Marc Mariani played his first real National Football League game on the famed turf of Seahawks Stadium in the summer of 2010.
Now he's set to begin his third season with Tennessee Titans in exactly the same place, as the Titans take on the Seattle Seahawks Saturday night at 8 p.m. M.S.T. in the preseason opener for both teams.
What's different this time around for Mariani is the fact he's no longer a player just hoping for a chance to make the Titans' roster. While it's never a sure thing, this trip to Seattle has Mariani as a veteran kick returner, a former Pro Bowler and a Titans' player with plenty of NFL experience.
But, once again, Mariani is out to prove himself, just as he was when he played against the Seahawks in August of 2010. Mariani comes into Saturday night's preseason game looking for more reps at wide receiver, and looking for more passes to come his way.
Mariani, while a shoe-in to be the Titans' kick returner again this season, is in fact a wide receiver, and he's hoping to become more of a focus in the new-look Titans' offense this season.
That focus begins Saturday night as preseason reps become so important for players like Mariani, who are looking for an increased role with the team.
Mariani has been impressive in his role at receiver thus far in training camp. Monday, the Titans held a joint practice with the Atlanta Falcons and Mariani led all receivers in catches for the workout. He also caught the attention of head coach Mike Munchak, who said Mariani has been impressive both in the offseason program and thus far in training camp.
“There was a time where I put so much pressure on myself, it wasn’t clicking as well as it should,” Mariani told the Tennessean “I am just out here having fun. … I am trying to get better every day and do all those things, but I am just having fun and trying to play fast and trying to play with confidence.”
Saturday's preseason opener between the Titans and Seahawks is set for 8 p.m. M.S.T. The game can be scene live on the NFL Network.