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Titans at Bills NFL Week Five Inactives

Here’s today’s inactives for the Bills matchup at home against the Titans

Titans

QB Austin Davis
RB Dalyn Dawkins
DE Matt Dickerson
OT Dennis Kelly
OT Aaron Stinnie
S Kenny Vaccaro
LB Wesley Woodyard

Bills

OG Ike Boettger
S Rafael Bush
S Micah Hyde
CB Dontae Johnson
OT Conor McDermott
RB Marcus Murphy
OG Wyatt Teller

New Titans CB Malcolm Butler Not Happy with His First Few Games in Tennessee

The Titans signed cornerback Malcolm Butler to a five-year deal this offseason, but the cornerback has struggled in his first four games with his new team.

The issues are rooted in some of the basics of his position, Malcolm Butler insists. Things within his control, Erik Bacharach of the Tennessean reports.

“Eye control, fundamentals,” the Titans cornerback said, shaking his head. “Just a lot of stuff I’m beating myself on.

“It’s very frustrating. I know it’s frustrating to the fans. (It’s) going to get better, man. It’ll get better.”

“It’s eye control and awareness,” Butler said before elaborating. “Just having your eyes on your man instead of the quarterback. Just something I got to work on and stop being so aggressive and let plays come to me instead of going to plays.”

It was the fourth touchdown pass Butler has allowed in as many games this season, his first with the Titans (3-1), who next play the Buffalo Bills (1-3) on Sunday (noon, CBS).

“Just got to play smarter,” said Butler, who had 10 tackles and a sack against the Eagles. “Not get beat, man. It’s things I’m doing on my own. It’s things I can fix. Just got to keep playing and just keep swinging my way out of the slump. I’ve got to keep swinging.”

Video: Titans Grind Out Overtime Win Over Super Bowl Champion Eagles 26-23

Titans Coach Mike Vrabel Says Marcus Mariota’s Status Hasn’t Changed

Titans coach Mike Vrabel told reporters quarterback Marcus Mariota’s situation has not changed, and the team will not rush him back into the starting lineup.

Vrabel said the status of Mariota, who has had trouble gripping a football since injuring his elbow in the season opener, “is probably the same as it was Friday or Saturday,” which is when the team decided Blaine Gabbert would start Week 2 against the Houston Texans. Gabbert finished 13 of 20 for just 117 yards and a touchdown but led a game-winning field goal drive in the final minutes.

“There’s some things (Mariota) can do, and there’s some throws that he can’t really comfortably make,” Vrabel said. “It could be something that actually … gets better overnight, and it gets better tomorrow. So that’s kind of where we’re at. We’re waiting to see, and every day is a new day.”

New Titans CB Malcolm Butler is Over the Questions About Not Playing in the Super Bowl in February

Malcolm Butler is getting used to hot chicken, but the process has been gradual.

“Might eat a little hotter next time,” the Titans cornerback said, “but I’m going to take my time.”

Butler has embraced his move to Nashville, and, in a larger sense, a change of scenery. It helps with turning the page, though Butler will tell you he did that months ago, Erick Bacharach of the Tennessean reports.

“I’ve been turned the page,” he said. “Probably a week or two after the situation.”

Butler, a former New England Patriot and offseason acquisition by the Titans, still can’t escape the questions, though.

Why were you benched for last season’s Super Bowl? Why did Patriots coach Bill Belichick not play you for the biggest game of the year after having you start 15 games in the regular season and two in the playoffs?

“I most definitely get tired of (the questions),” Butler said. “Every reporter shooting their shot when they know they’re going to get the same answer. But, you know, everybody wants to know, and what I tell everybody is just ‘coach’s decision.’ And I’ve moved on. I’m a Tennessee Titan and I’m glad to be one.”

“Malcolm’s got a lot to prove,” Titans secondary coach Kerry Coombs said. “Malcolm’s a competitive guy. He competes at everything he does. He wants to win at everything he does, he wants to win at every rep and he wants to let you know when he beats you. And I love that about Malcolm.”

Like all those Super Bowl questions, Butler uses a repeated answer to inquiries about his intensity in practice.

“I’m real motivated.”

Titans Not Sure if OT Jack Conklin Will Be Ready to Go in Week One

It is “too early” to say whether Titans right offensive tackle Jack Conklin will be ready for Week 1 of the regular season according to Jim Wyatt of titansonline.com.

Conklin missed OTAs due to January ACL surgery and will likely start training camp on the active/PUP list. The 8th-overall pick in the 2016 draft out of Michigan State, Conklin was one of the top pass-blocking right tackles in the league before going down in the playoffs. The Titans have a proven backup in Dennis Kelly if Conklin isn’t back for Week 1.

New Titans OC Matt LaFleur’s Goal in OTA’s? To Make QB Marcus Mariota Comfortable

The Titans have a new offensive coordinator in Matt LaFleur entering 2018, and his main goal in early mini camps is to make sure quarterback Marcus Mariota knows what he’s doing in terms of learning the teams’ new offense.

Mariota is busy learning his latest NFL offense, and knows that it will be maybe the biggest offseason story line for the Titans as he gets set for his 4th season in the NFL.

“I’m just trying to grasp everything,” Mariota said Tuesday. “You don’t want to be opinionated on something that you have never run. I just try to go out there and execute, and do what they’re asking me to do. When we come back and we have to determine some of these things, and determine what we like and what we don’t like, I’ll definitely express my opinion.”

That’s exactly what LaFleur expects, even if he’s learning that getting the polite Mariota to speak up isn’t always easy.

“He’s an extremely bright guy,” LaFleur said. “He’s picked it up pretty quickly. Again, I think it’s more or less just having that confidence in being able to go out there and not think so much when he’s playing. So the more reps he’s been getting, the better he’s been doing.”

Having Marcus happy, and having the Titans firing all the way around on offense could lead to some big success for Tennessee in the 2018 season.

Titans QB Marcus Mariota Working on His Footwork This Summer

Marcus Mariota is coming off his worst statistical season as a pro, a year in which he threw more interceptions than touchdowns.

He’s spending the offseason trying to correct that – by focusing on his feet, Jason Wolf of the Tennessean reports.

The Titans’ franchise quarterback has been working to widen his stance when throwing, altering his passing mechanics with the idea that greater balance leads to greater accuracy.

“It’s tough because it’s hard to break old habits,” Mariota said during the Titans’ first of three weeks of organized team activities at Saint Thomas Sports Park. “I think for a long time I’ve been playing with such a narrow base. If I’m able to accomplish, really, that goal of mine, to stay in a good solid base throughout, I think I can make a lot of the throws that are asked of me in this offense. As I continue to be out here, I’ve just got to continue to be mindful of it and find ways to just self-correct and just get better.”

Mariota said he began working on his footwork in February in California, and has continued to focus on developing a wider base with the blessing of the Titans’ new coaching staff.

The alteration has been endorsed by offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur and quarterbacks coach Pat O’Hara.

And the practice is long established.

“Quarterbacks in general, when you have a base, there’s a lot less moving parts, and it allows you to throw more accurately,” LaFleur told The Washington Post in 2010, when he was the Redskins’ quarterbacks coach, for a story about how he was working to improve the passing mechanics of Donovan McNabb.

The improved mechanics might, at times, repress his urge to scramble. Not only does remaining in a wider stance improve his accuracy, but also the speed at which he’s able to release the ball.

“I think the ball comes out a little faster,” Mariota said. “I think if I’m in a narrow base, it takes me an extra second to get to that (wider) base to be able to throw the football. If I’m in a good solid base (to begin with), I can throw at any point in time and make the throws on time.”