Marcus Mariota “comfortable with where I’m at” as a Falcons leader

Falcons quarterbacks coach Charles London called Marcus Mariota the team’s starting quarterback last week and Mariota reflected on how he’s settling into the role with his new team during a Monday press conference.

Mariota said that he doesn’t think going from being a backup with the Raiders to a starter in Atlanta “necessarily changes my mindset” because he always prepared as the starter during his time in Vegas. The way the rest of the team responds to the No. 1 quarterback is different, however, and Mariota acknowledged that he’s taken on more of a leadership role this year.

He also said that he’s feeling right at home in that role as training camp rolls on.

“Yeah, I would say so,” Mariota said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “That comes with the position, but I think especially with the Raiders, it was a lot of guys and we all collaborated and tried to make the offense what it was. I don’t feel like I’m saying more than I need to or if there is any weirdness or awkwardness from me. I’m very comfortable with where I’m at and just trying to make these guys feel comfortable so we can go out there and play well.”

Opinions about how well the Falcons are going to play come the fall haven’t been overly optimistic, but head coach Arthur Smith said he’s not paying attention to them and a strong year for Mariota would make it easier for others to ignore them as well.