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NASHVILLE Dwayne Haskins Jersey , Tenn. (AP) — Going into the final year of his rookie contract, Marcus Mariota hasn’t changed anything about how he prepares for this season.That includes no talk of holding out or public demands for a new contract. The Titans quarterback and 2014 Heisman Trophy winner prefers to show up and work hard during the voluntary offseason program to be the best he can be.“Let it ride,” Mariota said Tuesday. “I mean no matter what still I get to come out here. I get to play a game that I love and I’m going to make the most of it.”Mariota’s injury history is the reason why the Titans have yet to sign the quarterback to an extension after picking up his option for 2019 at $20.9 million. He has missed at least one game a season and eight combined through his first four years, and he is coming off a season where he threw for a career-worst 11 touchdowns with eight interceptions.A revolving cast of coaches hasn’t helped.Coach Mike Vrabel is Mariota’s third head coach since being drafted No. 2 overall in 2015, and Arthur Smith is his fourth offensive coordinator and fifth play-caller. Vrabel promoted Smith from coaching tight ends to make the transition as smooth as possible — the only offensive change after coordinator Matt LaFleur was hired as Green Bay’s new head coach.“I hope that there’s a lot of carry-over,” Vrabel said of his offense.Both Mariota and the Titans have plenty of room for improvement on offense. Thanks to a dominant December by Derrick Henry running the ball, Tennessee ranked seventh in that category in 2018. They ranked 29th in passing offense, managing a mere 189.5 yards per game after losing Mariota’s top target — three-time Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker — in the opener.Mariota threw for more than 300 yards only once in an overtime win over Philadelphia, and the Titans had three games where they didn’t reach 100 yards passing. Mariota missed three starts, including the regular-season finale when a victory would’ve earned a second straight playoff berth.The Titans upgraded Mariota’s backup, trading for Ryan Tannehill in March. They also signed wide receiver Adam Humphries and new left guard Rodger Saffold to improve the offensive line while drafting another receiver in A.J. Brown to give both Mariota and the offense a boost.“I feel like as a team we’ve made some good choices, and hopefully they can bring something dynamic to the offense,” Walker said.Mariota wouldn’t bite when asked how little he needs Tannehill to play this season.“No matter what http://www.ravenscheapstores.com/marquise-brown-jersey-cheap , I know he’ll be prepared if it comes to that and he’ll make the most of his opportunity,” Mariota said.The Titans made clear when they traded for Tannehill that Mariota remains their starter, though that hasn’t stopped speculation that Tannehill was brought in to push Mariota.“His job is not in jeopardy,” Vrabel said of Mariota.The quarterback and Smith know each other well having spent the past four seasons together through all the different schemes. Mariota said Smith also makes it easy for players to talk to him about what they like and don’t like.Mariota, who sat out the final game last season because of nerve issues affecting his throwing arm, looked fine on the second day of the Titans’ organized team activities in the final phase of the offseason program. Mariota threw short, mid-range and long passes.The quarterback said he wishes those health issues hadn’t happened, especially at the end of the season. He’s working to be healthier, having gained a few extra pounds to help. But he’s not going to worry about the concerns others have about his durability.“Other people’s opinions don’t matter to me,” Mariota said. “I just got to be the best I can be for this team.”NOTES: Walker, who broke his right ankle in the 2018 season opener, took part in practice even as he was limited to four snaps in a team drill at a jog. Walker said he felt good. “As a team, we talked about it Jaylon Ferguson Jersey , and this is the plan they got for me,” Walker said. “So I’m happy with the plan. Just taking steps pretty much.” ST. LOUIS (AP) — Consider St. Louis a big fan of the New England Patriots on Super Bowl Sunday.Seventeen years after the Patriots beat the Rams for the NFL championship, fans around here will again be watching when the two go at it in Atlanta. Thing is, allegiances have changed since the Rams moved back to Los Angeles three years ago, leaving behind a legacy and some bruised feelings.Rams haters will have plenty of company in bars this Sunday.At the 11 Hotshots sports bars around St. Louis, fans will get discounted pitchers of beer for every Patriots touchdown. Photo likenesses of Rams owner Stan Kroenke will be placed on dartboards — and in urinals.“It’s just something kind of fun we can add to the mix and hopefully give St. Louisans some solace as they watch the game,” Hotshots marketing director Justin Boyd said.Sports fans Bob Rothschild and Phil Heidemann frowned at the mention of Kroenke’s name as they lunched at a Hotshots in the St. Louis suburb of Fenton. Despite their disdain, both plan to watch the Super Bowl.“I’ll be watching, but I’ll be rooting for the Patriots,” said Heidemann, 60.Rather than a Super Bowl party, the Tick Tock Tavern is hosting a “Superb Owl” party with jazz music and a movie — but no football.Even in baseball-crazy St. Louis, the Rams were the toast of the town in their “Greatest Show on Turf” days. They won the 2000 Super Bowl and were heavy favorites to win again in 2002 Quinnen Williams Jersey , until a second-year quarterback named Tom Brady led a last-minute drive culminating in a game-ending field goal and a 20-17 New England win.After that, football in St. Louis was never the same.The Rams got old and the glory days faded into a five-year stretch starting in 2007 when they went a dismal 50 games under .500, 15-65. Attendance dropped. Georgia Frontiere, the St. Louis native who brought the franchise to her hometown in 1995, died in 2008 and Kroenke, a minority owner since the relocation from Los Angeles, bought the team two years later.At first, the native Missourian denied any intention of moving. But by 2015, it became clear Kroenke had his eyes on California. In January 2016, despite St. Louis’ proposal to build a $1 billion stadium on the Mississippi River that would have been largely funded with public money, NFL owners OK’d the move back to LA.Turns out St. Louis can hold a grudge. In the shadow of the Gateway Arch, Kroenke and his team are even less popular than the Chicago Cubs, the Cardinals‘ archrival. It didn’t help that Kroenke’s lawyers put together a scathing evaluation of St. Louis as an NFL market on their way out of town.The departure even spurred lawsuits that linger to this day. The St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority http://www.cowboyscheapauthenticstore.com/trysten-hill-jersey-cheap , St. Louis city and St. Louis County alleged in a 2017 suit that the Rams’ move violated a 1984 league guideline that was established after the Raiders moved from Oakland to Los Angeles. That case is still pending. The Rams also recently agreed to pay $24 million to personal seat license holders in St. Louis who filed a class-action lawsuit.Of course, the fact that the Rams got good so fast has been another blow.Randy Karraker, host of The Fast Lane afternoon radio show on 101 ESPN in St. Louis, figures that about 90 percent of St. Louisans are anti-Ram. He’s among them, so much so he can’t even bear to watch the Super Bowl.“It’s impossible to derive pleasure from that game,” Karraker said. “I hate the Patriots for what they have done to football, and I hate the Rams. So it’s a no-win situation for me.”Many ex-fans took to Twitter after the Rams beat New Orleans in the NFC championship game. One wrote that St. Louisans still rooting for the Rams “are the same people who wanna be best friends with their exes.” Former U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill tweeted a meme of the late Bob Ross painting a serene landscape.“This is what I’m watching on Sunday February 3 at around 5:30. For 3 plus hours,” she wrote. “Better than the alternative.”


Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:22 am
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