them plenty of work to do in their three preseason games and Mariota figures to be in the center of it for a fair amount of each contest.