SAN FRANCISCO —Marcus Mariota is getting a taste of the Super Bowl here this week, but he admits it's left him a little sour.
The Titans quarterback hit Radio Row on Thursday. He's appeared at several functions in recent days, and along the way has also paid attention to the hype leading up to the game.
"To see the experience, and to watch how everything is handled here, and to get a taste of it a little bit, it definitely gives me the motivation to come back and play (in a Super Bowl),'' Mariota said. "To see the intricate details that go into a week like this, it will be valuable insight hopefully for years to come."
Mariota, however, said he can only take so much.
"I am not staying for the game. I don't want to be here for the game,'' he said. "The competitor in me just doesn't want to watch two other teams compete for it all."
The memory of his team's 3-13 season remains a sore spot for Mariota, who broke numerous rookie franchise records for the Titans after being selected second overall in the 2015 NFL Draft.
"You can learn from it and you can use it as a motivation for what's to come,'' Mariota said. "Moving forward, the season was unfortunate but you take what you can learn from it and get better and learn for the next season."
Mariota said on Friday he's feeling better physically following a season that was cut short by knee injuries. Mariota played in 12 games in all, but missed the final two games of the year.
"For me right now, the No.1 priority is to get healthy, and I'm going to have an opportunity to do that in Oregon,'' he said. "And I am going to go through the same progress as I did last year. I kind of gained weight before the combine and I was able to sustain it through OTAs and the majority of the season. So from that standpoint, I plan to keep the same routine to get ready."
On Radio Row, Mariota of course was asked about the Titans, and his rookie season.
But it wasn't the top topic thrown his way.
TitansOnline.com looks back at the 2015 rookie season of Titans QB Marcus Mariota. (AP Photos)
"I just think being here in San Francisco, the Chip Kelly question came up a lot, people asking me how I think he's going to do,'' Mariota said of Kelly, his former college coach at Oregon who was hired recently by the 49ers. "That's been the most frequently asked question since I've been here."
In Mariota's first NFL season, he broke rookie records for most touchdowns (19), completions (230), passing yards (2,818) and passing attempts (370). Mariota completed three or more touchdown passes on four different occasions during his rookie season. He joined Peyton Manning (four in 1998) as the only rookie to accomplish the feat.
Mariota said he's optimistic about the Titans, and said he had a good conversation with new offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie after he was hired.
"He is going to be easy to work with, and someone who is going to motivate the guys,'' Mariota said. "And I am just excited to get out there and go to work. It's going to be a lot of fun."
Mariota said he enjoyed spending time with tight end Delanie Walker and defensive lineman Jurrell Casey at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii last week. He thought they represented the team well.
"I'm happy for those guys,'' Mariota said. "I thought they did great."
And while Mariota said he has no plans to stick around for the Super Bowl, he did acknowledge the success of the Panthers and the Broncos, including the quarterbacks.
He's been especially impressed with Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
"Everything he has been able to do both inside and outside the pocket has made his offense so dynamic,'' Mariota said of Newton. "He has really grown as a passer in the pocket and that has really elevated that team, that offense. It will be interesting to see what happens on Sunday. If the Broncos can hold off their run game and force Cam to throw, I think it will be interesting to see what happens."