Mariota's streak intact after 1st practice at Titans stadium
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Marcus Mariota has thrown 140 passes in training camp without being intercepted.
Turns out Mariota's teammates are enjoying just how tough the Heisman Trophy winner is making their jobs.
''I just hope and pray he continues to do the things he's doing right now ...,'' veteran safety Michael Griffin said Saturday after a 90-minute practice at Nissan Stadium. ''Hey, it's to our credit.''
Griffin noted 140 pass attempts without an interception is the equivalent of three or four games, and he called that start very impressive.
On defense, the Titans want turnovers, but Griffin said the No. 2 draft pick out of Oregon can keep them off the field by extending drives and avoid leaving them on a short field.
Left tackle Taylor Lewan said the streak is good.
''Obviously, you never want him to throw picks,'' Lewan said.
Mariota started off slow completing only 1 of 4 passes in seven-on-seven, including a ball overthrown to Dexter McCluster.
In a team drill pitting the starters, Mariota was 5 of 9 with Sensabaugh missing his first chance at an interception when the rookie overthrew tight end Anthony Fasano only to see the ball go off the cornerback's hands.
In a red zone drill, Mariota was much more crisp. He started with a 22-yard pass to Kendall Wright, rolled right and found Harry Douglas in the right corner for a touchdown on fourth down. Mariota's only incompletions came when he hit the back wall behind the end zone throwing the ball away and when Sensabaugh jumped a route and couldn't haul in the pass.
Mariota was 6 of 8 in the red zone drill and finished 12 of 21 for the day.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt said the Titans didn't do as good a job protecting Mariota on a couple of plays with the rookie doing OK.
''It was real nice on the red zone to see him make some of those plays,'' Whisenhunt said. ''He made the nice seam throw to Kendall, the great throw on the fourth down play on the sprint-out.
''Those are the kinds of things he did, he made some good throws on the move. He had a couple chances where the ball should have been caught or had chances to make them.''
Asked about making sure to hit the back wall, Mariota said the key is not turning the ball over in scoring position.
''I learned a long time ago that if you don't put enough on it or if you just try to throw it enough out of bounds, sometimes it can still be in play and somebody can make a play on it,'' Mariota said. ''If you're going to throw it away and make sure it's all the way out of bounds.''
Griffin called Mariota's decision to throw that pass away a great move. That didn't stop the veteran from needling the rookie.
''I made fun of him,'' Griffin said. ''Throw it in bounds.''
Notes: CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Curtis Riley each left with injured ankles. ... Whisenhunt said OT Byron Stingily (concussion) is expected back next week. DL Ropati Pitoitua and CB Jason McCourty had the day off for rest, and TE Delanie Walker (cut thumb) also was out. OL Jamon Meredith (foot) also was out.
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