Off script, Marcus Mariota and Titans offense not as crisp

While he still hasn't thrown an interception, Marcus Mariota was erratic in off-script sessions during Monday's practice. AP/Mark Humphrey

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans didn't start using a play clock much until last week but it's fully fired up now for Marcus Mariota and the offense as they get closer to Friday night’s preseason opener in Atlanta.

Monday also featured a lot less scripting. Only two of six or seven offensive periods followed preordained scripts. The rest of the work was on-the-fly reaction to play calls from Ken Whisenhunt.

"I think the hardest thing for him right now is there is no real call sheet," Whisenhunt said of his rookie quarterback. "When we get to a game, and just from the time I've been around him, the way he operates, he'll know those cold. So most of the time once you start to say the play, he'll be able to pick it up.

"Right now, cause you're just kind of picking them out of the air, it's pretty difficult. So sometimes, he has to get it a second time, which I understand. So far he's done really well."

In his ninth practice, Mariota was 10-for-20 without an interception. He had a couple poor incompletions, had balls batted down by Brian Orakpo and Ropati Pitoitua, and threw a couple passes away.

Through nine practices, in 7-on-7 and full team periods, he is 99-for-160 (.619).

The Titans offense didn't do great work on all the situational stuff.

When they cranked up noise for 12 plays, they jumped offside twice. The first-team offense had some difficulty working with its back close to its own goal line. Given 18 seconds to get the team in field-goal range from the other side of midfield, Hakeem Nicks dropped Mariota's pass up the right sideline.

Some other notable things out of practice:

  • During a four-minute drill, where the offense seeks to sit on a lead and maintain possession, the No. 1 offense went against the second-team defense and vice versa. It was the first time all camp it wasn't ones against ones and twos against twos and Whisenhunt said it was for a change up as much as anything.

  • Byron Bell, currently the starting right tackle, played left tackle as Taylor Lewan got a day off. Rookie Jeremiah Poutasi, who could challenge Bell on the right side, worked there on the starting line.

  • Cornerback Jason McCourty has a slight groin issue and the Titans have decided to be super conservative while looking at young corners. One of them, Blidi Wreh-Wilson, has a high sprain of his left ankle from Saturday's practice at the stadium and said he's hopeful he'll be back next week. He's in a cast and on crutches for now. Undrafted rookie Cody Riggs worked at right cornerback in the first-team nickel package.

  • Nose tackle Sammie Hill did some individual work in his first day off the PUP list.