NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Marcus Mariota received all kinds of advice on his road to the NFL.
Coaches on every level weighed in, from junior high to high school to college.
The message from his mother has been the most consistent.
“Not to get hit,’’ the Titans quarterback said with a smile on Wednesday. “That’s about as far as that goes.”
Mariota has been a hit so far with the Titans. In two preseason games he’s completed 75 percent of his passes for 153 yards. On Friday, he’ll play in preseason game No.3 at Kansas City.
Mariota’s parents attended Sunday’s 27-14 win over the Rams, when Mariota completed 5-of-8 passes for 59 yards. They spent the whole week with Mariota after traveling from Hawaii. Mariota said the two sacrificed plenty for him to reach success, and he’ll be forever thankful.
Former Oregon QB Marcus Mariota reacts to being drafted by the Tennessee Titans with the second pick in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft from Honolulu. (AP Photos)
Pops seemed mostly pleased after Sunday’s game, Mariota said. A week after telling his son he needed to take better care of the football in the first preseason game at Atlanta, however, Toa Mariota said Marcus needed to move through his progressions better and throw the ball out of bounds on one occasion.
“My dad, he is one of the guys who is my biggest supporter but also one of my biggest critics,’’ Mariota said. “I can go to him and talk to him about anything and for me, that’s such a blessing.
“They had a lot of fun (at the game); they enjoyed themselves.”
Against the Chiefs, Mariota could get his most extensive playing time to date, although coach Ken Whisenhunt still isn’t ready to commit to how much his starters will play.
Mariota said the goal against the Chiefs is to continue to build off what’s been going well while committing no turnovers. The second overall pick wants the offense to build a rhythm and establish the chemistry “that will bring us the success during the season.”
He brushed off questions about whether his transition to the NFL has gone smoother than he anticipated. Mariota, the second overall pick in the NFL Draft, threw just one interception in 16 practices during training camp and he’s displayed poise in the preseason.
“I am just doing my best to go week by week, to prepare myself for what is coming up,’’ Mariota said. “I have been very lucky to be in a position where this transition has been smooth, and guys have been great welcoming me in and helping me out. I have been in a very good situation I am thankful for it.”