Rookie QB Marcus Mariota Ready for Preseason Opener


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Already, Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota is envisioning the moment he walks onto an NFL field for the first time.

It will come on Friday night when the Titans face the Falcons in the Georgia Dome.

"(I feel) excitement. For me, it is a dream come true,'' Mariota said on Wednesday. "It is an opportunity to fulfill a lifetime dream, and I am looking forward to it."

Mariota and the Titans on Wednesday held their final practice before Friday's game at the Georgia Dome. The team will conduct a walk-through practice on Thursday before traveling to Atlanta.

Mariota went 8-of-12 in Wednesday's session, without throwing an interception. In 11 practices since the start of training camp, Mariota has thrown 186 passes without being intercepted.

The second overall pick of the NFL Draft said he's ready to go. His parents are making the flight from Hawaii to Atlanta for the game.

"Ever since I can remember, this is what I wanted to do, and I have been very blessed to be on this journey,'' Mariota said. "I think the guys are anxious. Everyone has been really hungry this offseason, and we have an opportunity to show all the hard work we have put in."

Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt wouldn't reveal how much Mariota might play against the Falcons, but he's expected to play only a series or two. It will be a surprise if Mariota's in the game during the second quarter.

Titans players take the field for training camp on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015 at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)

Whisenhunt and the Titans believe he's ready to go.

"(We want to see) the same thing we've seen out here in practice, just handling it in a game situation,'' Whisenhunt said  of Mariota. "We worked again with the noise from the sidelines today so we could simulate that and he's done smoothly with that, but this will be a different arena when you get on the field. He's played on a high level, played in a lot of games, so it's not that, it's just doing it now in a different environment where he has different responsibilities, where he has got to take the snap under center. He's got to communicate the play in the huddle. You can't get the do over again like you can in practice. All of those things are important in the progression and development, but I think he'll do OK."


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