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Titans’ Mariota has fun with surfing rumors

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — About a month ago, there was a report that wound up having no merit or truth that said the Tennessee Titans’ desire to prevent quarterback Marcus Mariota from surfing was the holdup in his rookie contract.

The delay, which was resolved with a compromise on July 21, was actually about offset language. Still, for a short time, the inaccurate surfing story took on a life of its own,.

That is, until Mariota — as a joke — decided to go surfing with his friends. It was a story the Honolulu native revealed when the Titans reported for training camp Thursday.

“Believe it or not, a group of my buddies and I, we’ve always learned how to boogieboard. So it’s more of you’re laying down on a board. As kind of a joke, we all decided that we wanted to go and try surfing,” Mariota said. “I had never really surfed in my life, to be honest with you. A group of my friends, we decided to go out, and the faces that people were making when we were out there on the surfboard was priceless. We had a lot of fun, and it was quite enjoyable.”

So how did Mariota do in his attempt to surf?

“Pretty good, actually. I had tried it before, and I wasn’t too good at it, so I kind of just brushed it off and this time I was able to stand up and catch a few waves,” Mariota said.

The fact that Mariota figured some things out on the first try at surfing, well, maybe that will carry over to learning the Titans’ offense quickly. The team was already pleased with his offseason work, with coach Ken Whisenhunt maintaining the rookie already was ahead of the curve in his knowledge of the system.

“We already feel really good about Marcus,” Whisenhunt said. “It’s more about seeing what he can do in the live situations, with the pads on, in the pocket. When you’re out there in shorts and helmets, you don’t really get a sense of the pocket. He did a lot of nice things moving in the pocket and stepping up, but now when you’re having bodies around you, it’s a little bit different. So this is where we get a chance to see, but we feel really good about that.”

Mariota doesn’t want to be just a rookie quarterback. He wants to excel right out of the gate.

“My expectations would probably be higher (than the fans’ hopes for him). That’s just who I am,” Mariota said. “For me, if I don’t have that mentality, if I don’t have that goal set high, I’m probably not going to come close to it. I always have had high expectations for myself, and that won’t change, and I’m going to do my best to achieve it.”


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