TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - Aug. 15, 2016
Nice night for football. I think our guys liked it, at least based on how they practiced. I think we got a lot done tonight, looked like a team that was ready to go. I mean, after a victory, it was nice to see them come out here and respond like they did.
(on if it feels different practicing after playing in a game)
It's still training camp. I mean that's kind of been the emphasis. This is still camp, it is until we say break, until we get into a regular season routine next week, so they know what to expect. They've seen the schedule for the week. The plan right now is four padded (practices). I may make some changes, you guys will get the word on that, but this is training camp still.
(on when players hit the wall at training camp)*
I don't know if there's a—this is probably the hardest week they'll have. You know, because it's the third week. We've had, you know a number of padded practices—we had a physical game on Saturday night. We're going to go in the afternoon tomorrow. I think it's supposed to be hot again. This is where you find out about your team and some players on it.
(on how many padded practices they have left)
Next week will be a normal game week, so you'll go—Tuesday will be a Wednesday, that'll be your full-padded practice. Now, we may go shell or uppers one day. I still kind of consider that a full-padded, so probably two more after that.
(on why the decision to do afternoon practices)
A lot of reasons. Couple reasons for the night practices is I want these guys to have some recovery time from a night game. 48 hours literally since they've played. Two- to invite fans to come out. It was the last night for the fans. You know people get off work and get the chance to come out here and watch their team. Then it's hard to go the next morning, you have to give them some time and we'll go in the afternoon. Again, we're playing a 2 o'clock game. We'll have a 2:30 practice tomorrow. I'm thinking about moving the Wednesday one to 2:30 to again, get some work in the afternoon. Again, that will give them a 24-hour span between the two practices between Tuesday and Wednesday to get some rest, and recover—which has been a big subject this whole camp.
(on if practicing in the afternoon is to get acclimated to the heat for Saturday's game)
Partially, yeah. That's when we play our game. A majority of our games are noon, 1 o'clock games. So yeah, we need to get some work in that. I think it's really good for us. The plan originally was to work against Carolina—or play them in the third preseason game where you're really putting a game plan together like a real game week. Saturday was going to be like a real—but it did not work out that way. Ron (Rivera) and I talked about it, and decided to stick with it, and we thought again, talking about recovery. The earlier the game, the more time to recover. We have a game where we have to go on the road against Oakland the next week. It gives us a little more time to recover, and I think it's really important too—they get a little time after the game to spend with their family. That's the coaches, that's the players, that's everybody. It's tough getting home at midnight after these games, and having to go back in on Sunday and start all over again, so a lot of guys are going to get some rest with this 2 o'clock hour.
(on if he thinks Antwon Blake will benefit from a players being out)
He made an unbelievable play. I don't know how—one of the breakups in that game that he had—if you were watching his body you would think there's no way he had his eyes on the ball, and made a great play on it. So, another example of a guy getting some chances and making some plays when he's getting them, and you know showing what he's capable of doing, which we already kind of knew.
(on if plans to do anything to get the passing game in a rhythm similar to the run game on Saturday)
Again, I don't know if that's the plan. It's what's working is what we're going to do. This is going to be a little bit, obviously different defense. Looking at them, we played them last year. They had a lot of guys up by the line of scrimmage that's different, so you know they saw what happened last week, so we'll have a bunch of bodies up there. So it may be coming down to having to throw it over their head if we have to a couple times to get them off the line of scrimmage.
(on if there is a sense that the receivers need to get Marcus Mariota in a passing rhythm at practice)
No, we're again, we're very balanced. We have an exact number of reps we want to get in the passing game. When the schedule was set, we were trying to really get as many plays as you get in a regular season—1,100 around that range. How many passes, how many runs, the average and try to get it into these practices built in that way, so it's like a season in these four weeks that we have of training camp. I'm not reshuffling it because of what we did last game, no.
(on how Tajae Sharpe is doing)
Yeah, he's fine. He was good yesterday, and no concerns about him. He wasn't on my injury report last night when I got it.
(on why Harry Douglas did not practice today)
Harry (Douglas), you know, he asked me about the block for the touchdown, if he could have the day off because of the block. No. Actually, three players—it was called the OSPY's. Three players that (were) offseason performers of the year, voted on by me—I had the biggest vote—our weight room, by our equipment room and our training staff, from the bigs, the middles and the skill players, they competed. They did everything from when they walked in the door and when they walked out, and they were evaluated on all of it. He, Karl Klug and Craig Stevens won, and one of the things that the winners got was a day off in pads. So Harry came to me, I think, after the game said, "Monday night will be my night." So there's a number of things they won by being the winners.
(on what else the winners earned)
Well, they have the best hotel rooms. They've got the corner rooms, the suites. They get a suite on the road for one game when they have some family in town. They've got preferred parking here. They've got preferred parking at the stadium. They get a Peg Leg Porker meal for their position. They get the padded practice and they get a really a nice trophy and they get a nice plaque on the weight room wall with their name on it, hopefully for a long time.
(on what the offseason program is called)
OSPY's, kind of off the ESPY's. Yeah, it was fun. Again, it was a competition that all these guys were competing on. It was fun to watch them, how they did it. But this was Harry's (Douglas) night tonight. I can't talk Craig (Stevens) and Karl Klug [into] it.
(on what happens to the bottom three players of the offseason program)
I'm not sure they're still here, to be honest.
(on Antwon Blake wanting to bring a hard-hitting mentality to the cornerbacks)
No, he's a physical player. I was around Antwon (Blake) in Jacksonville. We signed him as a free agent and he likes contact. What we do defensively, our corners have to tackle. He has no problem doing that. His ability to cover—and Dick LeBeau's had him in his system up in Pittsburgh—he does a lot of things. He's a core—he's a guy on special teams that teams will have to be aware of.
Titans players take the field for Day 12 of training camp at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Donn Jones Photography.com)