TITANS INTERIM HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - December 30, 2015
(on if it is equally important for him as it is for the team to finish on a high note)
I think starting with me, we'd like to have a good taste in our mouth when the season is over with, win a game on the road against a division opponent who is going to play us like the last four, still playing for a playoff spot. So that's what it personally is for me and I know a lot of these guys and this coaching staff (agree).
(on if it is hard not to think about what will happen after the season)*
There is nothing I can do about it, everything is out of my control. Again, it's about winning every week and it will be no different this week. We'll see what happens next week.
(on how hard it is to prepare for the Colts' uncertainty at quarterback)
I don't know if I've ever been around a situation like this. We said we're thinking maybe (Stephen) Morris if (Matt) Hasselbeck doesn't play, but he's still an option. We just picked Morris because he's got more days than the other two that were signed yesterday, really. We're going to kind of prepare for Hasselbeck and then adjust to these other guys.
(on how he keeps guys from packing it in this week)
They're all pros, this is their job. They know all eyes are upon them these last few games, people are watching them and evaluating them and watching to see and make sure that it's important to them. I think they know that. They don't need me to tell them that, they should know that themselves. Maybe some of the young guys don't understand that, but we've got a bunch of veteran leaders that made it clear way back we were going to finish up strong.
(on if Marcus Mariota still has a chance to play Sunday)
This is the third day we've worked with him and we're going to rule him out. It's just not worth the risk. He's not as far along as we thought he'd be by today and it's not worth the risk so we're going to rule him out.
(on if he feels like Marcus Mariota had enough experience this year and how he progressed)
I think he's progressed very well. I wish things were different and he didn't get hurt earlier in the year. I think the end of the year might have even been better because he was slow with the injury. But I think as far as his progress, I thought he made great strides. He's learned a lot, went through a lot, saw a lot. A lot of these teams were playoff caliber teams here at the end and the defenses we faced, the fronts, the blitzes, the things he saw will benefit him for this next year easily.
(on how Marcus Mariota took the news that he would not be playing Sunday)
He doesn't take that real good. He'd play if he could.
(on if he made the decision not to play Marcus Mariota on Sunday or if the organization did)
We talk about it as an organization. It's doing it the right way and being smart about it. We were hoping, we knew it was slim and he's a pretty quick healer, but that's not the case for this one.
(on if there are guys on the team who could be better players in lesser roles)
That probably could be true for some of the guys, but based on a lot of the things that happened this year with our roster, that wasn't the case. We had guys being thrown in that probably shouldn't have been playing right away. That's one reason you have a practice squad, another reason you have guys that are backups that are young and need experience, maybe game experience, but not starting multiple games in a row. So that's possibly true with some of our guys.
(on if it is fair for him to be judged by that body of work given that some players were forced to do more than they might have been capable of)
It's however you want to look at it. It was the situation that was part of the process when I took over. Obviously, more things happened as I went a long and we tried to deal with it. We're still trying to deal with some of it going into this last game, but you can't play 'woe is me,' you have a game every Sunday you have to get prepared for and that's what we're trying to do with the guys that we have. They've responded extremely well as far as trying to do what we're asking them to do against some really good football teams we're playing at this time of the year.