NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota has spent the entire offseason getting ready for a new season.
Now, finally, it's game week – the Titans kick off the 2018 season on Sunday at Miami.
"Excitement," Mariota said after practice on Wednesday. "This is what you work hard for. Everything that you've done this offseason, you have an opportunity to go out there and kind of show what you've done. I'm excited. I'm excited for this team and I look forward to the challenge."
In his career, Mariota has been good out of the gate.
In three Week One contest, he's completed 63-of-97 passes for 736 yards, with six touchdowns, one interception, and a passer rating of 104.1.
Everyone remembers his epic start as a rookie, when he completed 13-of-15 passes for 209 yards, four touchdowns, and a 158.3 rating at Tampa Bay.
In his first season under new offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur, Mariota and the Titans are ready to test things out in games that count. Mariota and the first team offense played just seven drives in the preseason.
"Being out at practice, going through this every single day for the last few months, you have kind of an understanding of what this offense can be," he said. "Now it's on us to go out there and show what it can do. So, I'm excited for it. I think Matt (LaFleur) has done a great job, again, of putting guys in good situations. Now it's on us to go out there and play."
In Miami, the Titans will face a Dolphins defense that finished 16th in the NFL in 2017.
In the preseason, the Dolphins didn't play their starters a significant amount, and Titans coach Mike Vrabel and Mariota both said on Wednesday they expect to see things in the opener they didn't see in the preseason.
It works both ways, of course. Miami also doesn't have film on everything the Titans could throw at them on Sunday.
"With that being said, you really just – you're going to kind of have to feel it out for the first few drives, kind of see what's going on," Mariota said. "I feel like that's kind of how it is every year Week 1 until you really get an understanding of who you're playing and what they're trying to do to you."
The Tennessee Titans take the field for practice on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018 at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)