TITANS INTERIM HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - December 21, 2015
(on Marcus Mariota's injury)
I know there are questions about Marcus (Mariota), I just want to give you where we are at with Marcus. He will be out this week and evaluated again at the start of next week to see where he's at. The injury is basically the same injury as the other knee but less serious. Again, we even had discussions yesterday about putting him back in, but wanted to be overly cautious and smart about it. We're going to do the same thing. Obviously, he's not going to play this week, but we'll reevaluate and see if he can play next week.
(on if there is a chance Marcus Mariota will play in the final game of the season)
There is a chance and again, because of the injury not being to the state of what the other one was, and then the competitive part of Marcus (Mariota). He's a fast healer and hopefully, we'll just see.
(on weighing the risks against the benefits of Marcus Mariota playing in one final game)
Experience, getting experience. As much game experience that he can. He wants to play, I mean, that's the thing, he wanted to play yesterday. He was very frustrated that he couldn't play yesterday. There is nothing like game experience, and again, we certainly will not, if there are any issues, if we have any concerns as we did yesterday, we would not play him if there was any way he was going to not be capable of playing. No way.
(on Zach Mettenberger being sacked seven times in the last game against Houston and how they can prevent that this time)
We've got to obviously do some things different, maybe a lot of things different than we did that previous game. But we're in the process of putting a game plan together right now and how we're going to protect him. That's obviously, I told you guys last week, that's a primary concern – how to protect the quarterback. Everybody is a part of it in each room and we'll look at what happened last time. Obviously, we've got to make some adjustments so it doesn't happen again, but it will be addressed.
(on national reports saying that Marcus Mariota is done for the year)
I just told you from the real source. I would listen to where it's coming from.
(on breakdowns on sacks yesterday)
One was a coverage sack. It was a quick pass and nobody was open. We had to hold it and took a hit. Antonio (Andrews) was responsible for one of them, yes. It was a mistake. We talked about it, addressed it. It was unacceptable, not something that we hadn't practiced or talked about. Then a couple were just beaten one-on-one. Taylor (Lewan) outside there, he just got bull-rushed, just a little bit of technique work, better anchor from his end.
(on how Chance Warmack can correct the mistakes he made yesterday)
He was a little bit on edge yesterday. Again, the fourth-and-one, there was a hole there big enough to get. Regardless of if Chance (Warmack) is there or not, we should have got a first down on that. But just on edge, we talked about it earlier today with the offense about some of the mistakes that we made and addressed it, tried to explain to them. First of all, you're always wondering what they're thinking about when the ball is snapped. If they made a mistake, we wanted to know today what happened when the ball was snapped. We let them explain it to us and it was a very positive teaching atmosphere. We wanted to explain it to them so it doesn't happen again to them, and maybe it doesn't happen to somebody that's playing their positon. I'm talking about next game, next year, whenever. But a lot of it was just technique. The sack, he got too buried down in with the center and when somebody goes away from you, you can expect somebody coming back. He's had enough experience with that, but it was just a simple line game that he did not execute.
(on if he is concerned that Chance Warmack and Taylor Lewan are not playing up to their expectations)
They've played pretty well this whole year. Taylor (Lewan) has played well. I will say that early with the penalties and the things that Taylor did earlier, but he hadn't been playing like that. He did that again yesterday. It's not a concern. It's obviously an issue we had to address. Chance (Warmack) has been solid for the year. Again, I don't see it game after game after game. I've seen progress with both of them, especially with Taylor. This (next) game against Houston, Taylor has got to play better than he did this last game. But it's all been addressed.
(on if players having bad technique is a concentration issue)
It's a little bit of everything. It's maybe some guess work when you've got guys to give you multiple rushes. There are different rushes that come at you and you've studied them on tape. I know (Taylor Lewan) studies his opponent, but you can get caught with the bull when you're expecting something else, and if you're not anchored, you're going to go back. He got bulled yesterday on the sack fumble.
(on if Andy Gallik was taken out of the game because of communication issues)
We had some (communication issues), we definitely had some. We talked about the multitudes of fronts that they had, the personnel groupings that correlated with the fronts. It's not just ID'ing, but it was also how loud the verbal ID'ing was going on. It was not consistent enough, it was not at the level we needed it, so we thought we'd make a change with Joe (Looney) and I'm glad we did it. Obviously, we produced better in the second half than we did in the first.
(on the team's need to start games faster)
Yeah, I said maybe we have to act like we're behind or something in the beginning of the game. Something is different, whether we're feeling our way through the first half. There's always a storm to start. This is when they've got their top 15 plays they're going to throw at you, or they've got the scheme of the week. For example, this is what the Patriots do, they bring out something in the cycle while we're waiting to see and adjusting. Whatever it is, we've got to adjust faster, and we've got to start faster, obviously. But we've got to start the first half like we've been starting the second half these last few weeks. That is, again, playing looser and with a little more sense of urgency.
(on Dorial Green Beckham's performance yesterday)
What I liked about what happened yesterday was some of the throws, Zach (Mettenberger) made some throws that gave him a chance to make a play, contested plays where he's actually covered, and he made some plays on the throws. He has not done a lot of that consistently. There are still growing pains with him as there are with some of those other younger guys. He can't line up on the tight end, illegal formation, things like that, splits. There is enough there that he has work to do, there is no question about it. But I do think he took a step forward yesterday.
(on how Zach Mettenberger has progressed from last year and from the beginning of this year)
I think his body has changed a little bit. He's bigger, obviously he's trimmed down, and he's been in an NFL weight room now. But I think just the experience, even out in practice, has helped. Yesterday, he did some really good things for us. There have been some things I know he'd like to take back and he's got to quit doing, trying to force some of the deeper throws when they're not there. But I thought for the most part, for those throws like to DGB (Dorial Green-Beckham), I thought those were plays that it was good to see he can do things like that.