TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - August 10, 2017**
(on the excitement level ramping up as the first pre-season game approaches)
I think so. I think it is. It was a tough practice, I don't know how excited they were about the game Saturday night. It was a pretty tough practice, I'm not sure, I think some of them thought we may have been doing some other activity today and had a little bit of a letdown when it wasn't. It ended up being a really good practice, very focused, got a lot of work done.
(on how much personnel discussion there has been for Saturday's game)
That's an 8 a.m. staff meeting tomorrow morning, we're going to talk about it. There are still being discussions about it.
(on if outside linebacker Kevin Dodd needs more snaps)*
Sure. That'll definitely be a topic of discussion, of how many and when and who with. That'll be part of it.
(on if they have considered not using quarterback Matt Cassel in Saturday's game)
That'll be a discussion, it has been, and it will be further.
(on if wide receiver Eric Decker will stand out playing his former team this Saturday)
I don't know if he's got any payback type of mentality. He's going to try and operate at a high level for us with this new system that he's in. I think it would be more of 'I don't want to disappoint us' than 'try to wow them' in my opinion. That's just the personality the guy has.
(on the chemistry between wide receiver Eric Decker and quarterback Marcus Mariota continuing to develop)
I would. I would like to just see where he (Eric Decker) is at when the bullets are flying. He knows some of these guys, so it'll be interesting to see how he competes against them, knowing their personnel probably better than we do. It'll be good for both of those guys to get some game experience together.
(on nose tackle Antwaun Woods)
He's on a mission. He's absolutely on a mission, he has been the whole offseason. He's tagged along with Jurrell Casey, every time I saw one, the other was close by in the weight room. The whole offseason he's been trying to watch somebody that does it right and has been successful for doing that. He comes out here, he works. I've pointed him out in offensive meetings, the way he plays. He's definitely on a mission for a reason.
(on running back Derrick Henry leaving practice early)
Yeah he's ok.
(on running back Derrick Henry playing in this Saturday's game)
We have a number of backs, especially with the signing of (Brandon) Radcliff. We'll probably get a good, brief look at him and then get those young guys in there.
(on his advice to rookies entering their first NFL game)
It's still the same game they've been playing since they've been eight years old, nothing's changed. The guys that are nervous, the jitters that typically come out within the first couple of plays, it always has and I'm going to let them know that, kind of settle them down. It's really a neat experience, your first time lining up in an NFL game, and in New York it'll be that much better.
(on linebacker Avery Williamson improving his pass coverage)
I think Avery (Williamson) has gotten better, I really do, in a lot of ways. I think a lot of it has to do with his ability to help him cover better. He's faster, he's quicker, you can tell that this guy has done something over the top to get ready for the season in the offseason in what he's done off the field when nobody's watching. I think it's going to help his coverage ability, but he's also done a lot of things that's going to help his defense on first and second downs.
(on avoiding taking penalties Saturday night)
The less we can do this the better, and they know that. I know how it's going to go, I've been doing it a long time, especially with the young guys. The less the better, for sure. I just want to see if they're going to compete. It's not a game-plan game. We're going to run our plays we've been running here for two weeks. They're going to have a guy lined up that's different than they've been blocking for two weeks. Can they execute at a high level consistently without making mistakes.
(on the expectations of running back Derrick Henry entering his second year in the NFL)
He's had an impressive offseason, an impressive camp, the way he's worked. The second year, being in the system, understanding what we're doing, being with the offensive line, knowing where the holes may appear. It's different year two. I think I said earlier, there is no pitch count of who's going to get the ball, that won't happen. We're not going to force feed it to one guy or another. I would think if he had the same amount of carries his production would be significantly even better because of all of the things I just mentioned.
Titans players take the field for Day 13 of the team's 2017 training camp at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)