Marcus Mariota has been the picture of unflappability in his first preseason with the Tennessee Titans.
He bounced back in strong fashion from two early turnovers in the preseason opener. A headset malfunction failed to shake his confidence in last week's victory over the St. Louis Rams.
Although Mariota missed his only two throws of the first quarter in Friday night's 34-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, he completed seven of his final eight passes for a fine 92.6 passer rating in the first half.
The draft's No. 2 overall pick led a pair of second-quarter scoring drives, showing escapability and accuracy under pressure. Perhaps most impressively, he beat a pair of blitzes on a seven-play, 43-yard touchdown drive just before the half.
Through three preseason games, Mariota has completed a robust 19 of 27 passes (70.4 percent) for 252 yards (9.3 yards per attempt).
Those bloated numbers will drop once defenses start game-planning and playing full speed when the games count, but the Titans have to be pleased with the rookie's poise under pressure.
Mariota entered the preseason flanked by relentless hype and excitement. From everything we've seen this month, the optimism in Nashville is justified.