NASHVILLE, Tenn. –** Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota wasn't happy with his start to the 2016 season.
His plan is to change that in 2017.
"For me, it's consistency -- I want to play at a high level all year," Mariota said on Wednesday. "I thought last season, for me personally, started a little slow. Just want to start good, start on a high note and just kind of keep it throughout the year."
The Titans started 1-3 a year ago before getting things cranked up in Week 5. Mariota threw four touchdown passes and five interceptions in the first quarter of the season. He threw 10 touchdown passes vs. just one interception in the second quarter of the season, when the team won three out of four games.
Mariota finished the year with 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions, and the Titans finished 9-7.
Mariota believes his comfort level heading into Year 3 should help him from the get-go. The Titans open the regular season on September 10 against the Raiders.
"I feel a lot more comfortable,'' he said. "… You kind of know what to expect. You're in a situation where you're familiar with everything. It's the second year into the offense, doing all these things. I think all in all, I think everyone in the locker room is getting more comfortable and understands the culture we're building. For me, it's nice to be a part of that and to feel comfortable coming to work."
Mariota has performed well in the team's first two preseason games.
In two series of action against the Panthers, Mariota completed 6-of-8 passes for 61 yards and a touchdown – a four-yard completion to tight end Delanie Walker.
Mariota also played in two possessions in the team's preseason opener against the Jets, his first game back after suffering a fractured fibula in Week 16 last season. He completed 2-of-3 passes for 15 yards and also ran once for a six-yard gain in that contest.
Through two preseason games, Mariota has completed 8-of-11 passes for 76 yards and a touchdown. His completion percentage is 72.7, his passer rating 121.8. Mariota has also rushed for 15 yards on two carries.
On Sunday, Mariota and the team's starters are expected to get their most extensive playing time of the preseason against the Chicago Bears.
"It's a great opportunity," Mariota said. "For us, all the hard work that we put in training camp, we get to go out there and hopefully just show everybody what we've been able to do. Put together good drives, score points and just build upon hopefully that foundation that's going to make us successful this year.
"Really for all of us it's been a while to play an entire half, play all the scenarios out, to play all the situations. This weekend is a great opportunity for us to get ready and make sure we're comfortable going into Week 1."
TitansOnline.com looks back at the team's all-time series against the Chicago Bears. (AP Photos)