TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - September 28, 2017**
(on running back DeMarco Murray's vision on his 75-yard touchdown run)
I think that's a pretty good example of know where guys are and where they're coming from, where your blockers are, trusting. If you remember, I think he grabbed Taywan Taylor and pushed him into a defender. He had a good feel for where everybody was. Great effort by those guys, again, I've said that, they made the difference in the run.
(on the difficulty of finding five 'solid' offensive linemen, and having them stay together for more than one season)
It's rare. I've been places and we've had success because we've had (that). In Atlanta, we had same five, Pittsburgh, pretty much same guys every week, that has a lot to do with it. We're very fortunate, and hopefully continue that.
(on how much of a lift it is when you have a kicker, like Ryan Succop, that you know you can count on inside the 50-yard line)
It gives you a lot of confidence. It gives your offense confidence, they know where they've got to get the ball to get points. Plus, with us not having high red zone success like we did last year, it's good that we're getting points and knowing that we're pretty automatic with him.
(on if they want a higher conversion rate in the red zone)
Absolutely, that's the intent. We want to be as good as we were. That's why I always say you've got to be careful, that was last year, this is this year. It's important, it's going to come down to some of those failures, as it did against Oakland, to losses. Yeah, we'd like to do that. Let me say this about Ryan (Succop) too, while I have the podium, he's done a good job of taking out returners. We've asked him to kick it through the end zone and take away some guys that are potent returners, and he's done a good job of that.
(on if it feels like they're playing the same game three weeks in a row)
I'm thinking fourth week. It's pretty good teams, very good teams, very physical teams. It's very similar. We know what we're getting ourselves into, I think both teams do. That should be very similar, I don't know if it's going to play out with low score and second half. I don't care how it plays out as long as we're on the winning end of it. It is, you're talking about two good football teams playing each other Sunday.
(on if he has seen improvement in Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson week to week)
You can see it and it almost looked a little like they were trying to help him get into it, the game, in Cincinnati, not putting a lot on his plate. It's just looks like it opened up, the offense opened up a little bit more with their confidence in his ability. He did some things in Cincinnati that I thought were pretty impressive. I don't think he let them down in New England. It's probably more for him in our game.
(on if Deshaun Watson's 45-yard touchdown run 'opens eyes' while studying film)
Yeah, again you've got to be where you're supposed to be. We're working the same thing we did last week with Russell (Wilson). I think I said, the difference between (Deshaun) Watson and Russell (Wilson), this guy runs more for touchdowns, and Russell we felt like was going to be more of a guy to try and find receivers down the field. This one gives you a little bit more of a duel threat, he can find the receivers and obviously run like he does.
(on if there is more that the team can do against a rookie quarterback like Deshaun Watson than a vet like Russell Wilson)
I would say that you could do that, yes.
(on if converting in the red zone is emphasized more this week than others)
We emphasize it pretty strongly every week. We talk about what we have to do to win games, that's pretty much on the docket every week. Our guys know where the focus has to be, especially against teams like this.
(on how much pressure the Texans put on the receivers to win one-on-one battles)
A lot, that's how this defense is built, to get pressure up front and not have a lot of time to hold on to it. You've got to get rid of it, your receiver had to win one-on-one, and they have to win quickly. There's really little room for error outside with a front like this. It does have a factor on how these guys play outside.
(on how much tight end Delanie Walker and outside linebacker Erik Walden participated in practice)
Delanie (Walker) was full (participation) today and (Erik) Walden was limited. No additional to report.
(on how pleased he was with his team's ability to focus on the next opponent after games regardless of the outcome)
To me, they do that on their own. I feel that right after the game. There is, obviously, time there to enjoy the win, but when we get in there Monday we do everything we can, and it's not a hard thing to do, is flip it to the next opponent because we've got to get over the previous one. We've got a lot of work to do, especially the way this thing is unfolding with our schedule, and they've really done that these last two years, moving on, which is critical in my opinion.
(on if there are times on offense when he welcomes the blitz)
I don't know if you invite it, but you also know the reward if you can pick it up and they don't have as many guys in coverage or they've got to cover longer outside. There is risk-reward when they bring it. I don't know if I've ever invited a blitz, but I'm certainly not afraid if they do.
Titans players take the field for Thursday's practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)