TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - Aug. 22, 2016
(on today's short practice)
You like these? Yeah, we got a lot of work in in that short amount of time. It was very good. We got a little Oakland work in with the pads on, and the tempo of it was outstanding by these guys to come out here and do what they did. We got a lot accomplished.
(on if they are working on Oakland to try to win or to get the players used to preparing for opponents)*
Well, I think the objective is to win. I mean we want to win every game, but it is to get them into a routine. That's coaches, as well. That's everybody in the building that's got to get in a weekly routine. There are going to be some things different, as you've noticed. We're going to practice after lunch on Wednesdays, which is new for the last couple of years. It gives them kind of a feel for how long they're going to be in the building, what we're going to cover, when their time is that they can come in or stay after. It's a dry run for everybody, including the travel.
(on the balance of preparing for a preseason opponent that the team will play again in the regular season)
Well, they're a little bit down the line. We'll have plenty of time to game plan again, seeing how other opponents are attacking them. We're not going to do anything that we feel like we want to hold for that regular season. We'll hold it, but we've got to have some kind of a plan to be able to attack and have some success in really all three phases.
(on if the starters will play for three quarters against Oakland)
No, I think they're going to play a half. That's the plan right now. Again, we'll discuss that probably Thursday as a staff, but my initial thought is a half.
(on if he would bring the starters out after halftime to get them in a halftime routine)*
I don't think that's going to be. They've been playing long enough to know how it feels to come out after halftime, so no. That's the original plan right now.
(on how Sebastian Tretola has improved)
He's a little more patient, seeing things a little better—the line games, the stunts that are happening in front of him. They're slowing down a little bit on him, and again, a lot of that's his over-aggressiveness to be physical. He's just got to be patient and let some things unfold in front of him. He's gotten better since he's gotten here.
(on if Sebastian Tretola's patience allows his strengths to come through)
I think it does. He is a physical player in there. He's been very good in the run game for us. It's really been the protections.
(on if it can be a good thing when a player shows he is overaggressive)
It is to a point. Again, obviously in pass protection, you've got to be careful. I mean, there's a lot of moving parts in front of him. You can't stick on one. And again, he's had some issues with it and he will continue to have those until everybody sees that he can stop it. That's like Jack (Conklin) on the right side. Until he stops that inside rush, he's going to keep getting tested with it. No different.
(on if he prefers big offensive linemen like Sebastian Tretola and Dennis Kelly)
I'm not focusing and locking in on just the body type. I know some teams do that. No, it's really I like guys that can come in and pick it up quickly—really intelligent players that can play multiple positions. Body type—that's a plus if we can get it.
(on a reasonable timeline for getting Kevin Dodd back in the mix this week)
They've got a padded practice tomorrow, which he'll get more reps. He'll get more reps on Wednesday with the shells where it's still a fast practice. I'll have a better feel then. But it's hard. This is his first day out here really in the mix of things. It's really too early to tell.
(on if Kevin Dodd needs to get his confidence and conditioning back)
Both. I think you have to get both. I mean, you haven't done really anything in a long time, so I think he's got to get the confidence. I can tell you as I stand here, he's not in game-shape, so we'll have to work him in until he gets to that point.
(on backup linebackers making more plays compared to last season)
I think for everybody it feels a little bit better than we did this time last year. We knew we were in a little bit of a predicament, where we were in this camp at this time going into the season. What happened -- happened. You know, we foresaw it a little bit. I think we feel better about the guys we have. We definitely have depth that we didn't have.
(on how he feels about the roster overall in comparison to last year)
I think we're deeper in some areas.
(on if there are some positions that could still add depth)
Yeah, I think so. I think we still have time -- we still have a couple weeks here. We got a good week of work. We won't be able to do this next week, because it's a short week, but we still have some time to figure out where we are with our depth.
(on how the preseason games have helped this year in terms of getting a variety of different looks)
It's been great. It's been a really good variety of looks. Again, this is another different defense. You can say it's a three-four, (but) it's really not a three-four, it's a five-two. They're going to try and make a lot of match-ups up front with our o-line, so it's totally different from the first two weeks. We get a week at least to see it on tape. Our players will see it, but I like that we're getting all these variations.
(on Jalston Fowler's playing time)
He is in the game plan more. We haven't gotten to some of the things that he's been involved with, but when he's been in there, he's been what we've hoped for.
(on whether Kendall Wright will play this weekend)
I would have to say he'd have to practice by Wednesday to even consider it, but right now I look at him as doubtful.
(on how the second team running backs are looking)
It's pretty tight. I think they've all really shown that they can play at this level. I don't think anybody -- other than the fumble that David (Cobb) had -- I think they've all been very competitive and done very well for what we want to do in the run game. Again, it's going to be a hard decision, but it's a really nice problem to have.
(on how much of a detraction against a player it is to have a fumble)
Well, you have to take it into consideration, especially with the emphasis that was put on turnovers. We knew it was going to rain, we knew the field conditions. Your focus has to go way up, especially -- rain or whatever -- on the minus five yard line, inside your own (redzone), you can't fumble the ball. You just can't do it.
(on how much of how they've played in the past goes into the decision)
That plays into it. That does. Like I've been saying, the special teams will play (a part).(David) Cobb will get more opportunities with the special teams this week than he has, because he needs to show he can play, because Antonio (Andrews) has shown that already. He's returned, he's been a couple different phases. I'm going to give David (Cobb) that same chance, and Bishop (Sankey's) been on special teams. A lot of that, like you said, even from the past will play into part of the decisions.
(on which second team running back is in front)
Well, I think right now ... Antonio (Andrews), because of some of the things he's doing protection wise and the edge. If there is one, it's special teams.
Titans players take the field for Monday's practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)