Marcus Mariota made it clear Tuesday that he’s not changing his approach this season. He’s not changing his approach despite entering the final year of his contract, and he’s not changing his approach after missing three games last season, including the win-or-go-home regular-season finale.
Mariota will make $20.9 million on his fifth-year option for 2019, which essentially is a prove-it deal. He has no assurance that he will remain in Tennessee after this season, with the quarterback’s future tied to how — and how much — he plays this season.
“I really don’t [change his approach],” Mariota said, via video from Teresa Walker of AP. “I just try to be again the best that I can be. Let it ride. No matter what, I get to come out here and I get to play a game that I love, and I’m just going to make the most of it.”
The second overall pick in 2015 has not made a Pro Bowl and has failed to stay healthy. He had nerve issues in his elbow and a stinger that led to him missing or being knocked out of five games last season.
“I’m just trying to be the best that I can be,” Mariota said, via video from AtoZSports Nashville. “Obviously, health-wise there’s things that toward the end of the year I wish had happened differently, but it’s just kind of the nature of the beast, the game that we play. I think as we go through this, we’ll find ways to stay healthier. But I don’t change my approach.”
The Titans lost to the Colts 33-17 in Week 17 as Blaine Gabbert completed 18 of 29 passes for 165 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. The team signed former Dolphins starter Ryan Tannehill as insurance but have made it clear Mariota is the starter.
A reporter asked Mariota if he was working to assure he wasn’t defined by being sidelined for most of Week 16 and all of Week 17.
“I don’t worry about it,” Mariota said. “I’ve just got to continue to focus on what I can do here with these guys. Other people’s opinions don’t matter to me. I’ve just got to be the best that I can be for this team.”