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Titans Mariota seeks to improve passing mechanics
When Marcus Mariota has been good, he has helped carry the Tennessee Titans' offense both with his running and passing skills.
But there have been times this season, more so than as a rookie last year, when Mariota's throws have sailed high and wide of the mark.
The Titans have nonchalantly dumped some of the blame off on the team's wide receivers, who are mostly new to Mariota this season, for not running correct depths and not always getting to the right spot. And there is no doubt some truth in that. But Sunday in a loss to the Indianapolis Colts, a few of Mariota's throws sailed out of bounds with no chance for the receivers to catch them.
On Monday, with the Titans preparing for the Jacksonville Jaguars, coach Mike Mularkey admitted there were times when Mariota was guilty of not stepping into throws and of throwing off his back foot, causing him to miss badly.
Mariota addressed the matter in his media session on Tuesday.
"It just kind of comes back to me being lazy with my feet. When I'm aggressive and things are moving quick and my feet are in place, I'm a better, more accurate thrower," Mariota said. "When I get lazy and try to throw off my back foot, I tend to miss throws high, and that's what happened in the game."
Mariota said he makes it a point of trying to refine his mechanics in practice, especially if he spots a flaw like what happened against Indianapolis.
"A lot of that just has to do with reps and just going out there and practicing it," he said. "I tend to just kind of correct it either in warmups or when you're throwing routes with the guys; because, when you're out there doing seven-on-seven or live team practice reps, your mind needs to be more about what's going on in the defense rather than what you're doing with them."
Mariota's day wasn't a total loss, as he hit on 22 of 37 throws for 232 yards and two touchdowns. But the Titans need the passing game to be more consistent and complement the running game, beginning Thursday night against the Jaguars. Against Indianapolis, Mariota hit his first five passes for 47 yards and a touchdown. Then, he went into a funk, hitting just seven of his next 15 for 41 yards, before rebounding to finish strong, hitting 10 of 17 for 134 yards and another touchdown.
"I think, hopefully, (it will be fixed) quickly with the Thursday night game," Mularkey said. "There's multitudes of drills that Jason Michael puts him through. Things that he needs to work on, they'll work on it more. That's everybody. When you see something in a game, that's the beauty of game film. What do I need to get better at the next week? They'll press that more than anything."
SERIES HISTORY: 43rd meeting. Titans lead series 23-19. The Jaguars have provided the Titans with their only home win the past two years. Last year, the Titans won a 42-39 shootout at Nissan Stadium.