NASHVILLE, Tenn. —** Marcus Mariota was critical of himself after Monday night's scrimmage, taking the blame for what he viewed as an unsteady performance.
A day later, Titans coach Mike Mularkey took his quarterback off the hook. He pointed to the bright moments from the offense, and said the offensive outing wasn't as bad as he initially thought.
It turns out Mariota wasn't looking for an escape door.
"I think for me to be here, I have to be hard on myself,'' Mariota said on Wednesday. "I hold myself to a really high standard and I don't think these guys should expect anything less."
Mariota and the Titans will face the San Diego Chargers on Saturday night at Nissan Stadium in the preseason opener for both teams.
Closing in on two weeks into training camp, Mariota said he's looking forward to playing in a game and seeing some improvement on offense.
So far, Mariota said he's been happy with how the offense has handled two-minute drills in camp. Ball security continues to be one of his top priorities, and the same goes for Mularkey.
"I'd like to build a rhythm and be able to sustain drives and score points,'' Mariota said. "Continue to build upon what we've built through training camp and be able to build a foundation for the season."
Mariota will also get a chance to say hello to his former head coach, Ken Whisenhunt, and teammate, quarterback Zach Mettenberger. Whisenhunt this offseason was hired as offensive coordinator of the Chargers, who signed Mettenberger after he was released by the team.
"It will be different, but honestly I am looking forward to it,'' Mariota said of Whisenhunt. "I have a whole lot of respect for the man, and he really gave me this opportunity. Nothing but good words and I am looking forward to seeing him."
Titans players take the field for Day 10 of training camp at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)