TITANS INTERIM HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - November 23, 2015
(on if the team started preparing for Oakland today or worked on their own things)
A little bit of both, we introduced Oakland today. They came out here and did some situational football, just competitive on some of the periods to have a good tempo and break a sweat. We worked third down, we worked blitz, worked on the red zone area. A lot of things got back to, again, I know what time of the year it is, but just worked a lot of fundamentals, techniques as well in the individual periods and with special teams.
(on if rehashing fundamentals helps at this time of year)*
You can't get enough of it, especially this time of the year. I know we have three padded practices left, those are important. It's not many, but you really can lose some of the details of your pad level and the fundamentals when those pads come off. So we're still stressing that even today, but this was a good day to have that.
(on if the weekend off helped the team recharge)
I think it helped. I know I feel better just from getting some rest. I know these guys, getting off their feet, getting away from it mentally and physically, they were really flying around here today for a Monday. It can't hurt at all to have that time.
(on his message to the team for the final regular season games)
They know we've got to pay attention to detail these last games. They know what the message is, we've just got to do a better job of finishing games than we have. I told them, there's a lot of good. The one thing you can do is reflect when you're away from it for a couple days. There are a lot of good things going on. There's been improvement in areas with our guys that are playing well and there are some guys that will probably play better for us as we get into the rest of this year.
(on if he thinks about the fact that he is auditioning for the permanent head coaching position)
I think I mentioned this, I'm not sure to who or when, but I'm coaching like I coach the tight ends or I'm an offensive coordinator. This is how I coach. I'm not trying to do anything more than my job, and my job is obviously now to have a little bit more control over other areas, but this is not for any other reason but 'this is how I coach.' I've got plenty to do other than worry about what's going to happen after the year. I've got to worry about the 'now,' right now.
(on if he is optimistic about Kendall Wright's recovery)
Kendall (Wright) came out earlier and ran. Two more days is not going to be a big thing for him to rest, but I'm feeling pretty good about him for this weekend.
(on what Kendall Wright brings to the team that other receivers don't)
He's shown that he has the ability to score when he gets the ball in his hands. I'm not saying those other guys haven't, but he has shown that and we need that. We need some explosive plays that are not just wide open, but maybe breaking a tackle or making somebody miss. Kendall (Wright) has that ability, just big chunks, to move the ball and hopefully put points on the board.
(on if Derrick Morgan will continue to be limited to the pass rush or if he will be ready to do more next week)
Based on the Thursday game and his injury, that was the case for that game. But I think having some time this weekend, obviously 10 days before a game, I think it'll be extended. We'll see how the week goes with him, but that was really the plan for a Thursday night game.
(on if he will explore changes on the offensive line)
We did, because of the extra day we looked at Quinton Spain at left guard, worked him in there a little bit. He and Jeremiah (Poutasi) worked at left guard, again, Joe (Looney) worked at center. Again, an extra day to see what they did when I go in there and watch the tape. We may do a little bit more of that on Wednesday when we put the pads on. That will be another indicator for us to see if we need to do something differently.
(on if Andy Gallik is a work in progress)
Andy (Gallik), he'll tell you, did not play his best game this last game, but Andy has really played well for us. To be thrown into the situation he's been thrown into as a rookie and literally be the guy that's making all the calls with a rookie quarterback, he's done well. He just got beat a couple times in this last game. We're not trying to replace him by any means, we're just trying to look at our best options against who we're about to play, the Raiders this week.
(on what he likes about Quinton Spain)
Size, he's smart. Obviously, hasn't got a lot of experience, but he really works out here, works really hard, and he's gotten better since he's been here. (Offensive line coach) Bob (Bostad) has done a good job with him, so we're just thinking size has a lot to do with it.
(on what reasons fans have to be optimistic)
Hang in there with us. They've got a team that is doing the best that they can trying to win football games. We're very close to winning them, just hang there with us. We are not giving in by any means. There has been no sign of that. We need their support. They've got a team that wants to win worse than they do and a staff that does too, so we'll represent this city and this organization, I can promise you as well as we can.
(on if Bishop Sankey will get more opportunities with Dexter McCluster out)
He'll get more opportunities, yes. I would anticipate (David) Cobb getting more opportunities this game coming up.
(on changes to the return game with Dexter McCluster out)
We're looking at some options. Obviously, you saw what we did, but there are some other guys. Perrish (Cox) has returned punts before, we'll make that decision by the end of the week, but there are some options.
(on if Tre McBride will be on the kickoff return)
A better chance this week than last Thursday, I can say that. He just got his feet wet last week coming up from the practice squad, but there's a good chance that could happen, yes.
(on what he wants to see on the kick return)
Yeah, you're actually right, I felt the same thing. I felt like (the Panthers) were almost inviting us to try to get it past the 20 (yard-line), which was a slap in the face, in my opinion, to that special teams unit and it was addressed. But good decisions is what we're looking for coming out of the end zone. We've got a yard line where we want to be catching and going forward. We don't want to be catching as were stepping back. But we do have parameters of when they come out and when they shouldn't, and that's something that certainly can be better than it's been.
(on if those parameters have not been followed)
It's been very judgmental. I like the guys and I think they think, 'I can do this,' but they've got to understand why we're doing that. As you're retreating, which I hate to use that word, in the end zone, it's hard to get any momentum. You watch those guys, especially that punt against us on Thursday night, he caught that going forward, literally at almost full speed. That's what we want. We want momentum going forward if we can.