TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - September 11, 2017**
(on the team's injuries)
Johnathan Cyprien will probably be out for a few weeks with a hamstring injury. Tye Smith had a hand that was broken, we'll see if he'll be available for next week. We're still making some decisions on how to handle that. We should have LeShaun Sims back, that's kind of the plan, for next week.
(on if he expects safety Da'Norris Searcy to step in for Johnathan Cyprien)
Yes. Fortunately, we have some depth at that position with Curtis Riley as well. We have some depth there. That's one of the positions we kept for special teams, and so we've got some guys there that can step in and have some experience.
(on what outside linebacker Kevin Dodd can do to improve and be active for the next game)
Well I think he's gotten better. He has worked to get better. As limited as he was last year with that foot (injury) and to come in here, to me, he got better and better. Right now we're just at a point (where) that plays more of a factor, the special teams part of it does, than his role, the number of limited plays he'd have in that role, playing outside. If we needed that outside rusher for some reason, we had to call him up, I'd have no issues with him going in there and being effective.
(on playing three outside linebackers on the field at the same time)
Just a different package that we hadn't used before. Just another way to get three very good pass rushers in a different variety of positions to rush.
(on if he was happy with what he got out of the snaps where three outside linebackers played)
Yeah I think we were.
(on if there have been conversations about the weather in Jacksonville and how it might impact Sunday's game against the Jaguars)
I really have not had anything with anybody that would be making the decisions with that. I don't know exactly what their situation is right now. I haven't heard anything from there. I've been trying to find out some things with the home I have down there, other than that I think they're still in the middle of the storm right now, so I really don't know.
(on how his home in Jacksonville is doing)
Wet, I know that, unfortunately. Everybody where the house is has been evacuated, nobody can go back across the intercostal. Nobody knows.
(on if he has family in Florida)
Yes, my son is down there. He's been evacuated. My wife's folks are down there. They've weathered the storm, they're doing good. It's been very concerning.
(on how the team prepares with the uncertainty of where they will be playing)
We're going to have some weather, that's what I have to deal with. With practice, obviously we've got the bubble to go into. You really can't worry about where you're going to play. We're going to go where we have to play, that's really up to the NFL. I would anticipate us playing down there.
(on when the deadline is for deciding on if the game has to be moved)
I don't know that, I really don't know that. Those are things that I will find out if it gets to that point, but I don't know that.
(on when would be the best time for him to find out if the game is being moved)
Middle of the week would be fine. We're going to go as scheduled, our normal week. Nothing would change for us obviously if they switched the games. We'd have to maybe find a hotel because I know we don't have one right now for this weekend.
(on if wide receiver Taywan Taylor would have played more had the game gone differently)
No, we had our personnel packages, he was involved in a number of them, but it's hard to get them all in there and get them quality reps. Maybe that's different this week, we'll see how we want to put the game plan together. He did some good things for the limited reps he had.
(on what he liked and didn't like after watching film of the game)
It's really interesting to look at the statistics. I'm not sure in all the years I've been in the league have I ever seen a game (where) it almost looked like they copied and pasted from one side to the other, the numbers. Where you're seeing the difference in the game, because there's really nothing glaring that says 'this is why they won and this is why we lost.' There were some areas they scored two out of the three times they were in the red zone, we scored one of the three times. They made all of their field goals, we missed one of our field goals. I thought they tackled better than we did, and they broke tackles better than we did. I think even the special teams, we needed to get better there. There was a difference there, I thought they were better at that phase. If you look at the game, it's eerie how close it was with everything, it just came down to a matter of a few plays. They made some plays, and I said it last night, that we didn't.
(on how the similarity in stats changes the discussion after the game)
I think it makes it so much more frustrating, and that's the NFL every week, it's such a fine line. Teams win every week. That score doesn't really show how close of a game it was, and we knew it was going to be a close game going into it, it has been every time we play these guys. But it is a fine line, and you've got to make some of those plays that put you over that line, and we failed to do that.
(on the team's special teams unit)
Yeah I'm not giving up hope on our special teams. I'll tell you this, and Steve Hoffman said this this morning, he's not been around a group, and I haven't either, that has the energy that this group has. They're so into the game. We were so efficient with having our guys ready. Again, there's a lot going on this year with the time clock and the game trying to be sped up. They've got to be there, they've got to be on the sideline, they've got to be ready to go. There's a lot of energy and their effort is without doubt outstanding. Where we've got to get better is the details of where they're supposed to be, how they're supposed to hit double teams, the little things. Each one of them doing their own thing and trusting that the other guy is doing their job, and that's where we didn't do that yesterday.
(on Brynden Trawick's approach to going after a punt)
Little fine details in that that he may not have had to be blocked, he was blocked into the punter, which is not a foul. But if we were more efficient of how we were supposed to rush outside of him there would've been a bigger lane. Those are little things that people don't see. We did it another time and Daren Bates almost got a blocked punt. We did it right to that side and he had more room to get in there and we were again this close to getting another blocked punt. The little things may have gotten us a clean blocked punt yesterday.
(on the run-pass imbalance during Sunday's game)
Little bit more of the late. We went into no huddle there in the third quarter, late in the third quarter and early fourth. A lot of that is dictated (by) throwing the ball more than running the ball. Obviously, two-minute is definitely you're going to throw the ball more. You have to look at all of the third-down snaps we had and factor all of those in and then balance out to see where your run-pass ratio is.
(on if cornerback Tye Smith could have made an adjustment to recover the onside kick)
He's going to take out that guy that got the ball kicked to him.
(on if Tye Smith did enough on the onside kick play)
We would have like to have him go down, I know the guy was down low, but we wanted him to go down and take him out and try and disrupt him getting the ball.
(on if safety Da'Norris Searcy was supposed to recover the onside kick)
(on if wide receiver Corey Davis played in more snaps than anticipated)
No, I don't think so. I think it was pretty close to what we though he'd play. You have him playing with so many different personnel groupings when you go in and I think that's about where we were. I think it showed probably him too that he's got some work to do getting in shape and playing as much as he did yesterday. If he had some mistakes they were later in the game than they were early in the game, when he got fatigued.
(on how Davis did fulfilling his assignments)
Pretty good. For his first game, I was pretty pleased with what he did. It's pretty amazing, some of the catches he made. We haven't had a lot of those – lineup and run a fade route, catch it over the top of a corner – in a long time. So, that was pleasant to see. He made some good plays, but there's some things – we had a lot of young guys play yesterday. A lot of young guys played pretty well. I think that's going to just help them keep ascending at what they're doing.
(on if Davis should have turned and ran on his third down catch in the first half where he moved sideways)
Yeah, that's a five to six yard route and he ran it shorter than that. He ran it about one. Again, I'm just going to say this, a lot of that is first time. It's not an excuse but it's a great thing to teach from. If he catches it at four or five yards, all he has to do is just turn up and its first down. Yesterday, we weren't as successful in the second half as the first. A lot of it was more Tennessee Titans than it was the Raiders. That's another one – falling down on an out route by (Eric Decker) Deck – things like that, those are the things. We'd of been even higher than 50 percent on third down and we'd of had the ball more, and had chances to score more.
(on if the defense misread running back Marshawn Lynch lining up as a receiver as him exiting the field)
No, we've got to get lined up. That's all it was.
(on why the run game wasn't more successful yesterday)
I think we need to run it more if we can. I think the lack of converting third downs in the second half doesn't allow you to run it more. That plays a part in the process of getting the run game going. But yeah, I'd like to (have seen) more runs yesterday.
(on if running back DeMarco Murray is fully healthy)
(on if the third down conversion play calling in the second half was set up by what the offense had done on first and second downs)
Yeah, that's typically how that's going to work. If you're not producing and getting good yardage, and putting yourself in third-and-makeables – again, I'll go back to the first drive. We converted two third-and-8's and a third-and-10 on that 75-yard drive. So, we know what we're capable of doing.
(on the performance of rookie cornerback Adoree' Jackson)
I was impressed with Adoree' (Jackson), too. He made a lot of plays. The penalty that was called on him, to me that's how you defend a pass in the National Football League. I thought it was about as well as it can be defended and he did it a number of times. Again, he's another guy – every snap is going to be good for him. But, he had a tough duty. That's a good – that's one of the best receivers in football.
(on his good vantage point of Adoree' Jackson hurdling defenders on his kick return)
I did. Actually, we looked at it, he went up at the 27 and came down on the 35. So, I'd say if he was doing the triple jump, that was – no, it was amazing. It really was amazing, the yardage that he got.
(on if Adoree' Jackson's hurdle manufactured an impressed reaction today in the film room)
It did. It's pretty impressive, it's pretty impressive. I don't really want him to be doing that every week.
(on if Adoree' Jackson's hurdle will be a new goal line play)
(on the decision to use Jackson on punt and kick returns as well as a defensive starter)
Trying to find a way to score touchdowns and he has a history of doing that. That's what we're trying to do, is give us a chance to be explosive every time we have to return.
(on wide receiver Eric Weems' illegal block above the waist special teams penalty)
That was a – Eric (Weems) has just got to be careful putting his hand on the guy's back. I'm not sure it was – not a great call, in my opinion.
(on if he thought there was another unsportsmanlike penalty during that play)
I thought so at the time. Then I watched the tape, that's why I like to watch the tape first. Adoree' (Jackson) did a nice job of flopping a little bit too, and I think the official thought the same thing. It could have gone either way, but no. I didn't think that was a penalty.
(on what defensive lineman DaQuan Jones has done to earn more playing time at nose tackle)
He can be disruptive. He's very good against the run up there. Again, holds the point very well. I thought he played pretty well yesterday.
(on if there was something he hasn't seen from nose tackle Sylvester Williams that has caused his reps to decrease)
No. A lot of it, too, is depending on what they had in the game personnel-wise. They played more four and five wide sets. We knew they were going to be in a lot of empty sets, that's kind of how they try to attack our defense. Get our guys spread out, our rushers. But no, they were in sub a bunch more and we're going to try to get him in more. He's an effective pass rusher, so he will be in there more.
(on the performance of rookie tight end Jonnu Smith)
He did pretty good. That touchdown run by Marcus (Mariota), he had a big block on it. Did some good things in the run game. Again, some special teams things he needs to clean up. But no, I was pretty pleased with him too.
(on if a lot of other assignments had to go right for the pitch play to running back DeMarco Murray be successful)
No, actually that's where I was talking about they made plays and we didn't. They ran the same play on third-and-three in their four minute segment to get a first down to end the game. Same play. Same blocking, same everything. They executed better than we did. Everybody had to block the same people, so that was the difference.
(on if tackle Taylor Lewan's ankle injury hindered his mobility on the pitch play as it appeared he missed a defender)
No, we need to do – again, probably bring back Ben (Jones) to take care of him. Taylor (Lewan) wouldn't have gotten to him. But no, I thought Taylor played pretty darn well for twisting his ankle this week. He played pretty darn good.
(on if the red zone screen pass to wide receiver Eric Decker was unsuccessful due to a missed block)
Yeah. Again, there's three out there. We blocked the most dangerous two, and if he can get outside the outside block, which is the way it's designed, then we had a good chance to score the touchdown right there. Should have gone outside.
(on if Decker suffered a new injury or tweaked a preexisting one in yesterday's game)
(on the Jacksonville Jaguars recording 10 sacks yesterday)
Yeah, I'm just in about the first half of the game yesterday. Obviously, I know the stats, know all that. It was a defensive game, I did see that based on total yardage. They ran the ball effectively. Let me take a look at them, I'll give you more of my input on Wednesday.
(on if it's good to refocus against a divisional opponent following a loss)
Yeah, we're on to Jacksonville. We are full speed ahead, we've already had a team meeting on them. We've already addressed it, we've gone through a pretty lengthy breakdown of all three of their phases. So, our team is already well aware that they're going to be working on them the next two days. This one is out of our control, this last one. We're on to the next one which is the most important one.
(on if the current roster allows for fullback Jalston Fowler to not participate on special teams)
Again, if that role is there we know what he can do. We have others that can do it better right now. That position is about as important of a position on our football team as there is.
(on if there is any motivational carry over from the last matchup against Jacksonville)
I hope not. No, we need to – I think our guys are locked in. Getting ready for a division game, and starting the season with a division game early on the road against a team that just went on the road and beat another good football team at their own place. They'll be ready.
(on the challenge of getting the team acclimated to a quicker paced game given the league's desire for games to speed up)
I think the preseason helped us kind of get a feel for how the pace was. We're getting advanced notice of when there's a TV timeout, when there's not, when the clock is starting. There's much more information being passed along to us on the sidelines that allows us to get our guys ready to go. But the players have been the ones that have adapted probably the most. They understand – and again, I talked to them even Saturday night about excessive celebrating. That can play a big part into affecting a special teams play right after a score. They've been talked to enough about it, I feel good about our guys and the tempo we go at.
The Tennessee Titans take on the Oakland Raiders in Week 1 action at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)