TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - Aug. 29, 2016
(on how much Kendall Wright and Perrish Cox will play in the fourth preseason game)
It will be a question on Kendall (Wright). It looks like he may have strained (his hamstring) again, a little different area, so I'd pretty much say with the time frame, he probably will not play. Again, we're looking at it. Perrish (Cox) looked good. Perrish did a lot of good things. He had a chance to make a play. I thought he was smart on a play down the sideline—could have probably made the play and came up, jumped for it and came down clean. I thought his ankle looked good.
(on if Kendall Wright reinjured himself today)
(on if Kendall Wright's availability in the season opener is in doubt)
I can't tell you. Again, I don't know enough of the injury yet. I know he couldn't finish practice. With this being a short week, I would doubt he would play Thursday.
(on if Perrish Cox has a chance to play Thursday against Miami)
I think based on what I watched—again, I'll watch it on film more—but I think there's a good chance he'll play Thursday.
(on if Kendall Wright had not fully recovered from his previous injury)
Well, we wouldn't have put him out here. We're not going to put him out here if we think there's anything. Again, he was going to take limited reps, which he did. He took limited reps. He took shorter routes. Really the way we monitor him is the way we do everybody. It was a short route that he came up lame.
(on how Perrish Cox's return helps the secondary)
Well, I think our two starting corners—I really haven't had them even going back to the middle of last year. So it'd be nice to have those guys work together and see the results when we do.
(on if Perrish Cox will return from injury as a starter or will battle for the spot)
No, I think up to the point he was injured, he was playing at a very high level and had earned that right. He will start.
(on if Perrish Cox will play more on Thursday night than other starters)
Yeah, I probably will. Maybe a quarter just to get some play time. Again, his injury is not like Kendall's (Wright). Kendall has missed five weeks. That's a lot of football conditioning wise time, too. So Kendall probably would have played more, but that won't be the case now.
(on other wide receivers stepping up in Kendall Wright's absence)
Yeah, I mean we've played three games without him. We've operated pretty well. Obviously, we'd love to have him back. It's another weapon that we feel can keep teams off balance. But we've been efficient. Up until this last game, we were good on third down. So I think the way we've handled it personnel wise and the way we've schemed things, we've been OK without Kendall (Wright). We would like to have him back, though.
(on the frustration of Kendall Wright's injury)
It's probably as frustrating to him as anybody, but yeah. That's a long time—five weeks for a hamstring—so you certainly would think we could have gotten him back by now.
(on planning out the starters' playing time verses what Miami plans to do)
It's like last Saturday. We were going to play a half. Their plan was to play into the third quarter. So we had our second group going against their first group. You know, that's good for us. That was their plan. I'm not going to make any silent agreements with anybody. I haven't done that before. I'm not going to start now.
(on if he plans for the starters to play one series)
I think that's still the plan, yeah.
(on the offensive line's chemistry
It's pretty good. Again, we watched the game again this morning as a group. To watch them, especially that first unit, I thought they really played well. I thought the protections—they had a tough duty. They had a lot of one-on-one situations and they had some things they had to do in the run game with combination blocks. I just thought they played well against a good team and had a lot of good communication up front.
(on making roster decisions between young, unproven players and veterans who might be declining)
I don't know. That's a discussion—there's a lot of factors that play into it. I know I say it all the time, but does special teams have any value to it? It may. There's a lot of factors that go into it, from everything they do here, during meetings—everything will play a factor. Whoever has the edge in everything will get the roster spot.
(on the mood of the locker room this week during roster cuts)
I didn't notice it. It was a little quiet. I made the announcement this morning of who we waived. Again, I've kept them aware of everything we're doing roster wise. I think it's important they know that before they hear things. A little quiet, but again, when you come out to the practice field, you'll get a pretty good evaluation of how they're affected. Really for a Saturday night game, to come out here and practice like they did with the pads on, I didn't see anything. They're still moving forward.
(on if players on the roster bubble can help themselves with a good performance on Thursday)
Well, we have a lot of people still to move. We have a lot of players we've got to still move. Yeah, there's some decisions we have to make that will be made based on Thursday night.
(on Marcus Mariota's success with the pump fake when he scrambles)
Yeah, I mean because if you've seen some of our schemes even going back to last year, he will throw it. I mean he has thrown it. We have a pitch relationship in a lot of our plays with guys out there, so he has thrown that. You're in a catch 22 if you're the defender. It's not good either way.
(on if the lateral from Marcus Mariota to Harry Douglas was scripted against Oakland)
No, there are those plays that are in designed plays, but that was not one of them. That was just him doing that in his career. He said, 'Hey, I felt like I was at Oregon again,' with the pitch relationship and making a guy miss. There's usually not this much open space in the NFL to do things like that, and so I trust him to make the right decision when he does that.
(on if he trusts Harry Douglas to receive a pitch like that)
I trust Harry (Douglas), yes.
(on the benefit of playing the starters for only one series versus not at all)
Not playing for two weeks—to me, even if it's a handful of snaps, I think you get into a routine of getting ready to play a game, getting their minds right, getting ready to play again. It's not just the snaps. It's the preparation. It's what they're doing right now in a short week. I mean they've got to do a lot more off the field now this week than any week they'll have all year of getting prepared to play Miami. Even though we're not scheming it, they've got to watch film. We don't want to have a letdown, so they've got a lot of work to do. If they know they're not playing, you're not going to get what we had out here today in this practice.
(on if the NFL weighs in on wanting starters to play some of the game due to ticket sales)
You know what, I haven't even thought about that. I haven't even thought that far. I've just thought what's best for our team, but I may get a phone call. I don't know.
(on how much they will prepare for the Vikings this week)
We've watched the Vikings a good bit through this whole offseason and will probably watch them more this week. We've got a weekend to prepare. We'll have more time. You've got to be careful, too. You can put too much in when you have extra days.
(on if the coaches will game plan over the weekend)
Yeah, we'll start Sunday.
(on if weather could have an impact on Thursday's game)
It could. I think it could. We did a wet ball drill out here. We tried to soak the ball down before each snap just to kind of get prepared if we have some bad weather.
(on how much weather impacts how they evaluate players)
No, I mean you've got to evaluate based on the situation you're in. There's nothing you can do about it. You've still got to make evaluations on them. They're playing in the same weather, same surface and everything as we are.
(on if they have schemed less on defense than offense in the preseason)
Less (on defense). I'd say less. I wouldn't say far less, but I'd say definitely less than we have. And offensively, again, we have plenty out there still.
(on if he will play the starters more if the opening series goes three-and-out)
That will be a series.
(on if he will play the starters less if the opening series goes for 10-plus plays)
That will be a series, as well. That will be it. That's exactly the thought.
(on why he is comfortable putting trick plays on film in the preseason)
Because I know teams better be prepared for everything, and we have plenty more. We have lots, OK. So those are plays that we thought, based on the surface—we knew the rush and the clay surface, we knew they're not a blitzing team—there's a lot of things that we felt like just being there, where their line had to rush in the dirt, we might have a better chance of getting the ball off there than we would here. Who knows, we may have another one here for them. But I know one thing, they'll be aware of it. Their rush will have to be aware of something like that when they come back in a month.
(on if it is beneficial to show those plays)
There's nothing negative about showing it. We were trying to score a touchdown to win the game in Week Three of the preseason, but there's nothing negative about showing that because we have enough. We have plenty.
The Tennessee Titans battle the Raiders in Week 3 of the 2016 preseason in Oakland. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)