By Ben Sullivan

No event exemplifies the dumbing down of journalism better than the sound and fury created by the Eagles’ mad dash to draft Marcus Mariota.

Everyone claimed to have a source, except Jimmy Kempski, of course, and as it turned out they were all wrong.

I heard two bubbleheads on Philly talk radio on Saturday debating the issue.

One of the talkers said he thought that the Eagles had no shot to move to 2 from 20.

The other talker said he couldn’t believe Chip Kelly’s protestations that the price was too high, like a house that was too rich for his blood. The reason? Because the Titans GM leaked the story that the Birds had offered three No. 1s and a bunch of starters including Fletcher Cox.

Why would he believe the Titans’ GM?

Oh, right, he didn’t say.

As usual, the national media has put a much better perspective on the Mariota Madness. Here’s Bill Barnwell’s from Grantland.com:

The Marcus Mariota saga ended quietly when the Titans took him with the second pick and immediately told reporters they intended to keep their quarterback of the future. Reports in the hours before the draft suggested the Bears were the mystery team making a bid to move up and grab Mariota, but the Titans were about as uninterested in paying Jay Cutler $31.5 million over the next two seasons as they should have been.

In the end, the Eagles just didn’t have enough to entice Tennessee into trading down. Philadelphia’s offer reportedly included two first-rounders, a third-rounder, and a package of players that included some combination of Sam Bradford, Fletcher Cox, Mychal Kendricks, and Brandon Boykin. That’s a massive haul, and it was surely the best offer any team was going to be able to piece together for Tennessee’s pick, but it just wasn’t enough for Titans general manager Ruston Webster to justify the deal. The Eagles added USC wideout Nelson Agholor with their first-round pick, but unless they make another trade later in the draft, we finally know they’ll be going into 2015 with Bradford at the helm of a drastically different Eagles offense.

And now, after months of imagining what Mariota would look like in all kinds of uniforms, we’ll have to revert back to the status quo and know that he’s a member of the Tennessee Titans. Mariota, as I’ve written in the past, is hardly the sort of prototypical quarterback that Ken Whisenhunt has seemed to target when he’s had the power to pick in the past. The John Skeltons and Zach Mettenbergers of the world — and let’s all be happy we don’t have to read any more quotes from anonymous Titans scouts who are trying to pretend Mettenberger is a Tom Brady starter kit — don’t look or play like the dynamic Mariota.

Where Whisenhunt should succeed is in crafting an offense that at least considers Mariota’s strengths, even if he doesn’t necessarily play to them in the way that Chip Kelly might have in Philly. Whisenhunt has shifted his offensive game plan across different stops to account for his quarterback’s strengths, going from a downfield passing attack with Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh to a quicker, more efficient Erhardt-Perkins variant in helping revitalize Philip Rivers’s career in San Diego. To get the most out of Mariota, Whisenhunt will need to be more creative and go further out of his comfort zone than he ever has. If Whisenhunt didn’t think he could pull it off, you have to believe that the Titans would have traded this pick. If he bet wrong, Whisenhunt might not be around for the second year of Mariota’s rookie contract, let alone its end.

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