INTERIM HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT November 20, 2015 **
We had a good meeting this morning with the players. It always is helpful to watch the tape after a game like that. I know how the locker room was yesterday for all of us and I just really understand why more today after watching tape of how they felt, me included. Not good. Really not good. I think a lot was due in part because there was so much good in the game. There was a lot of good, really a lot of good things on tape. The more good you do and don't have success with it, the worse you feel afterwards. But really, I am very, very happy with a lot of things that were going on in all three phases watching that game on tape. It doesn't change the fact that only doing a couple things is going to cost us the game. It's like a broken record, but it is. It's a fact. It's certainly not their effort at all. Their effort is outstanding and it has been. That won't cease, we just have to hopefully find a way to not do some of the things that we've been doing. It's not one guy, not one person here or there, it's somebody though, in these games. **
(on if he'll use the last six games to look at younger players given the state of the team at this point in the season)*
We're in no means of looking at this as it's over, by any means. Not in this division it's not over. We have two wins, the first place team has four wins, and there are six games to go. So by no means are we thinking about altering the course.
(on why he will not alter the course when it's only gotten the team two wins)
Well we've been, we had a chance to win the game last night all the way through three and a half quarters. The point today, bringing them in here today, was to watch the tape, study the tape, learn from the tape, learn how not to lose those games. They know when it's been done right, we're pretty darn good. We're pretty darn good, we've proven that. We've proven it through the whole year, not just the last three games. We've proven we have a chance, regardless of who's playing. Where we are with our roster, where we are with injuries, that's irrelevant. When we are efficient and playing with the effort that we're playing with, we are a good football team. I'm not going to change the message that I've been passing. I never have in my 21 years of coaching, so that's not changing. We do have proof that we are a good football team, and we have to just finish the games.
(on why he will not change things up too much if the team has nothing to lose)
There's not a game that I have coached that I didn't say, 'I wish I would have done this,' coaching tight ends, coordinator, or being a head coach, every single game. It's really easy after the game to say, 'You should have done this, you should have done that.' There is a clear message that is going to these guys and they are following it. We've had chances to win these games, we have just done something and it's been, in this game, just a couple of plays, a brief moment or two plays that changed the outcome of the game. I'm not going to change everything, I'm not going to give them any different message from my end, because there isn't another message they are going to hear. **
(on if the problem with the team is more mental than physical)
I told them on Wednesday night, we haven't started fast in last couple of games. I get nervous about telling a team we really need to start fast, we have to come out of the gates, because then if you don't, then you go, 'Oh, whoah. Here we go again.' But we did need to start fast, and we did. But I want them to play loose, because as soon as you say that, you start fast, you start to tighten up, you start to press, think you need to do things more than you need to do, and they don't need to do that. They need to just be loose and locked in, just like they are in practice. I thought that's one thing we did better in this game. We came out, we had a 10-play drive to open the game, a three-and-out by our defense, we did some things good again. **
(on not making plays down the stretch and what he needs to tell the guys to get over the hump)
** In the game last night, Brett Kern has punted extremely well all year long. He punted well last night. I mean, he has punted as well as anybody in the league. Last night, he does not have a good punt when we need a good punt. Phillip Supernaw played extremely well, had to fill in for (Anthony) Fasano because of an injury, played extremely well, and then because of effort, goes a little harder to try and get two more yards and fumbles the ball. Those are things that you wish you knew were going to happen and you wish you could correct, but those guys have done good things. Just for some reason, it's happened to us game after game.
(on if there is a mentality issue as mistakes keep happening with different guys)
I don't think so, I don't. If I could put a finger on it, I'd fix it, but I don't think it's that. I don't think guys are pressing any more, guys are just playing hard. The thing that these guys in this room and on that field are doing, they're doing the best that they can. Unfortunately, we've had things like Delanie (Walker) last night. Delanie missed a first down with that kind of tackle that would have put us into a four-minute mode offense or may have changed the outcome of the game. You're talking about this much, and in this league, a fine line wins and loses games. I don't feel like they're doing anything different. **
(on if the illegal formation penalty had to do with guys being exhausted on the two-minute drill)
** No we addressed it, we need to clean up some things. We're not getting back to the line of scrimmage as quickly as we can, not getting set up. It's not a very difficult scheme that we have, it's one formation. Antonio (Andrews), we're always telling him to hand the ball to the official and he had a short duck down by Marcus (Mariota) where he caught it and rolled the ball away from the official. Those are seconds that you never know, is there another play we may have? Those are things we've got to get cleaned up. Were they exhausted? Yes. Most cases in a two-minute drill, we've done multiple plays at the end of a game, you're going to get exhausted, but you've got to find a way to get to the line of scrimmage.
(on if Antonio Andrews' slow reaction on the two-minute drill was surprising)
No, we do two-minute drills just like that, and we're always on them about all that. Last week, we had a two-minute drill. Justin (Hunter) caught it and turned up inside instead of going out of bounds. Those are things talked about every single time we do a two-minute drill. Why in the heat of the battle don't they do that? That's something they have to.
(on the illegal formation penalty and why Antonio Andrews couldn't get the ball to the official)
** That's our job to stay on them about it. They see it on tape. A lot of these things that they do, they don't need me to stand up in front of them and go, 'You can't do that.' They already know that. They're professionals. He's a young player. At the moment, I can't tell you exactly what was going through his mind. Maybe he was exhausted. He knew without me telling him that you can't do that. But it is, it's talked about.
(on if Delanie Walker was checked for a concussion when he appeared to hit his head on the wall pads)
* * No, that was more of a neck thing than his head.
(on other team injuries)
Anthony (Fasano) had a bone bruise, doesn't look like it's too serious. I think I mentioned Dexter (McCluster) is more like Kendall (Wright) in regards to a couple weeks, two to three weeks. (Da'Norris) Searcy, a little bit of a hyperextension, I don't think it's as serious. The extra time we'll have off this weekend should be good for him. Blidi (Wreh-Wilson) looks like he should be back again. He'll be in here this weekend with the trainers getting treatment. Kendall, we're hoping we should have him back. We'll have a light practice Monday and just run him good Monday, and then come back Wednesday and put him in there.
(on Brett Kern's punt not being covered effectively)
We were not in the precise lanes, it was kind of a little bit of a domino effect. When one guy gets out, he pushes another one further out of his lane, so we were not clean on the lanes either. But even if the punt, it was a 3.7 hang time, if it's 4.0, our gunners are down there to make a play. That's the difference in the play really, the whole play. Regardless of the rest of the guys, if our gunners were down there to make a play, we'd be close in the vicinity. If it could have hung just a little bit more, we had a chance to make a play with the gunners.
(on his decision to kick a field goal on fourth-and-two)
Well actually, I was told and I thought it was fourth-and-one. Where Marcus (Mariota) got to, I thought it was fourth-and-one, so we called that we were going to run the run and then realized when I looked at the sticks that it was fourth-and-two. We had talked about getting to the 35-yard line to kick a field goal, and that's when I made the decision that if we could get three, get up by a touchdown, and I've seen Ryan (Succop) kick those, I just thought I'd do that there. **
(on being uncertain about where the ball was)
From where it looked like he landed, it looked like it was closer than a yard than two. Not until the stick gets put in there, even upstairs they thought it was one. Not until they placed it did they understand it was two. **
(on calling a timeout before kicking the field goal)
Well I had to use it before if we wanted to kick a field goal, I had to use it.
(on if Antonio Andrews will continue to get more carries than David Cobb)
I think we'll try to get (David Cobb) more carries. Yeah, I do. **
(on David Cobb's performance last night and if his number of carries will expand)
It's really been a long time since he's been in an NFL game. Obviously, the whole regular season, but yeah, I see it expanding. **
(on if David Cobb has to continue to work to get back into football shape)
He hasn't carried the load for an entire game, so I can't tell you where he is right now. But I think the more and more we use him, he'll work himself back into it. **
(on if executing the little things can make a bigger difference)
It's no different from the first time you do it. The first punt, the last punt, (Phillip) Supernaw had a catch earlier. You guys have seen us, we're pretty adamant about ball security. We do a gauntlet drill where we're trying to knock it out every day at practice. You obviously can't simulate a game, but we knew that especially the Jaguars had done a good job of hanging around but getting turnovers late in the game. That was what was, again addressed, and again, we'll keep addressing it and addressing it until it gets corrected. But they knew going in, that's how these guys have hung around and won late in games.
(on if he thinks Marcus Mariota was responsible for getting sacked on the last play of the game)
I think the slip did not help, but the protection was pretty good. If he was going to have time to step up, we had to get all five guys down into the end zone. But he had a chance to step up, now that I looked at it again, I can't tell you immediately after until I see the tape, but DGB (Dorial Green-Beckham) was going to possibly come in at one or two-yard line, and we could have hit him on the in-cut there. But when he slipped, and then we had pretty decent protection, but Byron (Bell) gets tripped up with Chance (Warmack) and his defender, so now we have a free runner and Marcus (Mariota) didn't know about it. I think I'd like to know, if he wouldn't have slipped, what would have happened if he had a clean step up in the pocket. **
(on if Dorial Green-Beckham's timing was off when he had a step on his defender during a play at the end of the first half)
The protection was a quick, three-step drop. It's not a go-route, it's more of a fade because the ball has got to come out. Our tackles are cutting him on the line of scrimmage, so it's more of a fade throw. I think DGB (Dorial Green-Beckham), to be honest with you, looked a little too early, looked almost at the six yards, five to six yards. It's more about a 10-12 yard, and if he gets over the top, throw it over the top. But once he turned around, the coverage really was even with him. Again, those are things we'd like to get better at, especially with him. He's a big target.
(on if Dorial Green-Beckham is still a work in progress)
Yeah, he's still a work in progress. In the two-minute drill, he was probably dragging behind more than anybody. But that's the most he's played all year, probably the most he's played in a couple years. He's made some strides, but still has some work to do. There's no question about that.
(on guys having to fill in on special teams due to injuries and how that has affected punt coverage and kickoff coverage)
Yeah, you worry about it, but a lot of teams have starters playing on special teams. It's something I think is good for them, but you do, especially with some of the positions, the secondary when they're running all over the place, now they're running down on kickoffs and it's a little bit of a concern, but not enough to change that. They've got to play to help us.
(on Cody Riggs' penalties)
Yeah, that hurts, especially running into the returner. I thought he had a chance. I mean, he's a high-effort guy. He was down where we wanted him to be but I thought there was enough time where he could have pulled off. I'm not sure that was a penalty. That was just a brush of the returner, usually you like to see the returner bobble the ball or something, something you have to be disrupted by, but I didn't see that. It was very judgmental. **
(on moving Joe Looney back to center)
We're going to take the weekend, evaluate everything again and take an extra practice on Monday to still talk through things. **
(on if this extra time off will be a good thing)
I think this time will be good for everybody, especially with the bye being where the bye was. Obviously, a short week is very demanding physically and mentally on players and difficult on the coaches because of the work that they put in even from the week prior, so I think everybody needs a little rest, get away and regroup. **
(on Marcus Mariota not having as much success with long balls and if they need him to be more successful on those throws)
We've got to take our shots, we took some shots yesterday with Delanie (Walker) on the one deep over. We tried to hit DGB (Dorial Green-Beckham). We're trying to take some. There were a couple that coverage just didn't lineup. But were taking shots, and again, when you do that you've got to protect the quarterback, but that's not the philosophy of throw deep to open up underneath coverage. We're going to throw it to the receivers' hands and let them make plays, then when they start to come up, then we'll throw it over their head. We're going to throw it deep every game, but that's not the backbone of this offense.
(on if they are getting enough production outside the hashes)
We could use more, but like you said, the guys that have been the go-to guys have been more Delanie (Walker), Kendall (Wright), the tight ends. DGB (Dorial Green-Beckham), when he's had success, they've been more slants and in-cuts and things more inside. You'd like to be able to use the whole field as a weapon but again, based on who you have personnel-wise, it's going to kind of dictate where you're throwing it.
(on what he needs to see out of Bishop Sankey)
I'll tell you, he's worked hard the last two weeks, that's one of the reasons he was up over (David) Cobb last week. He's working very hard in practice but because of numbers and what we're dealing with injuries elsewhere, he was down. We just wanted to give Cobb a chance this week, but he'll be up. He's working hard. He hasn't changed his work ethic.