Former Griz – Tennessee Titan Marc Mariani Update [AUDIO]
Record-setting Montana Grizzly wide receiver and kick returner Marc Mariani is back at spring camp with the Tennessee Titans, after suffering a gruesome compound leg fracture in August of 2012.
Mariani made the NFL Pro Bowl his first year with the Tennessee Titans, but his broken leg put him on the sidelines for the 2012 season.
"It was tough for me this past year watching from the sidelines," Mariani said this week from his home in Nashville. "The first few months were brutal, in that is was herder mentally than it was physically just because I was slowed down so much that I couldn't really do anything."
Mariani described his injury.
"I snapped my tibia and fibula right in half. It was a compound fracture, so the bones broke through the skin," Mariani said. "Now I have a rod from the top of my knee down through my leg to hold together my tibia. My fibula was more of a carpentry process. They put a plate in there and put it back together with screws and pins."
Mariani said he was lucky he broke the bones, rather than ripping his knee or ankle, since the bones heal so much more completely.
"The healing is now over with," Mariani said. "Now, strength and conditioning are my focus. Nine months out, I'm back in action and I haven't missed a practice yet. The guys reported back to camp on April 25, and I jumped right in. I'm pushing myself a little harder than normal, but its tough to sit out any longer. I'm back in action and I'm feeling great."
Mariani said he realizes he has to earn his position on the team as a wide receiver and kick returner.
"Once again this year our wide receiver room is slam-packed and full of talent, its no different than its been in any other year," Mariani said. "Making it in the NFL is tough, and coming back from an injury just makes it a little tougher. I believe in myself and what I can do, and I know it will be just a matter of time, and we'll see how things work out."
Mariani addressed the difficult year the Grizzlies experienced in 2012, going 5 and 6, suffering a losing season for the first time in nearly 30 years. He said the players need to have different perspective to truly appreciate what they have in Missoula.
"I think the biggest thing that came out of my experience as a Grizzly was the name on the front of the jersey is so much more important than the name on the back," Mariani said. "If you play with that thought in mind, the fact that you're playing for the whole Griz nation. Once you get away from it, you see what a special corner of the world you have in Missoula, and that not everybody has it as good as we do. So, when you take the field, you're playing for all of us, you're playing for the history, and I think if the guys take the field with that mentality, forget about the past and move forward, I think there's good things to come."
Former Griz and Tennessee Titan Marc Mariani