NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans head coach Mike Vrabel recognized four players on Friday for their work this offseason, and the group included quarterback Marcus Mariota.
Vrabel said receiver Cameron Batson was the winner of the "Skill" position award, defensive lineman Matt Dickerson was the "Big Group" winner and running back/fullback David Fluellen was hand-picked by Vrabel for his work.
Mariota, meanwhile, was also praised by his head coach on the first day of training camp for his "efforts and performance."
"We try to not make it about on-field performance," Vrabel said. "We try to make it about the weight room, and conditioning, and their effort in the conditioning. But, I think some of that goes into how hard they're studying."
When asked about Mariota, before looking ahead on what it could mean for 2019, Vrabel first went back to the day after the 2018 season finale.
Back in December, he talked to Mariota and gave him some advice and recommendations heading into the offseason.
"You give them your perspective," Vrabel said, "and (Marcus) did everything that we asked him to do, and then was a presence in the building and obviously came back much stronger and what we believe to be hopefully durable."
Mariota, heading into his fifth NFL season, added roughly 10 pounds to his 6-foot-4 frame during the offseason get ready for this season. The Titans believe the weight gain could help him prevent injuries moving forward.
After wrapping up the first practice of training camp, Mariota said he was honored to be recognized with his teammates.
"It does mean a lot," Mariota said. "He just asked me to come back – he wanted me to pick up a little bit of weight. We talked about being able to be durable during those moments. For the most part I just took it and ran with it and did my best to do what he asked. I appreciate the fact he recognized it."
At the start of camp, Mariota plans to use the next month to get ready for the regular season.
During the preseason he'll work to develop further chemistry with some new faces around him, from receivers Adam Humphries to A.J. Brown to a reshaped offensive line. He'll be playing under new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith.
Day One of training camp was just the start, Mariota said.
"It's just building off of what we have done in OTAs," Mariota said. "Not looking too far ahead, but staying in the moment and staying present and continuing our process. I think if we continue to build off of every day we'll continue to get better and continue to improve."
The Tennessee Titans take the field for Day 1 of the team's 2019 training camp at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Donald Page)