Take a knee: Scott Frost talks finishing season strong, Marcus Mariota’s decision to stay

Oregon football quarterback Marcus Mariota (third from right, in hood) shares a laugh with Oregon's offensive coordinator Scott Frost, far left, as the game enters the second half tied at 0-0. The Oregon soccer team faced the Washington State Cougars on Sept. 26, 2013. (Michael Arellano/Emerald)

Oregon football quarterback Marcus Mariota (third from right, in hood) shares a laugh with Oregon's offensive coordinator Scott Frost, far left, as the game enters the second half tied at 0-0. The Oregon soccer team faced the Washington State Cougars on Sept. 26, 2013. (Michael Arellano/Emerald)

Posted by Hayden Kim on Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 1:33 pm.

After Wednesday’s practice, Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost talked about the effect winning or losing the last game of the season has on a team. He also discussed Marcus Mariota’s decision to stay at Oregon instead of declaring for the NFL draft, saying Mariota didn’t have a wrong decision to make.

When you guys have lost a season-ending game, how long do those stick?

“It’s just an extension a day after the game,” Frost said. “When you win a game, the day after you’re pretty happy, but when you lose you’re very frustrated. It’s just good to go into an offseason with a win and I’m sure both teams feel that way.”

You have a 24-hour rule for wins (celebrations last 24 hours), but after the season ends, is that open-ended until next August?

“Yeah, the 24 hours last a little longer when you don’t play for six months,” Frost said. “We’re excited about this one. It’s going to be a fun matchup with those guys (Texas), I’m sure they’re going to be excited to play with Mac (Brown) going out and we just want to show up and play as good a football as we can play.”

Coach Helfrich said Marcus Mariota was kind of hinting what his decision was going to be throughout the year. Did you get that sense he was leaning towards coming back for another year?

“Well, I don’t think there was a wrong decision for him,” Frost said. “I think he just needed to do what his heart told him to do. I think he’s ready to go be a star at the next level if he wanted to do that. Obviously we’re thrilled to have him back and we got a lot of pieces in place going forward having him help. The one thing about Marcus is he’s young for his grade, so he’s not that old a kid and sometimes if you’re going to go take over a team of 26, 27, 28-year-olds, you need to be as a ready as you can. The biggest thing is I think Marcus just loves being here at Oregon and be a part of this for another year.”

What are the ways you think Mariota could get better going into next year?

“Well, it starts with this bowl game,” Frost said. “We’ve got some practices right now to keep improving and to get some young guys better and this is real test we’re looking at right now.”

Did Mariota talk to you about his decision?

“Yeah, I talked to him quite a bit,” Frost said. “I just want what’s best for Marcus. Marcus always wants what’s best for the team. He’s going to have a bright future wherever he decides to go, but I think his heart was still here and the one thing about going to play in the NFL is it’s such a business that you better be sure that you’re ready to go do that before you do it. The other thing is I tell kids all the time, your NFL career is going to last as long as it lasts whether you go in when you’re 20 or 22 and sometimes going early means you’re just giving up a year of football. If you have a nine-year NFL career, six-year NFL career, the clock starts ticking when you go to the NFL, so sometimes going out early is just sacrificing a year of having fun playing football.”

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