TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIP - September 18, 2017
OK, let's start with a medical (update), since I'm a little superstitious and I started with one last week. Starting with DeMarco (Murray) and Corey (Davis), both hamstring, you can call them strains or tightness. They're day-to-day going into this game. Johnathan Cyprien will be out this game, and there's no time frame, we just know it's not going to be this week. Tye Smith should be available to us if everything goes as planned during the week of practice.
(on if wide receiver Corey Davis or running back DeMarco Murray's injury is worse)
No, I think if you're ranking them, I'd say their about the same.
(on if DeMarco Murray was injured on a specific play)
No, he just felt it, just felt it on the sideline. He agreed too, he's a competitor, guy wants to be on the field. When he says he agrees with us and thought it was a good decision to hold him out.
(on if Corey Davis and DeMarco Murray's injuries are continuations of the injuries they were dealing with in training camp)
Somewhat, I won't say exactly.
(on if either DeMarco Murray or Corey Davis had to have an MRI)
If we do it will be tomorrow, but not today.
(on if their hamstring injuries could potentially sideline Corey Davis and DeMarco Murray for Sunday's game against the Seahawks)
Day-to-day, we've got the rest of this week to make a decision on them.
(on if Corey Davis and DeMarco Murray's injuries are a result of them returning too soon from their training camp injuries)
It's easy to say that now. A hamstring is one of those injuries that are tough to deal with, they've always been that way. And each guys is different, that's why I don't do weeks or days on them. They're very touchy injuries, and you've got to be careful with them.
(on if he still considers DeMarco Murray and running back Derrick Henry to be in a starter/back-up scenario)
I still do. I still see it that way. Yesterday I thought Derrick (Henry) came in, really both of them played in the first half. It was a grind trying to run the ball with both of them in there. When Derrick (Henry) took over for DeMarco (Murray) in the second half, we stayed patient with the run game and it started to hit some holes.
(on if he sees DeMarco Murray as the starter)
(on if he noticed that DeMarco Murray was injured while he was on the field)
No, he said something to our trainer.
(on Derrick Henry stepping in for DeMarco Murray)
He was really good yesterday, especially in the second half, neither was making a big statement in the first half. That's a position where if you can have the luxury of having, similar to Jacksonville, of having two guys that can run the ball like that, because that's a touch position, there's a lot of pounding that goes on their bodies, if you can have good depth at that position. We're fortunate that we have it. Yeah, that's part of the reason we drafted Derrick (Henry).
(on if Derrick Henry's play yesterday will earn him more reps this coming Sunday)
It all depends on how we want to attack the next opponent.
(on if the offense was frustrated in the first half)
You've got to be careful. Frustrated is not a good word, we know going in, we know the type of defense we're playing against, we know the front, we understand the mentality that we have to have and the patience that we have to have. If you know that going in, you eliminate frustration right away. You stay patient and you understand that if you stick with the plan, you have a chance to break it.
(on if DeMarco Murray staying wide on a number of consecutive plays was meant to build up to something)
Part of the scheme, part of the progression. We had three guys in an area where, if they play zone, they only have two. One of them we had a chance to get it down to him, and if we do that, it's one-on-one out in space out there. It just didn't unfold that way yesterday with him.
(on how safeties Da'Norris Searcy and Curtis Riley played)
They played well, they played very well. In the right place in the right time for the interceptions, and run support, very good. Played well in special teams. I'll say this about our whole secondary, probably one of the better games I've been a part of since I've been here in regard to supporting the run from all of them.
(on in which situations he would play Curtis Riley)
Well the rotation we have, we feel comfortable about all of them in run support and coverage. Without showing our hand why we do this or that, we're confident in what we do, whoever is on the field. We have a package, whether we have it this week again, when we feel like a team has got the ability to run the football, try to run the football on us, we're going to put them in there.
(on cornerback Adoree' Jackson improving from Week 1 to Week 2)
Yeah he did. And that's not an easy back, the one I'm thinking up, the one where he came up and created a negative play. He played well. They hit some short underneath things on him, slants and under routes we call them, but I think he'll improve again on that after he's seen it. He's going to be tested in some things he's been beat on until opponents see to quit picking on him.
(on wide receiver Taywan Taylor and tight end Jonnu Smith seeing an increased number of snaps)
It was part of the plan. Taywan (Taylor), we had some things designed with him in there and he got more playing time when Corey (Davis) aggravated the hamstring. With Jonnu (Smith), the plan was we were going to use multiple two-tight-end, three-tight-end sets like we did. Trying to get him involved off of other plays, like the screen, he had already protected, we had already hit Delanie (Walker) on that same set, same crossing route, then we threw the screen off of it. Just trying to play off of others things and getting it to guys who have the ability to make some plays, and Jonnu (Smith) showed he could.
(on what about Taywan Taylor stands out to him)
He's fast, he can get around the edge on you, he can get by you on a go route. The thing about him, which is rare for a rookie, I've told you this before, all the young guys want to be coached and want to do it the way we want to do it. That go route, Terry(Robiskie) is very adamant about those kind of routes, not looking for the ball too early, run 20 yards as fast as you can, run by guys. Most players look too early, their speed slows down because they're looking back, defensive guys can keep up with them or can get back what they lost, and he ran by right about 18-to-20 (yards), which we tell him he looked up and he had beaten him and Marcus (Mariota) had a great throw on it. Those are some things for a young guys to do, which were impressive.
(on if Taywan Taylor's reps will decrease once all three top receivers are healthy)
We have packages for everybody, whether we get them too him, if the defense gives us what they're going to give us, then there is chances for it. The more he does things good in games, you're going to find ways to get him the ball more.
(on the importance of turnovers in yesterday's game)
It's pretty important in every game. It's the difference, you can put a chart that goes back 20 years and show you the difference in the outcomes of games based on turnovers. It's the same every year, and it's amazing how it's held up. It was important, and to get three possessions in a row there by guys just doing their job, getting their hands up in the line, being where they're supposed to be in zone coverages. Interceptions are more likely in zones because you don't have your back turned, you're in position, you can see the thing. Tipped balls happen a lot more in zones. Guys were where they were supposed to be. The one by Rak (Brian Orakpo), the sack, did a great job beating the tackle, beating the young tackle.
(on encouraging linebackers to get their hands up)
It's always talked about, get your hands up. If you can't get there, you know the ball's about to be thrown, that was Avery (Williamson) that tipped the first one. Second one was a ball behind their receiver, it wasn't a batted ball the second one, that was off of their receiver not our guy. We were just in the right place in the zone coverage. We want hands up, and it paid off for us yesterday on the one.
(on if cornerback Adoree' Jackson's 46-yard punt return was due to his own ability or successful blocking by other players)
It was pretty well executed by our guys, a lot of big blocks. (Brynden) Trawick didn't let his guy off the line of scrimmage, his guy was 30 yards behind the punt. Logan Ryan did an outstanding job of holding up the gunner to his side, and hold him up long enough (for) Adoree' (Jackson) to catch it. But then, Logan (Ryan) made a good decision, which we haven't done a whole lot in special teams. He had a chance – and he has – of putting his hand on the guy's back to try to run him by and he didn't do it. He made a decision. 'I've done enough, I'm not going to make an error here.' Ran the guy by and really walled off some other defenders without making a poor decision. Lot of big blocks on the (return). But the thing that Adoree' did, was he hit it. If you're hitting it as fast as he does, very hard to take an angle to get a good tackle on him, a good, solid tackle on him. You've got to be pretty genius to know angles at full speed.
(on Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith making a good read on angles to be able to tackle Adoree' Jackson on the punt return)
Great play. I mean, really great play to get to him. It's kind of interesting, he got blocked into one of our guys which kept him closer to the return than it should have. He got really blocked well, but he got almost ricocheted off of one of our guys to keep him in the position to run us down.
(on the emotional lift of a big play like Adoree' Jackson's 46-yard punt return)
Well, watch our sideline. One thing that I really liked about our guys was the energy that they showed. The return, watch them how they care about their teammate. At that time in the game I think it was 9-3. Might have been 6-3, not even sure what the score (was). Again, it was still a tight game and that was a big play for us, a really big play. Those are always things that work in your favor and if you're on the other side, not so much.
(on how he ensures the team puts the win behind them and focuses on Seattle)
It's already over. It's already over, already talked about it. It's done. We're on to Seattle right now.
(on if injured wide receiver Harry Douglas traveling and wearing an ear piece is his idea to keep Douglas involved)
No, we feel good about Harry (Douglas). Harry's been around a long time, understands what we're looking for. Harry and Alex Tanney were both on the sideline helping younger players and helping after series. Again, just another set of eyes.
(on how Harry Douglas got hurt and what his current status is)
He came in one day with a knee pain and we did a MRI on it, saw why it was painful. His status is we can't do anything with him for the first eight weeks until he can come off IR. That's his status.
*(on how cornerback LeShaun Sims performed at Jacksonville) *Had a good day, had a good day. I think he gave up one in-cut. As far as throws down the field, no big plays.
(on left tackle Taylor Lewan not being on the field during tight end Delanie Walker's rushing touchdown)
Yeah, he had reported the play before so he could not go back in there and play tackle. He had to come out for a snap.
(on tight end Delanie Walker being noticeably faster this season)
Yeah, I've seen it the whole offseason. He came back – he's a physical specimen. You can tell he has put a lot of time and effort into coming back. He's faster, he's been outstanding in the run game too. He's probably more physical in the run game than he's been. All around, he's been just much more of a complete player and doesn't want to come off the field, which gives defenses problems. They can get a beat on you when you're running and throwing, they can't do that right now with Delanie (Walker) in there.
(on if the jet sweep rushing touchdown play would still be one he would call for a heavier Delanie Walker last season)
Good question, that's a good question. I hadn't even thought about the design of it until this year. That's a good question.
(on Delanie Walker attributing his weight loss to cutting out pork and if he would recommend that to other players)
No. We have a nutritionist and whatever – again, I'm not going to get into their diet. We have a plan for them, if they pay attention to it, great. Once they walk out of the building it's out of our hands.
(on if he would ever give up pork)
Could I? Here in Nashville? No.
(on installing running back Derrick Henry's 17-yard touchdown play on Saturday and if he tries to 'shut it down' when it comes to thinking about football on Friday after practice)
No, and actually what it was – there were two plays. One was a Saturday night install, that one was a Saturday morning install. Again, a lot of it's based on what we've done before against them. It was just a look, we had the same motion, same set. We ran the same play against them eight times here for pretty successful plays, a couple of touchdowns. I personally, I thought if (Phillip) Supernaw does the same thing, and instead of coming all the way back and running the play we ran against them, if he stops and runs – we call it a lead open – they're going to think it's coming over here and we're going to hit him over here. What exactly happened when he went in motion, (Paul) Posluszny moved over to stop the play over here and put himself out of position, allowed us to have angles on all of them. Again, there was one unblocked guy and Derrick (Henry) stiff-armed him. Not a hard play, it's already a play we have. The play was already in, it was just out of a different look.
(on if that play popped into his head Friday night or Saturday morning)
I watch film all week. I thought, if they're looking for something we're going to give them something else.
(on if he was thinking it would be a touchdown when he called Delanie Walker's rushing touchdown play)
No, but I'm thinking we will have angles. Again, a lot of the run game is, 'Do you have angles on them and are you in position to block them?' Are you putting your guys in position to do their job? I thought that play, first time we'd run it, that we'd have an angle on them.
(on if tight end Jonnu Smith needs to sit in the zone hole more than complete his route on the play where quarterback Marcus Mariota threw an interception)
He needs to be a little bit deeper. Again, you're short on the route, that had nothing to do with the throw. Marcus (Mariota) just didn't see them. Again, even after watching the tape there's some things we can do offensively to put Jonnu (Smith) in a better position and Marcus in a better position. You can put scheme on that as much as anything, but they defended the play and Marcus didn't see it.
*(on if he considers a hurdle cleared by winning a division game on the road) *We won an important game on the road in our division. That was the – again, that was that. That was yesterday. We're already on to Seattle, there's nobody in here patting themselves on the back. We've got a lot of work to do still. Just like the week before, bad taste, good taste, taste is gone. We've got to get ready for the next one.
(on the challenge of Seattle's offense and quarterback Russell Wilson)
Play is never over. You talk about a guy that's – if we're not disciplined with our rush lanes and where we're supposed to be, really our coverage, if we're not in tight coverage and he gets out of the pocket, you're talking about bad things can happen. He has a history of that and we know that. We know the potency of this offense. Regardless of what's taken place the first two weeks we'll be ready for what they're capable of doing.
*(on the challenge of Seattle's defense and if it's any help they run a similar scheme to Week 2 opponent Jacksonville) *I think it helps that you're seeing them back to back. I don't know if it's an advantage. Again, it's a very good defense, very similar in regards to scheme of getting to the passer with their front. Their secondary obviously is a very strong secondary, one of the best in the NFL that we'll have to deal with. Again, this is a top-five defense just about every year (that) we've got to deal with coming in here.
The Tennessee Titans take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2 action at EverBank Field. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)