scouting report | Vikings at Tennessee
Noon Sunday, Nissan Stadium (Ch. 9, 100.3-FM, 1130-AM)
ABOUT THE TITANS
• After a 3-13 record last season, first-year Titans General Manager Jon Robinson traded the first overall draft pick to the Rams for a boatload of selections.
• Tennessee then traded up to draft Michigan State OT Jack Conklin with the eighth overall pick, giving second-year QB Marcus Mariota a pair of first-round tackles with Conklin on his right and Taylor Lewan on his left.
• An offense-focused offseason continued with the spring trade for ex-Eagles RB DeMarco Murray and the second-round selection of Alabama RB Derrick Henry.
• The Titans also added free agent C Ben Jones, who started 16 games each of the last two seasons for Houston.
• Mariota enters his second NFL season after passing for 2,818 yards and 19 touchdowns with 10 interceptions in 12 starts as a rookie.
PLAYER SPEAK QB Marcus Mariota
• The Titans’ rebuilding under second-year coach Mike Mularkey and new GM Robinson is centered on Mariota, the 22-year-old franchise quarterback taken with the second overall pick last year.
• Mariota’s 91.5 quarterback rating ranked 16th among all starters last season.
• On his new RB tandem in Murray and Henry: “I’m very fortunate to have those guys back there — the team is. We’re going to continue to rely on those guys to make plays, and it’s going to be the standard for them.”
• On rookie fifth-round draft pick WR Tajae Sharpe starting: “Obviously this will be his first regular-season start. Anybody will tell you that you’re going to be nervous. For us, Tajae has done a great job of handling all that and everything we’ve thrown at him.”
COACH SPEAK Mike Mularkey
• Mularkey, a former Vikings tight end, enters his fifth season as a head coach, second in Tennessee after taking over for Ken Whisenhunt in the middle of last season. Under his watch, the Titans had a 2-7 record in 2015.
• On similarities of preparing for both Sam Bradford and Shaun Hill: “Really, their specialty is pocket passing. … They’re there to, first, hand it to 28 and, second, off action like that to hit some balls down the field. It’s not an extreme difference.”
• On Titans second-year assistant Dick LeBeau now calling defensive plays: “It’s a little different philosophy, and that kind of goes with the wholesale change and everything we did here — from facilities to players to the coaching staff to the schemes. It’s a wholesale change.”