Titans, Mariota work to improve long ball

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – While 2015 was a disaster for the Tennessee Titans, it was seen as a success for quarterback Marcus Mariota.

Mariota threw for 2,818 yards, 19 touchdowns and had a quarterback rating of 91.5. Those numbers all came from a player people wondered how long would take to adapt his game to the NFL. They also came from a quarterback with a struggling offensive line and banged up wide receiver corps.

The area Mariota statistically struggled with most was getting the ball down the field. He completed 62 percent of his passes for the season, but only 20 percent when the ball was in the air 21 yards or more per ESPN.com.

(Photo: WKRN)
(Photo: WKRN)

Mariota was just eight for 25 on passes 21-30 yards and was a 0 for 5 throwing it 31 yards or more.

After four days of camp it’s clear that’s an area he’s worked to improve, but Mariota is not ready to proclaim the problem solved.

“We’ve had some success with it. It’s day 4 or 5 of camp, so it’s still relatively early, you know if we can grow that aspect of our passing game it can really help us out as an offense,” he said.

Mariota cannot fix the problem on his own though, he acknowledged the Titans have to be better blocking, running and catching it to truly make it happen.

“It’s a combination of everything. If you’re able to run the football, it obviously opens up the play action and deep passing game,” he explained.

Receiver Tre McBride says it was a team issue, not a quarterback issue and the team is fixing it.

He told News 2, “Everybody on the team, the entire offense took it really seriously in the off season and came back a lot better. I’m really proud of these guys.”

The Titans get their first chance to go deep against another team Aug. 13 when San Diego visits Nissan Stadium.

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