Marcus Mariota said that his off-season goal of learning to throw from a wider base from the pocket is still a work in progress.
“It’s coming. It’s tough because it’s hard to break old habits. I think for a long time I’ve been playing with such a narrow base,” Mariota said following the Tennessee Titans OTA work on Tuesday. “If I’m able to accomplish, really, that goal of mine, to stay in a good solid base throughout, I think I can make a lot of the throws that are asked of me in this offense. As I continue to be out here, I’ve just got to continue to be mindful of it and find ways to just self-correct and just get better.”
Mariota, coming off his worst season statistically as a pro (15 interceptions to just 13 touchdown passes in 2017), has been working since February to correct the problem, spending time in California working to improve, and has received more instruction from the Titans offensive coaches in that regard now that off-season work has begun.
“It really started back in February, just working out. It’s something that I had worked on in California and was really kind of focusing on that,” Mariota said. “It’s gotten better, I think being out here. I’m fortunate that Matt (LaFleur) and Pat (O’Hara) and the rest of the offensive staff, they continue to incorporate those principles of having a base, and being able to throw from that platform. Again, as I go forward I think if I can continue to find that base, I can do my best to make all the throws.”
Titans coach Mike Vrabel added that the coaches are doing well at helping Mariota along in the process.
“Pat and Matt have done a great job. They’ve brought drills in from all over. These guys have been around good quarterbacks, and know how to develop them and teach them. That’s what they focus on,” Vrabel said. “They focused on a lot of things during those three weeks of Phase Two. There will be a lot of things that they’ll work on, and hopefully Marcus can take it – just like everybody else, and take it to 11-on-11, because sometimes it may look good in just those individual drills, and then now all of a sudden it’s 11-on-11 and you start to revert back to maybe some old habits that we’re trying to fix at all positions.”
Throwing from the wider base should help Mariota throw with more power and with better timing, he says.
“I think the ball comes out a little faster. I think if I’m in a narrow base, it takes me an extra second to get to that base to be able to throw the football. If I’m in a good solid base, I can throw at any point in time and make the throws on time,” he said.
In and out
Several Titans players were absent for Tuesday’s voluntary OTA work. Among the players not in attendance were linebackers Brian Orakpo and Kevin Dodd, tight end Phillip Supernaw, safety Kendrick Lewis and receiver Nick Williams.
Rishard Matthews was held out of work, but the Titans did not disclose any injury with him. Jack Conklin remains out recovering from ACL surgery.