<
>

Marcus Mariota was not interested in being near the Super Bowl

Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was at the NFL Honors show on Saturday night in San Francisco, but he had no interest in sticking around to watch the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.

“I can’t watch two other teams play for it all,” he said.

Mariota is a big deal, even to Hall of Famers. I saw a big example of that.

Bills Hall of Fame receiver Andre Reed approached Mariota and asked to take a picture together.

Some notes from my red carpet chat with Mariota:

On his sprained right knee which kept him out of the Titans' final two games: “It’s doing better. I’m probably another week or two out. Probably in a couple weeks I’ll start to run.

On controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk becoming more visible: “People will enjoy getting to know her for sure. I think she’s done a great job for the organization. She’s always had the team’s best interest in mind, and every decision they’ve made has really helped us out.”

On the new coaching staff: “To have the continuity [with Mike Mularkey and coordinator-turned-quarterbacks-coach Jason Michael] is huge for our whole team. To have Terry [Robiskie] come in as offensive coordinator, I just had a quick phone call with him but he seems excited. That’s really all you want out of a coach. [Offensive line coach] Russ Grimm has been a part of the game for such a long time, I haven’t seen him yet but I look forward to it.”

On seeing Delanie Walker and Jurrell Casey when they were in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl: “I got to see Delanie and Jurrell. Phillip Supernaw was there and also Kevin Greene was there. We had lunch. They were like two hours north of where I live, but it was good to get out there and see them. It was on me, for us it was a good time to hang out and talk. Oh, they were enjoying themselves. We talked about how the practices were pretty easy and that they enjoyed being in Hawaii, in paradise. [Walker invited Titans tight ends to join him at the Pro Bowl, Supernaw and Greene, a practice squad member, were the ones who were able to go].

On what he’s looking forward to most about what’s next: Just getting back to Nashville, starting a season again. It’s nice to have some time off, but I just can’t wait to get going and get back on he field. It seems like such a long time [until April], it’ll come quicker than we know.”

On the biggest individual focus for 2016: “Taking care of the football. I had a lot of turnovers this year, put the defense in a lot of bad situations. Limit the amount of fumbles, the amount of interceptions, and I can help my team out.”