Marcus Mariota Enjoys Busy First Week Back in Nashville


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Week one of the offseason program is in the books for the Tennessee Titans.

Quarterback Marcus Mariota called it a success.

"It's been great,'' Mariota said. "Everyone is very motivated, and even working through some of the hardest running days, guys are willing to go out there and throw and that's what is most important. And that's what is going to change this culture around and make us a better team."

It was part of a busy week for Mariota, who on Friday also helped build a home with some of his Heisman Trophy fraternity members, and a Habitat of Greater Nashville construction crew.

Titans players are working on their own on the field and in the weight room during the first few weeks of the offseason program, which involves plenty of conditioning work. Next month, following the NFL Draft, the team will begin organized team activities.

The Titans will hold a three-day minicamp from June 14-16. Training is expected to begin in late July.

Titans QB Marcus Mariota joins four other Heisman Trophy winners to build a Habitat for Humanity home in Nashville. (Photos: Amber Harding, Nissan)

Despite coming off a 3-13 season, Mariota said there's plenty of energy at Saint Thomas Sports Park following an offseason that's seen the team acquire running back DeMarco Murray via trade, and nine other newcomers.

The draft begins on Thursday.

"This is still kind of my first offseason with the team, but the culture since I've been here has always been upbeat and I think guys are hungry and excited to get things going,'' Mariota said. "Hopefully we can keep that going, and use that momentum for the season."

Mariota, who spent a good part of his offseason training in Oregon, has been busy in the community as well.

Mariota and four other Heisman Trophy winners took part in a football clinic for youth on Thursday night at Nissan Stadium in conjunction with the Heisman Trophy Trust and Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee.

Five Heisman Trophy winners join for youth football clinic at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Lynne McCracken)

On Friday, as part of Nissan's ongoing collaboration with Habitat for Humanity and the Heisman Trust, the Heisman Trophy winners joined a Habitat for Humanity construction crew to build a new home in the Ewing Park area in Nashville for new homeowners Mohammed Berema, his wife, Khadija Aldom, and their children.

Mariota was decked out in a hard hat, construction gloves and protective glasses on Friday morning. He showed off his skills with a hammer. His family was also in town to help with the project. He spent Thursday night tossing footballs to enthusiastic youngsters.

"It is the least we can do,'' Mariota said. "It's an opportunity to hang out with the kids, and give back. And to build that house for a family, that's what is most important. It is just an opportunity to give back and it's something I really enjoy doing."

"For us as athletes, and the situation we are in, it is the least we can do."

Titans players hit the field for the start of the team's off-season workout program at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (staff photos)

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