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Titans QB Marcus Mariota's Focus: On Present, Not Past


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Marcus Mariota isn't interested in taking a trip down memory lane.

While everyone remembers seeing the Titans quarterback carted off the field last year in Jacksonville, that doesn't mean it will be on his mind heading into Sunday's game against the Jaguars.

"No," Mariota replied on Wednesday when asked if he'll think about that Christmas Eve day when strolls out to EverBank Field. Mariota did not elaborate.

Titans coach Mike Mularkey has no plans to talk to Mariota about last December, when he fractured his fibula in the team's loss.

"Rarely do I go back and bring up things from the past if I can, and if I do, it's going to be positive, not anything negative," Mularkey said. "We have guys that already know for a fact that they made a mistake or they didn't play good, they don't need me to reinforce it. He'll be ready to go."

One thing is for sure: It's a memory no one with the Titans will ever forget.

"Once he was carted off, I knew he was hurt," tight end Delanie Walker said. "Usually Marcus can take a hit, and if he's hurt he can still get up and play. When he couldn't get up, it hit me. That's our leader, and to see him down and get carted off, that hurts."

Mariota was back for the start of the offseason workouts, and he's been clearing hurdles ever since. On Sunday, Mariota completed 25-of-41 passes for 256 yards, and he also ran for a 10-yard touchdown.

When Mariota and the Titans return to Jacksonville on Sunday, the focus will be the present.

Coming off a 26-16 loss to the Raiders, the Titans are preparing to face a physical Jacksonville team that's 1-0 and coming off an impressive win over the Texans. The Jaguars racked up 10 sacks in that contest.

"We didn't play very well (last year). (It) left a bad taste in our mouth," Mariota said. "That's something, I think, for a lot of guys it lingered throughout the offseason. Obviously, we want to play better. We want to play to our potential, and it all started today and as we go throughout the week.

"We've got to keep the same mentality Coach (Mularkey) talks about every week, we focus on ourselves. How can we get better every day? Make sure we're prepared for Sundays. Obviously, it's a big game but we've got to keep that same mentality and get ready for Sunday."

Titans players take the field for Wednesday's practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)

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