Prior to being selected by the Tennessee Titans in the second round on draft day, Sen'Derrick Marks was already enthusiastic about the potential of his NFL playing career unfolding in Nashville:
"The Tennessee Titans flew me in for a visit. They didn't spend much time making physical assessments, though, and seemed more interested in getting to know me as a person. I guess they wanted to see how I act around people, how well I can relate with people."
"I really liked it there. Everyone from (head coach) Jeff Fisher on down acted like normal people the whole time, which was really cool."
Now that he's joined the Titans, how long will it take for the Auburn alum to leave his mark as a valuable member of the team's defensive line rotation?
As Andrew mentioned in an article a short time ago, rookies don't typically start for this franchise. Barring an injury to vets such as Jason Jones, Tony Brown and Jovan Haye, it's a pretty safe bet that Marks won't be starting anytime soon.
However, the well-documented departure of Albert Haynesworth to the financially greener pastures of the Nation's Capital has created an opportunity for someone to step up as Fat Albert's replacement in '09 and beyond.
While '09 may not be a realistic timeframe for Sen'Derrick to emerge as Albert's immediate successor, down the road, he certainly has the potential to become a starter beyond this season.
At 6'2" 306 lbs., Marks possesses the combination of the quickness needed to harass opposing quarterbacks and the girth to eventually become an adequate run-stuffer in this league.
Of course, it's going to take some time for Marks to shine on the NFL level. As his struggles in minicamps indicate, adjusting to the strength of professional offensive tackles and intricacies associated with playing DT for Jim Washburn is anything but a walk in the park.
Despite the challenge that lies in front of him, Marks will have the opportunity to compete for playing time this year. With his talent and the effective (albeit profanity-laced) motivational tactics of Coach Washburn, I'm cautiously optimistic that Sen'Derrick can leave his mark as soon as 2009.