TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - Aug. 4, 2016
(on if they had more ones vs. twos reps in practice)
Tried not to. A couple of the periods, because of the number of reps, that was going to happen. We had to mix in the ones and the twos and the twos and the threes. But yeah, I think in two of the periods we did.
(on if the defense was flying around well)
Flying around, physical, making plays. I'd like to see us get some more turnovers. I'm going to challenge them tonight, see if we can come out here—I'm going to give them a number, see if they come up with that number tomorrow. Because we were close. Had some good plays by the offensive guys to strip it, but I'd like to see us finish.
(on if the team was rusty following the day off)*
No, that's what was so impressive with them. Usually a day off, you've got to kind of get them going a little bit early. We have a period, it's called "tempo." It's right after stretch. It's right into a team segment. It's a physical period. That's really designed to get them going for the rest of the practice. I use it as people that like to work out in the morning, the rest of their day they've got a lot of energy. That's kind of the method is get them going, and we'll continue that when the season starts.
(on if he wants to see the defensive backs getting their hands on the football or if that concerns him offensively)
Absolutely. No, I want to see the plays we made out here. There were some great plays. (Brian) Orakpo over here on the corner almost had an interception. I mean those are great plays for our team, and they're great things for Marcus (Mariota) to see that he thought he had a clean shot for a hole shot on the corner, and he really didn't because we've got some guys that can make plays out there. There is nothing negative about it. It's good for everybody, those guys making plays.
(on Marcus Mariota showing frustration when Perrish Cox nearly intercepted him)
Well, he's so competitive. He's very hard on himself, and that's who he is. If he gets to that point, you know it's very frustrating for him.
(on having an outside, rush linebacker like Brian Orakpo that can get down the field)
I mean it was a great play. Everybody standing from behind thought, 'I would throw it to where Marcus (Mariota) threw it.' It disappeared quickly. I mean his ability to retreat and get a hand on it was great to see, really good to see for an edge rusher.
(on if Brian Orakpo's performance in practice speaks to the kind of player he is)
Yes. He's a great player, great leader, great for this team… he's easy to follow. I can't wait to tee him off from the side.
(on if he feels he is getting his first look at a healthy David Cobb)
I am, and I think he's taking advantage. Those guys aren't getting a lot of reps. We actually are in camp with probably more backs than normal, so the reps are limited. And I'll say this, he has taken advantage of his chances and his opportunities and done something with it. He's had his hands on the ball.
(on if the group of running backs has raised their level of play)
I mean that whole group has—obviously, the competition level has been picked up with a couple new additions. You hope that's the way they come here. When they get here, that's what you want. You shouldn't have to have somebody come in that room to have to motivate you to study more, work harder, hit the hole harder. That's what we want when you get here. Hopefully that's a good message that's been sent.
(on what he has seen from Derrick Henry after a few days in pads)
I will say this about Derrick (Henry), I don't think he's a fast starter. I've got to talk to him about that tempo period because we've got a bunch of guys up front that are creating things for him and he's not hitting it like I'd like to see him hit it. Later in the practice — I hope that's not the case in games. We need him to be full-strength. As soon as we call his number, he needs to hit things better.
(on if he is still pleased with Jack Conklin's first few practices after reviewing the film)
Yeah, Jack (Conklin) has been very solid out here. There is no question. We've got a couple of really good bookend tackles. You would never know Jack was a rookie right now. He's going to get tested, there is no question, but he's got a couple guys he's blocking right now that are pretty tough to block and I'm pretty pleased with it.
(on what will separate the running backs when roster cuts arrive)
A lot of that will come down to special teams. That will be big. We don't have — you usually have a number of wide receivers, your tight ends are big in the special teams. We have an older group in the tight end group, not a lot of guys that are going to be involved with that. So we need positions, young backs to step up. That will be a big key for them.
(on if they will evaluate the special teams players more in training camp or preseason games)
It's every day. Every rep they get they're being evaluated. Every rep, everything they're doing in this building, they're being evaluated.
(on how Quinton Spain has graded out in the start of camp)
He's been a little bit hot-and-cold. More hot than cold, but when he's had his mistakes, they've been pretty significant. I mean they stand out. Not getting out on some screens, not covering up guys today. Again, he was an undrafted free agent last year that—he's held his own, but the more he gets, the better he's going to get, as well. He's still in a competition at that left guard position.
(on if Ben Jones has been what he expected once the pads came on)
Yes. I think he makes a really grueling position on that offensive line fun. I mean he really does. He really busts his tail. He makes it fun in that huddle. He's very, very good as far as communicating. He has our protection scheme down as well as Marcus (Mariota) does. That's nice to know you've got two guys controlling that.
(on how crucial of a time this is for Kendall Wright to be held out of practice)
It's really crucial. This is the time we need him with the passing game. Nothing we can do about it, but I wish it hadn't happened. But it is what it is. The quicker we can get him back, and he'll be a large part of that—what he does, how much he's in that training room. But it's critical. Every day is critical in camp, and he's missing. He's missing a lot every day.
(on how long he expects Kendall Wright to be injured)
Again, I don't put time frames. I ask the doctors not to say, "Hey, four to six weeks," because some players will listen to four to six weeks. I want guys that want to come out here and practice and compete. Sometimes it may not be 100 percent, but I want guys that want to be out here. We're going to get him out here as soon as we can.
(on if Tajae Sharpe has made many rookie mistakes)
He's making some typical (mistakes) but not very many. For being with the ones and for getting the number of reps he's getting, they're not bad for a rookie. But he is making some. He's got a lot on his plate. By the end of the scrimmage, we're going to have most of the offense in in a week, so that's a lot.
(on if DaQuan Jones is hard for the offense to deal with)
He's a hard guy to block, he is. He's a load, very smart, very physical and he's got great, great hands. If your hands are slow on him, you're not going to win many match-ups. He's going to be very good.
(on if he thinks DaQuan Jones and Jurrell Casey can become an elite tandem on the defensive line)
Yeah, I think so. I'm pretty happy with our front right now, very happy.
Titans players take the field for Day 5 of training camp at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Donn Jones Photography.com)