TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY MEDIA AVAILABILITY - Sept. 8, 2016
Just an announcement: I did address the team with the captains for the year that were voted on by the team. It's an honor, a great honor, when your teammates believe in you and reward you with this. For offense, it was Marcus Mariota and Delanie Walker. For defense, Jurrell Casey and Brian Orakpo. Special teams, we had two with Wesley Woodyard and Daimion Stafford. So a great honor. I mean that's something that says a lot about you and about what you do, on and off the field.
(on if the captains are selected by player vote)
That's player vote.
(on their responsibilities as captains)*
They represent us, obviously Sundays, coin toss, out here. If I want to call the group together, I talk to those guys. I mean there's a role. I think it's really an honor more than anything that their teammates feel that way about them.
(on his confidence in the starting five offensive line)
Yeah, I feel good about them. I like that they've played the most time together, probably since I've been here. Those five have played more snaps together than any group in the last two years. That says a lot about them—staying healthy, working together, the way they communicate. I feel very good with those five guys.
(on if the Vikings are a prototype for the kind of team he wants to build)
You know, again, I don't want to look at other teams. This is the way we want to build it. We're similar. I mean if you watch the game film on them, a lot of their runs are similar runs that we run, same formations. I know the system is different. I know Norv Turner's system pretty well. He's been that way for most of his career. I've been this way my career. I think we're trying to build our own scheme here that we can be proud of.
(on how Perrish Cox has looked this week)
Perrish (Cox) has looked good. He's looked very good. He's running around as well as I've seen him run. It's nice to have those two guys, he and J-Mac (Jason McCourty), out there together working together.
(on if Marcus Mariota's selection of captain is automatic as the quarterback)
I don't think it's an automatic because you're the quarterback. I don't believe that. I believe it's because you've earned it. He's done everything to earn that right to be voted by his teammates. Most cases, quarterbacks are, but I don't think it's a given. He represents everything we stand for, and I think that's why this team voted him for one of the offensive captains.
(on if Marcus Mariota was a captain at the end of last season)
I'm trying to think towards the end of last year. There have been so many things that have happened. It was later in the year. I think he finished the year that way. He wasn't playing, he wasn't out there.
(on if he expects Jack Conklin and Tajae Sharpe to be prepared for the moment of their first start)
I think so. They really haven't shown that this level has intimidated them at all. I mean from day one, both of these guys have fit right in. You wouldn't know, you wouldn't even think about them as rookie starters. And again, they've been in those roles already for so long, I think that's the good part. This is not he had to earn the spot or he had to get it last week. This is he's been there for so long, I almost forget he's a rookie right now. So I don't think it will be too big for those guys.
(on the importance of a coach's pregame speech and what he will say this week)
I'm going to wait until Saturday night to address that, but I think it's important. I think it's important every time I get in front of the team that the message is consistent, it's honest, it's straight to the point. I think they know that. I take a lot of pride in when I get in front of the team. I try not to get in front of them a lot, but when I do, I have a message. Saturday night will be no different.
(on not giving up big plays defensively)
Well, we've talked about it. We've practiced it. It wasn't like it was over and over in games. Everybody just remembers the one big play. I remember the one big play out of the backfield. I remember the one big play down the field with the throws. Those are the things we obviously have to address because teams are looking at that and they're going to test us. Until we fix it, we'll keep getting that.
Titans players take the field for Thursday's practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn, Amber Harding)