Whisenhunt on Mariota hit: That’s ‘bulls***’ football
A second-quarter hit that left Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota down and in pain during Sunday’s 38-10 blowout loss to the Dolphins left Tennessee head coach Ken Whisenhunt seeing red — and speaking in four letters.
Mariota suffered an injury to his left knee on a low hit by Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon but stayed in the game. Mariota didn’t miss a snap, but he did put on a brace over his left knee between series.
Afterward, Whisenhunt let reporters know what he thought of the hit, the highlights of his anger you can see in the video above.
Whisenhunt low hit on Mariota: "I think it was done with the idea of trying to hurt our QB and that's (bulls—) football." @Titans
— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) October 18, 2015
"That should be taken out of the game," Whisenhunt went on to tell the assembled media of the hit after the game. "That’s not the way you play football. I think it was done with the idea of trying to hurt our quarterback."
Despite his coach’s anger, Mariota said he didn’t think the hit was malicious and that Vernon sought to make amends after the game.
Mariota says Olivier Vernon apologized to him after the game for the low hit.
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) October 18, 2015
Vernon, who was actually flagged for roughing the passer twice, said after the game the play was not dirty.
"I’ve never been a dirty player in my whole career," Vernon said. "Why would I start now?"
According to ESPN.com, Vernon added, "I know one thing — it wasn’t intentional. I’ve never been a dirty player in my whole career. … Nobody tries to get personal fouls. I know one thing, they are expensive."
ESPN also reported that Mariota expects to be "a full-go" for practice Wednesday, but added that he will have an MRI exam on the knee Monday.
The second overall pick in last April’s draft, Mariota finished 21-of-33 for 219 yards with one touchdown pass and two interceptions.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report