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Titans QB Marcus Mariota's Approach Heading Into 2019 Season: "Let It Ride" 


NASHVILLE – Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota has a new offensive coordinator, and some new weapons around him.

From a physical standpoint, he looks sturdier, and healthy again.

His approach heading into the 2019 season, however, is the same.

"I just try and be the best that I can be," Mariota said on Tuesday. "Obviously, health-wise, there's things that toward the end of the year (in 2018) I wish had happened differently. …. As we go through this (season) we'll find ways to stay healthier, but I don't change my approach."

At the start of OTAs, Mariota said he feels good. Mariota downplayed questions about him heading into the final year of his contract with the team.

"I just try to be the best I can be for this team, and let it ride," he said. "I mean no matter what I still get to come out here and play a game that I love, and I'm going to make the most of it."

Mariota started 13 of the team's 16 games in 2018, and played in 14 of 16. He finished the year with 2,528 passing yards with 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He set the franchise record with a completion percentage of 68.9 %.

But Mariota was banged up as well, which limited his success. He was unable to play in the season finale because of a lingering nerve issue in his throwing arm, and his touchdown total was the lowest of his career.

On Tuesday, Titans coach Mike Vrabel offered even more support and backing for Mariota, following an offseason when the team traded for former Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

"I love him as a person, and I love him as a player," Vrabel said of Mariota.

"His job is not in jeopardy," Vrabel responded when asked if Tannehill's presence could push Mariota. "I don't think that's something we're even here to talk about.

"I think (Marcus) looks great. I like where his attitude is. I like where his leadership is."

Mariota, headed into his fifth NFL season, has started 55 games since being drafted second overall by the team in 2015.

In his career, Mariota has completed 1,015-of-1,605 passes for 12,004 yards and 69 touchdowns, with 42 interceptions. His career completion percentage is 63.2 percent, and his career passer rating is 89.4.

With a familiar offensive coordinator in Arthur Smith, who was promoted from tight ends coach, and some new weapons in veteran Adam Humphries and A.J. Brown, the team's second-round pick, Mariota is optimistic as he looks ahead. The team also signed former Rams guard Rodger Saffold in free agency.

On Tuesday, Mariota looked mostly solid while throwing short, mid-range and long passes during the team's second OTA. He was intercepted late, but responded with some nice throws.

The Titans have eight more OTAs and a minicamp in June before kicking off training camp in late July.

The 2019 season is on the horizon.

"I think it's just building chemistry with these guys," Mariota said of his offseason mission. "Me personally, I think if we get these guys up to speed, get them comfortable, allow these guys to make plays, we can be efficient as an offense."

The Titans take the field for Tuesday's organized team activities (OTA) at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Donn Jones, Gary Glenn)

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