TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY MEDIA AVAILABILITY - Nov. 3, 2016
(on Dick LeBeau's comment that effort and execution will eventually result in production)
That's pretty much what we stand for. I mean, really they understand if you put the effort out—again, the effort, the physical play, all the things that are a part of it—it gives you a chance to be successful. It doesn't guarantee success, but if you don't, I can promise you you're not going to be successful. So these guys know that's the way we've got to operate around here is it's all-out effort, out here, in meetings and in games, obviously, and there's nothing less acceptable. That will always give us a chance to win on Sunday.
(on what must happen to create mismatches where defensive players have a free run at the quarterback)
Well, multiple looks on something the offense has not prepared for, moving parts. Again, trying to get one guy—one guy in a protection scheme is all you need, and it's happened lately. Again, we're doing a lot of the same things, but we're giving different looks doing the same rushes, same blitzes. I credit Dick (LeBeau) and the staff for how they're scheming these guys.
(on if DeMarco Murray practiced more today)*
Yes, we did. Much better today on his part. Again, probably a little more tomorrow.
(on if there are any secrets between he and Ken Whisenhunt after coaching together)
Not really, no. We've worked long enough together, we kind of know each other's philosophies and mentalities.
(on Ken Whisenhunt having a good understanding of each player's strengths and weaknesses)
Yeah, and that's the advantage of him being here and having time with some of these players, especially our defensive guys. He knows their strengths and weaknesses, and that's an advantage that he gets. Yeah, there's no question about it.
(on if DeMarco Murray's success in the system builds confidence moving forward)
Well, I think the thing that DeMarco (Murray) has seen is literally what we told him when he got here has been true that he was going to be the feature back, this is what we were going to do. We were going to emphasize the run game, try to maintain balance when it's all said and done, and I think him seeing that and really our players seeing that we're following up with what we've said and having success with it. We're just trying to play to their strengths and his is downhill. I didn't think he'd lose that in a year.
(on why Rishard Matthews has become a strong red zone target)
Yeah, some of that has been schemed to do that. Others have been the way the coverages have unfolded. Like last week, really he was in there to grab coverage. He didn't grab it and was left uncovered on the shallow cross, and Marcus (Mariota) saw it and hit him. A lot of it's just the way that the play's playing out.
(on how Rishard Matthews has improved in the last several games)
He's played well, there's no question about it. Again, it started on the big catch a few weeks ago. Really, it's continued. He's making contested throws, he's making plays, he's making plays in two-minute drills that are helping us move the ball. Again, he's just starting to stand out.
(on how Anthony Fasano and Phillip Supernaw have performed as the blocking tight ends)
Really good. The plays that we're running, they've got to block defensive ends and big guys. That's a hard job in this business. The tight end position is unique where you've got to do what our linemen do—they've got to block big people—and then you've got to run routes, expecting to run them like wide receivers. Our guys, whatever role we're asking them to do, they're doing it, and they're doing it efficiently enough that obviously you're seeing we're running the ball pretty effectively.
(on how Brian Schwenke has played at left guard)
I think well. I mean, protection-wise he's done well. There's things without saying that he can get better at, and he works it out here every day.
(on the role Dexter McCluster has played in San Diego)
Similar to what we did here—returner, third-down back, specialty back. They try to design something to him, little packages that he'll be involved with.
(on if Dexter McCluster is a concern when scheming against the Chargers)
Yeah, we've all seen that he can go the distance if we don't rally and get a group of guys around him. So yeah, a little bit of a concern, obviously. I think he's a good player still. I love Dexter (McCluster) to death, except for Sunday.
Titans players take the field for Thursday's practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)