TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - Aug. 5, 2016
(on whether it's too early to judge the players a week into training camp)
I don't think so. I told them I was a little concerned more today than I was about yesterday's practice, and I wanted to see how they were going to come back after a good day, after a day off. Just to say … hey we did good, we pleased you, now I'm just going to get through it. It was our best practice since we've been doing things – OTA's and anything. It was a really good practice. Really physical, [I was] very demanding on them. Again, when I know they'll get some time off – like they won't do anything until tomorrow night, I'm putting them through a little tougher practice, and they responded extremely well.
(on how eager he is to see players in a game-like situation at the stadium practice tomorrow)
I'm anxious to see it. You know, we're going to simulate a game as much as we can. There's going to be a couple goal line periods that are live, but as far as situational, they're going to get a lot of that – like [how] they're out here right now, but a little more in a controlled environment. I'm looking forward to it, especially the rookies.
(on if the stadium practice will help players get into a routine for the first preseason game)
Yeah, we'll do a pre-game warm up. Not exactly the time frame that they'll come in and out, but for the most part we'll get a good dry run of it. Then we'll go in like we will in a real game and then come out and have a halftime. [We'll] try and simulate it, try to get their bodies to adjust ... I've got 10 minutes off, I got to come out and play at a high level immediately again. I'm trying to get as much out of it as I can for these guys.
(on if he was concerned that the defense made a few mistakes during the two-minute drills)
No, the defense made some good plays in that drill too. There was some good things defensively. That's just the case. I've been around long enough [to know that]. Our defense has done a lot of good things. We're making a lot of plays – especially in the secondary – that I'm pleased with. Those were two good drills, and we'll get two more tomorrow night.
(on if LeShaun Sims has been performing well the past two days)
Yeah, he made a good play out here today. He's pretty steady. He's getting better every day. He's getting out here, he's not intimidated by our wideouts and competes every day.
(on if he is pleased with Matt Cassel and his leadership)
He is a leader. He's not trying. That's the way he is. He's very demanding. He knows our offense pretty well – well enough to make sure guys are in the right place, doing the right things. I like how vocal he is. I like the command he has. It's been two back-to-back two-minute drills where it was really done well by both quarterbacks. I was really pleased with that.
(on if the stadium practice helps the new coaches get into a routine as well)
That will be the same for the new coaches. We'll be up in the box. Coaches that'll be up in the box will use the new communication belts that the NFL is using. We'll be on both sidelines. I'll be on the field. I'm going to be from behind, but for the most part, we're going to try to get ready for a game.
(on whether it has been a learning process for Rishard Matthews coming from a new team)
He's done well. He still has his mistakes. Again, he has a lot to learn. We're putting him inside as well, so he's got a lot on his plate for the amount. It wouldn't seem like much, but we still have to cut out some of the things we're doing out there.
(on if likes the speed Rishard Matthews is playing with)
I think so. He hasn't done anything right now to make any changes at that point, but I've been pretty pleased with him.
(on if Tre McBride is doing anything to stand out during camp)
Tre [McBride] is having a good camp. I mean, he's standing out, he's making plays, he's doing some things on 1-on-1. He's making plays on the deep balls. He'll block, and you have to block if you're going to play wide receiver here. Again, his special teams role will be a significant advantage over some of those other guys that don't play. He's having a good camp overall as a wide receiver.
(on some things Tre McBride could work on)
Patience. Not speed up things, be short on routes, get bumped here a little bit, think things have changed. It's about the timing. He's much better. I'm talking about in a year of being so robotic that you can read the route way before it happens. He's being much better about not giving any indicators when he's making breaks. He's getting better, there's no question about that.
(on if putting kickoffs in the corner or out of bounds is a risk-reward situation when trying to pin opponents deep)
It's going to be – again, that's a concern. It's the 25, it's the 40 or, you know, we're looking at it more as a punt now because of the hang time of some of the returns almost being designed like punt returns. What kind of returner do you need? Do you need a kickoff returner or a guy that returns punts, and be able to judge it fairly? Because you're going to have much more body presence on you now with those sky kicks than ever before. Yeah, you've got to weigh the options. It will be interesting how it plays out this year.
(on how Jalston Fowler has done and the fullback's role in this offense)
It's big. You know, we have numerous personal groupings that he's involved with. The fullback has had a big role in the offenses that I've been involved with. Nudie [Jalston Fowler] is your prototype. He likes contact. He's going to hit it. It's going to be a collision every time he hits somebody, and I think that about Nudie. He's just a quiet warrior.
(on if Derrick Henry started faster in practice today)
He started a little faster today, it was interesting. Actually, in the tempo period, he hit it. I talked to him after practice yesterday. Again, I want to make sure I'm not putting guys in position that they're not ready to go. He said, 'No, I just didn't understand it well enough. I do now.' So I don't think that will be an issue anymore.
(on the advantage of having a coach like Russ Grimm when trying to select and unify an offensive line)
Well, I've had the privilege of coaching with Russ [Grimm.] I know how he operates. We're very much similar in our philosophy and our beliefs. Russ likes to have some fun with these guys. It's not a grueling meeting. It's not monotonous. They like going to meetings. They're getting a lot of information that's very simple to take and transfer to the field. He's very demanding, but in a fun way. I think these guys will lay it on the line like– I know, I've been with him.
Titans players take the field for Day 6 of training camp at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)