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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.”

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