Coach Mularkey's Wednesday Practice Transcript

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TITANS INTERIM HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - December 9, 2015

(on if there is a fine line between being stubborn and trying to run the ball and adjusting if it's not working)

I think it's important to stay balanced in your plan and really, your philosophy. We're going to attempt. It's too early to give in already and talk about it. We're scheming against what they do and they do a lot of things. They have multiple fronts and we've looked at all the games the whole year of how to attack them. We'll see how it goes, but we're getting better, I feel, running the ball each week. It will be a good matchup for us.


(on getting better during the progression of a game at running the ball)*

Yeah, same thing with Oakland. We started slow, we struggled a little bit. Again, both fronts very good against the run, and we made some adjustments and had some better success. Obviously, this last game we went in and started early with the success in the run game. We'll do whatever we have to do to get the run going. We know they're going to try to stop it and we're going to try to make it happen. So it will be a good test.

(on where Brandon Marshall ranks as far as players who are tough to contend with)

He's having one of his better years from what I can remember. His size, his speed, they have a good connection going right now with Fitz (Ryan Fitzpatrick). He's doing some good things, just watching him on tape, he's finding holes that don't look like they're designed. He's got a good feel for adjusting some of the routes, and the quarterback is with him on it. He's just a threat. We've got to have a plan for him. We will, and we do, I think. I think everybody does, but he's still pretty potent.

(on if Brandon Marshall is anything like Allen Robinson)

I'd say just bigger, maybe faster. But as a serious threat? Yeah.

(on what Ryan Fitzpatrick is doing better now than he was earlier in his career)

He's making better decisions, I think. You watch him and he's not trying to force some things that he's done earlier. I think some of the offensive schemes that he's in kind of helps too with some of his decision making. I know (Jets offensive coordinator) Chan (Gailey) very well. I worked with Chan in Pittsburgh and he doesn't put the quarterbacks at risk if he can help it with the scheme that they have. But yeah, he's been very productive, obviously, going back to last year.

(on if he remembers the game against Ryan Fitzpatrick last year when he was with Houston)

I do, yes. He had a good game.

(on his relationship with Chan Gailey)

No, that was really early in my career that I was with Chan (Gailey). I learned a lot from him. There are some things I still do today because of Chan, but he's had a great career where he has been and it will be good to go against him.

(on if Chris Ivory is as physical of a runner as there is in the league)

If he's not, he ranks up there in the top tops. We know this, he's not going to go out of bounds. We know he's going to look for the hole, but if somebody's in the hole, he's going to try to run us over. I'm going to use the word 'try' as much as I can so our guys get the point. They better have a good pad level or it's not going to be a pretty picture, but obviously, he's a big, physical back.

(on what the last few days have been like coming off the win)

It's been quiet the last two days because there were no players around, but it was upbeat today. Meetings were good, the pads coming off helped. I kind of figured that would help, that usually does. I don't see any tears shed when they pull them off, but that helped with things. Then our competitive period always is a good way to end practice. Somebody has to run and unfortunately, that was me today.

(on having a couple days off late in the season)

I think it's really good for them, especially the veterans. We had a lot of rookies in here yesterday watching tape and with the coaches trying to get them prepared for as much as we had installed already. They came in the early evening. I think getting away helps. I think it gets their mind right, clears their mechanism a little bit. But really 44 were in here Monday and Tuesday getting a workout in, which at this time of the year is pretty impressive by our players.

(on if the increased running from Marcus Mariota has been by design)

Yeah, it was more by design. Again, a lot of this was based on his health. Again, obviously, it's better. But we've talked as well. I heard the question about when we want him to run and it's a feel thing for him. It's how the protection is holding up, what he sees in front of him. But I have no problem with him, again, I'm an advocate of these guys, I'm good with them running. If you looked at that long run, there were some really bad angles taken on him and that happens a lot when guys with his kind of speed are breaking the pocket.

(on if it helps that Marcus Mariota is a smart quarterback and knows not to take hits on the run)

No, he doesn't. He's very good at trying to avoid contact. A couple of those designed runs, we got him out of the pocket with a lead player along the edge. He went through a couple, he ran through some tackles. That's not something I'm worried about. I'm just worried about a clean shot out on him, and I think he's smart not to take those.

(on if Marcus Mariota's running can help open up passing opportunities and if that helps the running backs as well)

I think it helps our whole offense that they know, no matter what, we have formations and personnel groupings that look for passing formations and downs and distance, but we'll run him and we'll design runs that we'll have enough guys to block all their guys because as soon as the quarterback can run,  the playing surface is even. We have guys for their guys, and that puts the threat on defenses because if you're not where you're supposed to be, you're going to get creased.

(on if the spy on Marcus Mariota takes one guy out of a bigger play)

It does. One less rusher, one less cover guy. I'm anxious to see somebody try to spy on him and have success.

(on past team quarterbacks taking hits and not seeing it as much with Marcus Mariota)

I think we've done a better job up front with the protections. We've changed the protections, we've added some protections. We've added more people in to help chip on the edges. Marcus (Mariota) does a good job of moving around in the pocket. He's very good with that. He's typically better with ball security in the pocket. But he does, he's good with his drops, but he does a really good job of stepping up in the pocket and that again is a lot of avoiding the rush and the hits.

(on what it says about the emotional development of the team, despite the record, when guys were blocking for Marcus Mariota all the way down the field on his 87-yard touchdown run)

Well, that says a lot about these guys. It's what we want. In the offseason, we showed tape of what we wanted, of receivers going down the field and doing things like that. It's been talked about even way back on the first time they came in the building. We showed them tape from NFL games that showed receivers springing running backs where they could walk into it. What we said is, 'We would like to have you guys on this tape. I don't want to show you other teams, I want to see our team doing that.' So we have a lot of good tape to show these guys for young guys that are going to come in here at some point.

(on Darrelle Revis as someone to be aware of)

He's still that guy, yeah. He's still that guy, he's a problem out there. They've got another one on the other side too with (Antonio) Cromartie. They've got some good cover guys.

(on if they'll attack Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie the same way they'd attack anyone else)

Yeah, you've got to scheme a little bit with them. You've got to get away from them. I don't know how they're going to matchup based on who is going to be playing. I don't know how they're going to do it.  (Darrelle Revis) is still in the concussion protocol, so we'll deal with that when it comes up, but we're preparing like he's playing.

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