TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - August 17, 2017**
(on today's practice with the Panthers)
(We) got a lot out of it. I thought it was really good work. I thought our guys behaved themselves, first of all, in a very competitive environment. I thought we had two good physical practices between two teams, that's how they play. We got a lot of good work in all three phases, there's no question about it, especially today.
(on what stood out to him at practice today)
I thought yesterday offensively we didn't finish the way we wanted to finish, and today I thought they had about as complete of a practice as they've had out here. I was pleased to see that. We got a lot of work with some of the younger guys. A lot of good things to teach off of from two days.
(on if he knows how much quarterback Marcus Mariota will play in Saturday's game against the Panthers)
Not yet. Rough ideas. We'll discuss it with the staff. That's probably tomorrow morning, just like we did last week.
(on if the first play of the game was auctioned off to the Make-a-Wish Foundation again this year)
We are doing it again this year, we are. The same family, so they love the experience. They get to come and get a tour of the facility, have breakfast, come out here, call a play in the huddle. I don't know if you saw it, but called a snap, called actually the play they're out with the defense and offense. They get to call a play in the huddle with our team, which I thought was a great experience for them. They'll come in at noon today. We'll explain the game plan and they'll get to pick the play.
(on if the family will have free-reign on which play they call)
No, the board's there, there's nothing special teams wise. I'll kind of keep them away from short-yardage and goal-line and things like that. They'll be well-prepared.
(on the decision to auction off the first play)
There's a lot of winners. Especially with a preseason game, it's a game, we want to win the game. What's on the board, that's going to be executed no matter who calls the play. It gives the fans a chance to experience what we get to go through every day. Little Big Town was out here today, they thought it was the greatest experience, and I'm like "I get to do this every day.' I'm blessed that I get a chance to do this. We want to share what we do, and I think it's a unique opportunity to come in and see how a game plan is put together and they actually get to watch the play unfold. Like I told them, when you call the play in the huddle and it doesn't work, it's your fault. That's part of it now.
(on how much calling the first play went for)
It was 20 thousand (dollars) last year. I think it was 18 thousand (dollars) this year. It goes to Waiting for Wishes, so that's a lot of wishes we hope we create.
(on if he let Little Big Town call a play during practice)
No, I didn't. It was just good to see (them). We have some fans out here who are busy and come out to watch us practice.
(on if quarterback Marcus Mariota will play more as the preseason goes on)
There's a plan. I don't want to share it now, but there's a plan.
(on if he has a philosophy on the ones taking more reps than the twos and threes)
I typically do, we do. That's when without joint practices. I got to really just see the pitch count for all of our guys, how much they got work in this against another opponent. That may change it a little bit, just for this game.
(on tight end Delanie Walker)
Delanie (Walker), we're limiting him just like we have, but he's very productive He hasn't slowed a bit. He's still at full-strength, he's still very difficult to cover. He takes such good care of his body and it shows up out here every day.
(on cornerback Adoree' Jackson)
(He) had a nice interception today in the second down and third-and-long period. That was good to see. Hopefully a little bit of a confidence booster for him. He's had a good camp.
(on wide receiver Rishard Matthews improving from last year to now)
He understands the system completely, it's not something that's brand new to him. He understands where Marcus (Mariota) expects him to be. He's improved in a lot of areas. He had a number of mental errors last year that would've got him more balls, and I'm talking about preseason, regular season. Those are things he knew he had to correct if he wants the ball more, I know he's working on it.
(on where wide receiver Rishard Matthews can still improve)
A little bit of reaction. I think he's seeing things, I think he's waiting to confirm, "This is what I see," to the break point. He's just got to trust—he's very extinctive. He's got a great break on the ball. He's just got to trust it a little bit more.
(on rookie cornerback Adoree' Jackson flashing in individual drills)
Again, that's a lot of experience—game experience coming at him. And again, guys coming at him are faster. The speed of the game, the more experience, the better for him.
(on if quarterback Marcus Mariota's leg injury is fully recovered)
Yeah it's behind us. That's not even a discussion when we're game planning. We're not game planning like we will in the regular season, obviously. We're going to be smart with a lot of our guys. But that hasn't been an issue about his leg.
(on how many more picks he needs to see from his defense)
A lot. That's what we want, we preach it every day. I think it's important to them. A lot of good things. Our defense has been, I think, very good from day one. We haven't had really, any let downs.
(on if his expectations change for the players' mentality going into the second preseason game)
Hopefully we clean up a lot of things, especially offensively, from (game) one. Yeah, you talk about improving every day you come out here, that's the same thing with these games. We'd like to take another step in this game. Just in these two practices I think we've gotten better.
(on if there will be a walk through tomorrow at Nissan Stadium)
The Panthers will be over at Nissan tomorrow for a walk through. We'll walk through here.
(on what he's looking for from quarterback Marcus Mariota)
I just want to see, last week I wanted a little confidence of his ability to get out of the pocket and make some plays. Scramble, if he has to scramble. Get up after a sack. Just get back on the saddle and make the calls and get ready. We had a delay of game—that's what the preseason's for. But you just like to see him take a little step above and not have any of those pre-snap penalties like we had last week.
(on if the younger players got the experience he'd hoped for out of the last two practices)
Yes. To me, that's what you get out of this. The young guys get another chance and another scheme to work against. Game tape is the best teaching tool. This is the second-best and for our young guys, this was a good experience.
(on injured players)
We got some guys—just tweaks, nothing serious. We've been pretty fortunate with the injuries.
(on if cornerback LeShaun Sims is holding down the starting cornerback spot)
He's holding it right now, yeah.
(on if running back DeMarco Murray will be playing in Saturday's game against the Panthers)
Yeah, I think so. That's the plan. Let's see how he is after this practice.
(on if wide receiver Eric Decker will be playing in Saturday's game against the Panthers)
Probably not. He's got an ankle that probably will not play.
(on how long wide receiver Eric Decker will be out)
I'm hoping it's not too long. He tried to tape it up and go again so it's that kind of close. How close is that? I don't know. But not this weekend.
(on if defensive tackle Jurrell Casey is sitting out for a rest day to stay healthy)
Yeah. It's just me taking him (off the field).
(on if today was a veterans day off)
More for them than our guys. We are limiting and monitoring our guys like we did last year. We're on top of it.
The Titans practice against the Carolina Panthers on Day 20 of the team's training camp at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Donn Jones Photography, Gary Glenn)