TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - Oct. 17, 2016
I'll give you, just like I did last week, an injury update. Really nothing too serious from the game. Maybe (Anthony) Fasano will be a little limited with an ankle on Wednesday—got rolled up on (his) ankle. And Cody Riggs and, hopefully, Al Woods should be ready to play this week, so we should be at full strength.
(on if Brice McCain was injured)
No, nothing serious. I mean, there's bumps and bruises and some of those things. There may be some guys limited on Wednesday, but I don't foresee anybody being held out right now.
(on the value of having back-to-back wins)
It helps, it certainly does. That's something they don't have to hear being talked about anymore. I mean, it was good for us. It was a good win, but it was a good step. I think I said it yesterday, it was a good step forward. We've got a lot to clean up. We got a lot done today watching this tape. We had a lot to teach off of this tape, but it was a good win for us.
(on teachable moments from the win)*
Yeah, and there were lots. I told them this morning that there's no greater teaching tool than game tape. A lot of teams with the Victory Monday's—and those are coming ahead as we get down the road—but the one thing you lose when you do that, you lose the ability to teach off that tape. You don't have the time because you're already into the next opponent on Wednesday. It was important we came in here today, and there's some things we definitely could have done better that I think may have produced more for our team so it wasn't the game we had yesterday. Again, we've got work to do.
(on what allowed the long touchdown play to Kendall Wright to work)
Well, up front, we blocked it very well. That was the biggest key. It's a hard roll one way. I mean, if you watch the way it unfolded with the protection almost identical to what happened in practice where Marcus (Mariota) had to avoid and really good movement in the pocket, but really the route is designed for Kendall (Wright) to run as fast as he can and be careful how early he looks for the throw. It was later than practice. It was earlier than we still wanted, but when you're running with your head turned, obviously you're not running at full speed. Terry (Robiskie) was just trying to say, "Look, this is where the ball's going to land when Marcus lets it go. This is the point let's start looking for it, and it should match up to where you ought to catch it on the run." I'm glad we went through it. I sat in here with Terry (Robiskie) and Kendall (Wright) on Thursday, I think it was, and it was pretty much on the mark. We missed it by literally a foot or two in practice, but it was a good coaching point by Terry.
(on Terry Robiskie and Kendall Wright's relationship)
Yeah, Terry's (Robiskie) a long-time receiver coach in this league. It's important to him. He's involved with the receivers a lot just by nature. He likes coaching these guys, and I think he has a good relationship with all of them. He's a tough coach.
(on if he thinks Kendall Wright will be able to maintain this level of productivity)
I certainly hope that's the case. I would think that certainly is going to give him a lot of confidence going into these games, plus game planning, as well, getting him more involved.
(on how Kendall Wright's productivity can help open up the offense)
It should help. I think Delanie (Walker) was not involved a lot yesterday. I think that helped Kendall (Wright). That helped a lot of things. I mean, the touchdown to Rishard (Matthews), if you watch that play, Delanie was like a magnet pulling the safety and the backer to where this hole was created for this route to develop to Rishard. A lot of that was double coverage on Delanie. If you can start having some guys be productive in other areas, then it's hard to cover one guy and take one guy out of the game.
(on Tajae Sharpe's development)
He's still a rookie. He's still learning the game. There's some things, again, like he speeds up a lot of things in games. I want him to just continue to get better as he's been doing. I mean, you'd like to get him the ball more yesterday. The progression and the coverage didn't allow that. But, again, he's still in the plan when we game plan.
(on if Tajae Sharpe's recent development pace is unusual)
I think it's a little unusual. Usually you see a steady progress. He's kind of—I said this a couple weeks back—taken a step back. He works extremely hard in practice to try to fine tune his game, but when it comes to the game, I need to get him to transfer what he does in practice right over to the games where there's no missed targets, missed depths, releases—all those things. Again, this is his sixth start in the National Football League, and every start, every play is a bonus and a great teaching tool for him.
(on if Marcus Mariota's decision to throw across his body is a common theme in his interceptions)
He's hit some, that's the problem. Like we said yesterday, that ball's completed to Kendall (Wright), and we're all over jumping on him, "Great play, this is Marcus Mariota, he can do things anywhere." But the risk is not worth the reward, obviously, because you've seen what's happened more than not. Just throw it away and live for another down, so that's what he's being instructed to do.
(on the difficulty for a competitive player like Marcus Mariota to not take risky throws)
Well, I think it's tough until you do this, and then you see the results when you do do it. That's any quarterback in the league, it's typically not a good decision to throw it back across your body across the field. Odds are not good in your favor.
(on if Marcus Mariota saying his deep passes were slightly overthrown)
He threw those two passes yesterday the same place he threw them in practice. And just like I told him in practice, throw them to the same place in practice. With adrenaline, with everything that goes into a game, it's amazing how much faster—but if you looked at it, again, Kendall's (Wright) was a great, great play. A great play. But if he'd have ran a little bit faster or without turning his shoulders back, he probably would have ran right underneath that throw. Rishard (Matthews) came out of the route, the top end of the route, and he slowed up just a little bit to where he had to burst again to make a phenomenal catch. I mean, the throws were there. The possibility of catching it on the run was also there.
(on if Marcus Mariota's run on the first play from scrimmage was designed to get him involved immediately)
No, you know, we spend a lot of time on the top 15 plays. We certainly spend a lot on the first two, because they're most definitely going to be called, unless we're backed up on the one-yard line. So we want the first two plays to be productive plays to get us, hopefully, a first down, not into a third down on the first series. So we felt like that play had a chance to pop. Did we know for 40 (yards)? No, but we thought it had a good chance. It was well-executed. Delanie (Walker), really, and Anthony Fasano and Dennis Kelly at the point made that play happen. They just blocked it very well.
(on the last time he was a part of team that had six sacks in consecutive games)
Phew, I don't know. I can't remember. I mean, it's been a long time. It's great to be a part of it, though, but I can't tell you if I've ever been a part of that.
(on if the pass rush becomes more difficult when facing Andrew Luck)
Yeah, there's some of those guys in this league you know, like (Ben) Roethlisberger, Cam (Newton). I think (Andrew) Luck's the same way. You've got to bring him down. You need more than one. But it has been an issue for us since I've been here.
(on Andrew Luck's ability to break containment)
He will break containment and be a serious threat if we do not do our jobs better than we did yesterday.
(on if he watched the Colts-Texans game)
I watched the end of it. That's the NFL. It's never over. It's really never over in this league. Just the standings, again, (it's) really out of our control what else goes on around the league other than what we have to do on Sunday.
(on if the cornerbacks have performed well)
I think they've played well. We've had some challenges. I mean, again, size was a challenge this week. We've had something different every week we've had to try to control. For the most part, our guys have done a very good job of it. Nothing's changing this week coming up with T.Y. Hilton with his vertical speed.
(on if he was concerned with the cornerback position coming into the season)
No, because I hadn't seen either one of them together starting consistently together. Really, I hadn't seen them at all. So I just felt like let's have some games together where they can get some time together, and the more we're playing, the better we're playing.
(on if he feels the same about Antonio Andrews' penalty after watching film)
I do. I feel it was a clean hit. That's what's being taught—shoulder-to-shoulder, nothing dirty, nothing that's going to get us in trouble penalty-wise, or we don't want to injury anybody, obviously. That's not the intent. It was just a clean block. He's going to make the tackle, and we're going to block him.
(on if it looked like a shoulder-to-shoulder hit)
(on if it is hard to see the hit clearly, even when slowing it down on film)
No, I don't think so. As I said yesterday, because of the violence—you're talking about two players running full speed—because of the way the hit happened, the heads are going to snap back regardless of where he's hit. And that's what I think they saw. I was told, again, they're going to err on the side of caution, and I don't disagree with that.
(on if he puts more emphasis on the upcoming game because the Colts have been at the top of the division for many years)
We take them all pretty seriously. I think Houston's been that team here in the last couple years that's taken over. Indy for a long time. Houston kind of put their foot down and said we're going to be that guy. I think right now, there's a battle for who that's going to be. No, every one of them is important.
(on why Kevin Byard took more snaps than Rashad Johnson)
Not designed, just the rotation of what they had in the game personnel-wise offensively. Kevin (Byard) played extremely well. Kevin's been playing well for us all year. Really, the safety position has been playing well. That's not purposely designed to get him more than any other reason but for what they were doing.
(on if he reached out to Jordan Poyer in the hospital)
I have not yet, no.
(on how Taylor Lewan has played this season)
He's been very consistent in everything—run blocking, pass blocking. I think he's been outstanding for us. Everything he's doing, pulling around—I mean, his guys, they don't make a lot of plays, and he's doing it with a lot of finish and aggresiveness. He's doing exactly what we want.
(on if he has seen Taylor Lewan maturing)
I see that every day. I saw that in the offseason the way he came in to work every day. There's no nonsense, didn't say a lot and very productive in everything we did starting in mid-April when we had them in here.
(on if the stat that Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin have not given up a pressure or quarterback hit this year is accurate)
That would seem accurate to me. I'd like to keep that going if we can.
(on if that statistic is remarkable for six games into a season)
Yeah, it is, because the last couple years, it hasn't been the case. But it does feel that way. I mean, both those guys, again, played well yesterday.
(on Jack Conklin's consistency)
He's been that way since the day he's been here. He was put in that position with an injury to (Byron) Bell, and nothing has been different since the day he stepped in that position.
The Tennessee Titans take on the Cleveland Browns in Week 6 action at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)