TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - December 21, 2017**
LeShaun Sims did not practice today, with the hamstring, and will not play in this game. Can count him out right now. Logan Ryan did not (practice). I'm not going to count him out just yet. (Karl) Klug did not practice, same thing, see if we can get some work from him tomorrow. Nate Palmer was ill and not here. Other than that, we were full participation by everybody else.
(on if cornerback LeShaun Sims' hamstring injury is potentially season-ending)
(on if cornerback Tye Smith could possibly step in for LeShaun Sims)
Yeah he is too.
(on what he's seen from Tye Smith)
He had a really good practice today, I mean really good. He hasn't had a lot of defensive reps, the majority of his time has been on special teams. He's actually been very productive. He had a good camp for us. He's going to have to play this game, based on if Logan (Ryan) doesn't, he's going to have to get some more reps. We feel good about it.
(on how much Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald can be avoided and how much they have to 'face up to him')
Our guys know, we have faced a lot of really good guys, not just inside, outside. We've got to have guys block him - it's a fact, there's no other way around it. We've got to have guys step up and play well against him. We're going to try and help them as much as we can in different ways, but when it comes down to it, you can't rely on that, you've got to do the job you're in there for.
(on the effectiveness of the Rams' pass rush)
Yeah, I'd say. They've got 47 sacks, they're a very productive group, very active. The front seven is a good front, a very good front.
(on if the Rams are a team that it's particularly difficult to come back against)
Yeah, I don't think you want to get into that, but I think we can with the way we move the ball like we did last week in the two-minute. We feel pretty good about ourselves.
(on the team having more success in the red zone since the bye week)
Execution, pretty simple. Hate to say it, but yeah, it's that simple.
(on if Rams running back Todd Gurley II is one of the elite backs in the league)
I'd say so, yeah. He does it all. For his size, he's hard to bring down. I watched him again today, there's a lot of five-to-six yards gains and not everybody's blocked, he's making it after contact. He's moving piles, if he gets a crease, he's through it. You can't arm tackle the guy, we've got to have a bunch of guys there getting him down. Just as dangerous out of the back field. You've got a little bit of that West Coast mentality, get the ball in your play maker's hands and let them make the yards. Well, he's a good one to have to do that.
(on the defense being effective against the run all season)
We have to be again.
(on if anything has to change in the defense to continue to be effective against the run)
No, I wouldn't say change anything. We've got to be where we're supposed to be - that's been the key for us. We've tackled better since early in the season. We rally to the ball, our guys do. Everything we've been doing, I don't think we need to change or try to do anything more, but we've got to do that, for sure.
Titans players take the field for Thursday's practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)