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Marcus Mariota Comfortable as Titans Kick Off OTAs



NASHVILLE, Tenn. –** Marcus Mariota isn't a rookie any more.

On the first day of organized team activities, with an NFL season under his belt, the second-year Titans quarterback didn't feel like one either.

"Coming out here for the second year, it is a lot more comfortable, just because it is all kind of a familiar setting,'' Mariota said on Tuesday. "Last season was brand new, a brand new city, brand new team. But now being in it for a year, it is nice to come out here and feel comfortable."

Teammates like tight end Delanie Walker and receiver Justin Hunter have said they've noticed a more vocal, assertive Mariota as a result.

New teammates, including running back DeMarco Murray, center Ben Jones and receiver Rishard Matthews have all complimented Mariota's leadership qualities after spending time with him this offseason as well.

Mariota offered his take after Tuesday's session.

"I just try and be myself," he said. "The guys I think respect that, and I won't try and be anything I am not. Whatever they need me to be, I'll do my best to be that.

"You go through a whole year and you experience a lot of different things,'' Mariota continued. "So you know a lot more. So from that standpoint I feel I can help with knowledge. But I am not going to go out there and be somebody that I am not and be crazy-vocal or anything like that."

Mariota set franchise records for most touchdowns (19), completions (230), passing yards (2,818) and passing attempts (370) in his first NFL season despite missing four games with knee injuries.

On Tuesday, Mariota said he won't set a goal for his personal stats for 2016.

"Because I think if you set team goals,'' said Mariota, "some of those individual things will come. And that stuff doesn't matter to me anyway. I think that is more ego-driven than anything else. I am more focused on winning games out here and trying to make the playoffs."

Mariota said he's put on some extra size this offseason in an effort to be sturdier — and more durable — on the field. One of his goals is to play all 16 games this fall, he said.

Mariota also said he'd like to play in the 225-pound range, his current weight, after playing around 220 last year. Already, he's noticed a big difference in his conditioning level compared to a year ago, when he was busy during the early part of the offseason preparing for the NFL Draft and doing more traveling.

Mariota said his body feels good after taking some time off earlier this offseason.

He felt good on Day One, and is looking forward to getting even better. Mariota said he's been impressed with the team's offseason acquisitions.

"I thought it was a good first day,'' Mariota said. "I made some mistakes, a few guys made some mistakes. But that is part of being out there the first day. It's fun to get out here and compete.

"It is exciting. All the new guys are very capable of making big plays for us, and as we move forward we look forward to getting those guys the rock and watching them do their thing."

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