Coach Mularkey's Monday Press Conference Transcript

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TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - October 23, 2017

(opening statement)

A little injury update: Delanie Walker, not as much of a sprain as a bone bruise on the ankle. Quinton Spain's got a turf toe, he's probably the worst of the guys from last night. Marcus (Mariota) made it through OK. DeMarco (Murray) has got a shoulder that we think with the bye being here it'll be good for him, should be OK with the shoulder. Hopefully we're going to get Johnathan Cyprien and Corey Davis back. And me, I'm a little under the weather, just got to be patient, sorry.

(on the time-table for tight end Delanie Walker's return)

Pain tolerance.

(on if Delanie Walker having a bone bruise as opposed to a sprained ankle in good news)

Yes, that's good news. It's a painful injury, any type of bone bruise, wherever it is, it's very painful if you've ever had one.

(on if wide receiver Corey Davis and safety Johnathan Cyprien will be in the facility this week)

Anybody that's injured is here this week, the whole week. It's mandatory that they're here, so they'll all be here.

(on if the coaching staff will be taking time off during the bye week)

We're going to take a few days at the end of the week. Right now we're basically doing what we do in the offseason, kind of going back and looking at some situational football, all phases. Regardless of if we're having success or not, we're looking at the red zone, third down, short-yardage, goal-line, two minutes anything that pertains to difference making situations in the game. We're doing a study on ourselves, we'll go back and look at last year for an example. Offensively, why so successful last year and not this year, comparisons of the two. Just like we did in the offseason, obviously it's sped up because you don't have a couple of months, but we look at every play and every player on every play and we decide if it's the scheme, if it's the defense that we're going against, is it they had a better call than we had, is it a lot of things go into the play of it, but we look at everybody on the play. That's what our coaches are doing right now.

(on if running back DeMarco Murray sprained his shoulder)

No, bruised is probably a good way to describe it.

(on how DeMarco Murray's hamstring injury is doing)

I think pretty good. I think these two weeks will be good for him as well. I think all the hamstring guys, these two weeks will be good.

(on if quarterback Marcus Mariota was more affected by his hamstring injury yesterday than he was against the Colts)

I don't think so. His limitations were very similar to the Monday night game. We've obviously got to do some different things when we game plan with his immobility, which is tough.

(on if the offense will have a different look against the Ravens)

I think without the ability to have Marcus (Mariota) do some of the things that he's capable of doing, which I think is dynamic in this league, I think hopefully if he's back to full-strength we can get back to our full game planning and get back to what we're good at, and that's multiple things. Hopefully that's the case, that's the plan as we sit here.

(on how much a difference Corey Davis can make)

I think a big difference, I do. We've got one game to go off of, I thought he did some really good things in his one game, with no prior game experience. I thought he did a really good job of not just the six catches that he had but other things that he did for a rookie starting in his first game. I think we should be better if we can get him back.

(on what Corey Davis' return looks like)

We'll have him hopefully for that extra day, the Monday, that we get before Baltimore.

(on if he needs to see Corey Davis run)

We've seen him run. Today he's running routes. Need to get him in the huddle and run plays with our team.

(on if he is confident that Corey Davis will be able to produce despite missing time)

Yeah we do, we have a lot of confidence in him. He's a good football player. He has kept up mentally with everything we're doing for these games although not knowing for a fact that he's not going to play. I call on him just as I call on all the other players when I call these guys out, I call them rapid fire question, I call him just as much as I call anybody. He gets the answers all the time. I know he's mentally into it. It's just going to be the physical part, a lot of that could be the conditioning part of a game. It's really hard to, train for, so that may be the one thing that may limit him.

(on how much the offense has gone no-huddle to change the tempo of the game)

We didn't have two minutes at the half, we had a couple plays, we were trying to hit some chunks, we had timeouts to use, we were trying to get into field-goal range. It all depends on the situation, the time left on the clock, the score, things we practice every week.

(on using the no-huddle more frequently last season)

We did, and we talked about it yesterday. We did, we talked about it, we talk about it every game, it's part of our scheme. We felt like we didn't want to go into it yesterday.

(on if Marcus Mariota's limitations impact the team going no-huddle)

Not really, no, it does not.

(on how the bye week is beneficial to the rookies)

It's probably good for them. Most of them, their season is over with right now, or getting close to their bowls games. I'd say it's probably good for them. We're constantly are talking about them, how long of a season it is and how they've got to take care of themselves. We've got a good locker room, guys are around them that can show them how to do this. I don't see a negative where we're getting the bye this year.

(on the success rate of the shovel pass and why it's a staple on the offense)

It's not a staple, it's a way to attack them. You have multiple ways to attack the defense on one play, it's not just a hand off and hit a hole, you have different ways to hit them.

(on the success rate of the shovel pass)

In the last two games, three out of four for an average of about eight yards.

(on how involved he is in the offensive game plan, and if he thinks he needs to inject himself more)

I'm involved with it, I'm very involved with it. There's no more that I can put into it or what I do with the defense as well. Those are all things we'll look at. We didn't play very well yesterday offensively for a number of reasons and we'll address that. I'll say this, when we needed them at the end there, when we need all three units to function as one, we did it. We stopped them on defense, got a good return by Adoree' (Jackson) and our offense got us in a position to kick a field goal. That's what you want, no matter what time of the game it is.

(on if he would consider calling the plays)

No.

(on if Marcus Mariota has the liberty to check the team out of nine- or 10-man boxes)

Does he have that ability? Yeah, he does, I'll say that. He does, and he has, he has the last two games and we've hit some plays. That's when you've got a run game like ours, that's the norm. You go into it like that, you've seen what happens eventually no matter how many guys are up there. That's not a big surprise that we've got a lot of guys up there.

(on if they should throw more fade passes on the sideline)

Yeah, especially if we're going to catch them and be successful on them. We hit some of the plays, we didn't hit very many plays down the field. We had a number of plays that were deep balls that we didn't make plays on, so that helps.

(on if 13 of 34 passes being aimed at wide receivers is a function of who's open or a function of play calling)

That's a function of coverage and who's open and the read in the route.

(on if receivers are getting the separation that they need)

Not yesterday we didn't. We had a lot of contested plays and we didn't make a lot of them. I've give credit to their secondary, they had two guys down and they had some guys in there that were down the line backups and they were making plays on balls.

(on if players rehabbing injuries takes time and focus away from improvements that could be made to their game)

Hard to argue that, I would say yeah. That's probably the case for anybody that's out that long.

(on if quarterback Marcus Mariota needs to be more accurate for the team to keep winning)

He missed a couple throws, yeah he did. Again, you talk about changing the whole outcome of the game, the way the game is being played. Yeah, we missed some touchdown throws. Yes, he's as accountable as everybody is. He's got to make those throws.

(on if he notes a change in opposing punts and kicks due to the threat in cornerback Adoree' Jackson's return ability)

I haven't seen it. I have not seen them try to – one thing (Brett) Kern has done, he's done a great job of punting towards the sideline where you can converge on the returner much easier than obviously the middle of the field. I haven't seen teams try to kick away. Some guys have a kick called a boomerang kick that gives the impression that the ball is going here and it actually takes a left turn. That's tough to be a returner, to be able to judge it coming off of his foot. That's the only thing I've really seen, but no. They gave us some opportunities yesterday which we thought they would.

(on if the return of wide receiver Corey Davis could allow the offense to play more three-wide formations)

There is based on who we're playing and the scheme we're going to go against, yeah.

(on if he feels opponents are stacking the box against the Titans more this season compared to last season in attempt to get the offense to pass more)

I wouldn't say no. A lot of these teams, and Cleveland being one of them, that's how they stop the run. They're up there – they all know you can do that. That typically wins games. I don't think there's more this year over last year.

(on if he anticipates tight end Delanie Walker returning after the bye)

Again, right now he's in a walking boot. Again, it's up to the individual, it really is. I can't tell you, I'm hoping so. Hopeful.

*(on his reasoning behind giving the team the entire week off) *It was part of an incentive.

(on what the team did to earn the week off)

What they had to, to get the week off.

*(on if he's comfortable with giving the team the week off) *I think they just played two games in less than a week. They've been going at it pretty hard since they've been here in late July. If it was a different time of year, might be different. Might have brought them in today. I want them to recover, we've got a lot of games left to play. I want their bodies back, I want a healthy team when they come back here and I want guys to get away and have some time with their family. You can't do that every week. They don't go home – they're working pretty much every day of the week except Tuesdays and most of them come in here. I want them to be around their families.

(on if he has bye week plans for him and his family)

I do, towards the end of it. Take a couple days.

(on if safety Kevin Byard's three interceptions at Cleveland is a sign of what is to come in terms of his ability)

Kevin (Byard) has had a good year. He's in the right place all the time. I try to tell these guys, it's not that hard, just be where you're supposed to be and plays will come and that's what he does. Doesn't make it any harder than it has to be. It's a matter of being there but then making them is the big part. He's made them.

(on if there is any danger in terms of the teams' perspective in saying Cleveland is a good team and any win is good to have)

No, I don't think so because they get it. They actually get it. It is, it's hard to win. It's very hard, turn on every game in the NFL, especially on the road I think it's tough to win and we did. Was it pretty? No. When we had to win it, when it came into overtime, which we have not played a lot of overtime games, this team rallied together in all three phases. Found a way to win the game. That's good, I see nothing negative to that. I've never said, 'It's a bad win' in my life.

(on if the inefficiency in the red zone is surprising seeing as that was what the Titans excelled at last season)

Yeah, the most disappointing was the goal line stand. Obviously, we had a shot there for a touchdown with Delanie (Walker). That should have been a walk in. But, the other three plays when you're on the one-yard line with our backs and our O-line, I'll say it again, if it's first-and-goal on the one, we're going for it.

(on if the blown touchdown pass from Marcus Mariota to Delanie Walker was due to missed assignments upfront)

No, they were better than we were upfront. They were better than we were upfront yesterday.

(on entering the bye week 4-3 and in first place of the AFC South)

I'd like obviously our record to be better. But, it is what it is. We are where we're at for a number of reasons. We have a lot to do, we have a lot of work to do. There's no question, have a lot of work to do. Hopefully taking a step back and catching our breath, getting some guys healthy, I mean everybody, not just the guys on the injury report, I think will be good for us to start the second half.

(on how much adjusting he is able to do on the fly after realizing the initial game plan isn't working)

A lot with this staff, a lot with these players. We can change things midstream, right in the middle of a drive if we have to.

(on the performance of linebackers Avery Williamson and Jayon Brown)

Avery (Williamson) played a good football game yesterday, I thought probably his best game of the year. Jayon (Brown) is just getting better the more experience he's getting. He is, he's just getting better.

(on how he would assess the overall effectiveness of the run game through seven games)

I'd like it to be better, obviously. We'd like it to be better and that's everybody. Again, that's from coaching down. But that's not just the line, that's not just the backs, that's everybody. That's quarterback, receivers blocking. It's got to be better.

(on if inconsistent would be a fair description of the run game)

No, I wouldn't say that. I wouldn't say that. I'd say we're going up against some pretty good defenses, especially the fronts that we've faced in these games. They're sixth against the rush yesterday, second against the rush average. You can count their wins and losses but that's who they were going into that game yesterday. I wouldn't say that, I'd like some of the things we've had to do. We've had to try to establish it and sometimes that hasn't happened until the second half of the games. Our guys are all in with that, we're going to go until it breaks so I wouldn't say that. But, I'd like us to be better obviously than we are.

(on all other Browns opponents scoring at least two touchdowns in their contests and the Titans not being able to get into the end zone yesterday)

Well, if we catch some balls, we've had chances to make – I can tell you there's probably five or six plays if we executed, not that they stopped us, if we execute the plays, we have at least two touchdowns. At least.

(on if zero touchdowns is a comedown from Monday night's game against Indianapolis where the receiving corps made zero mental errors)

That's a disappointment, yes.

*(on how many mental errors were made in yesterday's game against Cleveland) *I'm not going to tell you that.

(on if generally speaking defenses are catching up to offenses in terms of level of play)

There's a lot of good defenses, there are. It appears to be that way, yeah.

(on if he's optimistic going into the bye with the way the defense has played in recent contests)

Yeah, I think we've played very well. If you look at them like we've done, stopping the run, the turnovers we've created, our red zone play has been outstanding. We've been very consistent and that's why we've won the last two games, because of how consistent our defense has played.

The Tennessee Titans take on the Cleveland Browns in Week 7 at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

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