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QB Marcus Mariota Focused On Improving Himself –  and the Titans


NASHVILLE – Marcus Mariota has focused on himself in the past week, finding ways to make his game – and the Titans – better.

Even though teammate Delanie Walker said the team's recent struggles shouldn't be pinned on his quarterback.

"I am very confident in 8 -- he has been getting it done," Walker said of Mariota. "It is tough being a quarterback in this league – you take all the blame, no matter what. And that guy, he's not going to say anything about anyone. It doesn't matter if someone dropped a pass on third down, or he got sacked multiple times. He is going to just say it was his fault, and he has to do better. And that is the sad part."

Mariota wasn't feeling sorry for himself on Wednesday.

He's getting ready for Sunday's game against the Falcons, and it can't get here fast enough. The Titans have lost two straight games, including a 20-7 loss to the Jaguars last Thursday.

"Giving the opportunity, I think a lot of guys would want to play as soon as they could," Mariota said. "It does suck to wait a little bit, but it gives us an opportunity to rest our bodies … and to work on things you normally don't get a chance to work on during the week. I think we got better and we're looking forward to the game on Sunday."

On the season, Mariota has completed 56-of-92 passes for 706 yards and four touchdowns this season, with no interceptions.

But he's been sacked 17 times, including nine times in the team's loss to the Jaguars.

Mariota said he spent the early part of this week focusing on his movement in the pocket.

"If I can do a better job of moving in and around the pocket, I can help our guys our up front and deliver the football to our guys to make plays," he said. "At any point and time you can get better. Through the course of a year, through training camp, sometimes the fundamentals get lost. And coach (Mike) Vrabel does a great job of reiterating to us to get back to the basics."

On Wednesday, Mariota said he needs to do a better job of getting the ball to receiver Corey Davis, who has just six catches for 82 yards in three games.

"I think we need to be better for sure, and that's specifically on me," Mariota said. "He is finding ways to get open, and I just have to get him the ball."

The Titans quarterback praised the work of offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, and the plays he's designed to jumpstart the offense.

Listening to Mariota on Wednesday, he seemed to want to take the blame for everything that's gone wrong so far for the Titans.

His tight end would tell you that's just not right.

"I think Art has done a great job of allowing our guys to get open, and I just have to complete them," Mariota said. "It's like a jump-shooter in basketball – as I see guys catch the ball, we get into a rhythm as an entire offense and we'll find ways to sustain drives and score points.

"I like the way (Arthur) is calling the games, we just have to do a better job executing."

The Tennessee Titans practice on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019 at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Donald Page)

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