Mariota Seeks Continued Improvement Tonight

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota ended his preseason debut on a high note.

On Sunday night, Mariota would like to pick up where he left off in his Nissan Stadium debut against the St. Louis Rams in preseason game No.2.

"Just continuing to build a rhythm with the offense, get first downs and move the chains and score points,'' Mariota said of the plan. "The way we have been going in training camp, I think we have built a solid foundation and I believe we will continue to get better.

"I think we are all excited. Nissan Stadium, it's going to be a lot of fun and being a night game, I know the crowd will be ready to go."

The Titans face the Rams at 7 p.m. on Sunday, a game that will be televised nationally by FOX. In the preseason opener last Friday in Atlanta, Mariota completed 7-of-8 passes for 94 yards, and guided the team on a 10-play, 80-yard drive before leaving the game in the second quarter.

Mariota wasn't pleased with the way the game started, however. He threw an interception in the first quarter, and also had the ball knocked out of his hand for a fumble. The Titans lost 31-24 after falling behind 17-0.

"First and foremost, taking care of the football (is most important)," Mariota said. "During the season it is going to cost us games, just like it did (in Atlanta). And that is something I can control, and being able to make smart decisions with the football and taking care of it in the pocket.

"To be able to finish that last drive as an offense was solid. It was a good way to close the game. Obviously there's things in terms of ball security that we can all take care of, especially myself, and one of the biggest things in a game is turnover margin and if we were able to take care of the football we would've had a better game."

Mariota had another solid week of training camp this week. In 16 training camp practices, he's thrown just one interception in 263 attempts.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt said Mariota just needs to continue to show improvement against the Rams.

"I just want to see more of the same,'' Whisenhunt said of Mariota. "I think he's shown that he's progressing. Obviously, as an offense we can't turn the ball over, and that's one of the things that we've got to correct, ball security. There were a lot of balls on the ground in last week's game, so that's got to be our focus going in."

Titans receiver Kendall Wright said he's been impressed with Mariota in camp.

After Sunday's game against the Rams, the Titans will play two more preseason games before opening the regular season on September 12 at Tampa Bay.

"There's grown men out here, and he's out here leading grown men and being a great leader, and I think that says a lot,'' Wright said of Mariota. "I think once we start the regular season and he gets these other preseason games out of the way, I think he'll be ready to roll. He's a rookie, he's young, but he is not carrying himself that way."

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