Mariota fully taking part in drills
Titans quarterback, entering third NFL season, suffered broken leg in December
By TERESA M. WALKER
The Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Marcus Mariota insists he feels fine and is fully recovered from the broken leg he suffered in December. That’s not stopping the Tennessee Titans from giving the 23-year-old quarterback from Honolulu as much protection as possible.
As the Titans kicked off training camp Saturday, Mariota took part in team drills after being limited to individual and 7-on-7 passing work during the offseason.
Fans eager to see Mariota really take off running likely will have to wait until the season opener Sept. 10 against the Oakland Raiders.
Delanie Walker sums up the Titans’ concerns, even though the veteran tight end says he can’t tell watching that Mariota ever broke his leg.
“Every play I’m asking him, ‘Are you good?’ “ Walker said. “He’s like, ‘I’m straight.’ ‘OK, I’m just making sure. I can’t tell.’ And I know he’s a fighter, and he probably wouldn’t say nothing if he didn’t feel good. That’s why I’m always checking on (him) like, ‘You good?’ At the end of the day, he’s out there making the throws, running around, so I feel like if he says he’s good, he’s 100 percent.”
Mariota had his second NFL season come to an end Dec. 24 when he broke his right leg in a loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
He arrived in this year’s camp at 218 pounds, about six pounds lighter than last season, and said he couldn’t be happier to be back at work.
“When we left in June, I was in a good spot,” Mariota said. “But I think I got better every day, and to be able to be out here today and to run around and do some of the things the coaches wanted me to do felt really good.”
Mariota passed for 3,426 yards with 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 15 games last year, and ran for 349 yards and two scores. This season, he will have some new targets.
Corey Davis, the first wide receiver taken in this year’s draft, at No. 5 overall, agreed to terms Saturday. He was the last draft pick to get his contract wrapped up.
“It’s huge. Huge,” Mariota said of getting Davis into camp.
The Titans also signed veteran Eric Decker after the offseason program ended in June, and Mariota started building chemistry with Decker a couple of weeks ago when several receivers joined the quarterback working out around Nashville. Davis, busy with a wedding, missed out.
“He’s savvy,” Mariota said of Decker, who has three 1,000-yard receiving seasons in a seven-year career spent with the Denver Broncos and New York Jets. “He understands routes. He understands how to find ways to get open, create separation, so I think the way he was able to come out today and make some plays says a lot about him. And again, we’re excited.”