TITANS INTERIM HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - December 3, 2015
(on the Titans' issues on third down last game)
Yeah, I think there was a number of things. I know we were in a number of makeable ones. The coverage did it a little bit, anticipating one thing and making another, which was good, like I said after the game, a little bit of a scheme. That, and really executing a little bit, and that's everybody across the board, and winning some one-on-ones outside and even our backs and tight ends involved as well. That's just one-on-one routes.
(on if winning one-on-ones will be the easiest way to execute better)*
That's every single play guys basically have one-on-ones. It certainly helps if you can create some separation. Again, I'm talking about everybody when we're talking. Again, keeping guys out of Marcus (Mariota)'s face, that's guys up front, that's our backs blocking the protection. It all kind of works together, the whole thing has to work together for that to work. It's not just one position or one player that's not making this function correctly, it's everybody on third down.
(on if he's recognized anything about Marcus Mariota's preparation as it is the first time he's played the same team twice in a season)
It's a lot of the same, he's very well prepared. He's in here very early and he watches a lot of film. He has a good feel for what teams are doing based on their looks. I don't know if you put any more emphasis in now that this is the second time you're playing a team, he's already a guy that prepares. A lot of young guys, you've got to talk to them about it, you've got to teach them how, but he's pretty well prepared on his own.
(on setting a tone and changing the culture around the team over the final five games)
Well, we've been trying to do that for the last four weeks. Again, we've had opportunities to do that that would have helped support what we're preaching, but the one thing is we've had those opportunities. We have had chances all the way to certain points in these games to win, and these guys know that. It's not like something we have to do to flip flop and start over. The message has been consistent from the very beginning and we are playing very well with the exception of a few plays here or there, or one play here or there. I think that's been the emphasis and I think these guys understand that. If we can get over that, everyone is very detailed in what they're doing and not lose a lead late because of one thing here or there. So really, the emphasis has been on paying more attention to detail and just really doing your job very well. We're not asking for miraculous things. We're not asking for anybody to do any more than what they're capable of. All we'd like them to do is what we do out here in practice, carry it over to the game field, and let's see what happens if we can do that for four quarters straight. I think we'll get results that are better, but we've been preaching it and we're trying to create culture here. It's a building process and we're doing it.
(on the notion that there is nothing left to play for with a 2-9 record)
Not in this league. I disagree completely. If you're at this level and it's not important to win, win every play, you're probably not going to last long in the league. You're probably not going to be real successful when you leave the league. We talked about it the other day in the team meeting that if you're here, you're typically your own worst critic. Nothing is ever good enough and you're very critical of yourself. No matter how well you do things, typically, it's still not good enough. I asked them, is that you? If you have to ask yourself that, or if you're even thinking, 'Is that me?" then you're probably looking at a picture of the future. We want guys that are like that, that are fierce competitors. I think we have a lot of those guys in this locker room, and that's why I think we have a chance every week.
(on if he's worried Marcus Mariota will hit a rookie wall)
No, I don't. I addressed that today with him because I want to make sure, physically, I know this is a grind for everybody. There is a wall. There is a true wall, and some guys experience it and if you don't talk about it and kind of forewarn them and tell them this is about the time it's going to hit, then it does catch them. But I think we've talked about it and I'm constantly asking the young guys how they're feeling. I asked Marcus (Mariota) today, it's funny you ask, how he's feeling, how his arm is. He's throwing more, obviously, than he's ever throw. I'm constantly making sure these guys are at the level we need them to play at every week, so it's definitely a thing to be aware of.
(on how Marcus Mariota's arm is feeling at this point in the season)
He said good. I know he says that a lot, but this one he knows I'm serious and he's knows it's important for our team, so it was a definite, positive 'yes.' He's good.
(on if Marcus Mariota has ever complained about anything)
Guys hitting him late. He gets kind of pissed off about that. That's about all I've seen.
(on how the rookie wall shows up with a quarterback)
You can just see their level of energy. You see in meetings, I know I am constantly watching these guys throughout the day. Not just when they're out here or in meetings, I'll watch when they're in the lunch room, I watch them walking around the hallways, constantly watching their body language, seeing what kind of energy they have. Have they been out the night before? I want to see how these guys come to work every day, especially young guys. At this time of the year, you just want to see what kind of energy they are going to bring out to practice, which we need at a high level.
(on if he hit the rookie wall when he played in the league)
That was a long time ago. I think I was on IR (Injured/Reserve) my rookie year so I never experienced it.
(on how David Cobb has looked over the last few weeks)
He's gradually getting better and better. He's had better practices this week alone. Every day he's had better practices.
(on if he is looking to get David Cobb more involved)
Yes, yeah we are. We're thinking more of a rotation with those guys this game, more than we have.
(on the challenge of starting on Injured/Reserve-Recall as a rookie and then getting thrown into the mix late in the season)
I'd have to imagine it would be difficult. You like a guy that has a good bit of preseason experience, some kind of experience playing in NFL games. You don't understand how fast the game is. You can never simulate it out here, the speed, the hits, until you get a good dose of it in the game. That's why you have four preseason games. To be thrown out late in the season, it will test you.