Marcus Mariota Wants to Finish Preseason Strong


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Marcus Mariota has looked at the calendar, just like everyone else across the NFL.
The Titans quarterback is well aware the team's regular season opener against the Minnesota Vikings on September 11 is drawing closer.

Right now, though, his focus is on the Oakland Raiders, and ending the preseason on a positive note. The Titans travel to Oakland on Saturday, before wrapping up the preseason at Miami on September 1.

Mariota and the starters are expected to get their most extensive playing time of the preseason this week.

"I think a lot of guys are anxious to get it going,'' Mariota said of the regular season. "But then again I think these preseason games as well as practices offer us an opportunity to get better, and we can't take that lightly and we can't go through the motions hoping we can get to September the 11th. We have to focus on what is going on here today and do our best to get better and improve.

"I think it is important to continue to build upon what we have already done – sustain drives, score points, and build a rhythm that will hopefully carry over into the regular season. I think we treat every week the same. We are focusing on what we need to do as a team and if we can continue to move the football and score points, hopefully we'll put our team in the best position to win.'

It's been a successful preseason for Mariota so far.

Mariota is 14-of-15 for 149 yards with a touchdown and an interception in games against the Chargers and Panthers, good for a completion percentage of 93.3 percent and a passer rating of 102.5.

He was 9 of-10 for 104 yards on Saturday against the Panthers, with a 23-yard touchdown pass to receiver Harry Douglas. In Week One of the preseason, Mariota was a perfect 5-of-5 for 45 yards in a win over the Chargers.

If he's looked comfortable, it's because he is confident in himself, and those around him.

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.

"I think over time, you go through so many things in your first year and you learn from it,'' Mariota said. "You experience a whole bunch of stuff. Coming into this year, I think any situation I have been in, either I have been in it in college or I (went) through it last season.

"It is nice that I am comfortable in any situation. I am not "on fire" every single week. For me, I am just trying to complete as many balls as I can and move the ball down the field."

Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota signed autographs and took photos with fans after the team's training camp practice, Monday. (Photos: Susanna Nickell)

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