TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY MEDIA AVAILABILITY - Sept. 21, 2016
I'll, again, like I did the other day, give you a couple injury updates. Did not practice today—Brice McCain, Delanie (Walker). Brice with a little bit of a knee. I think it was more of playing on the turf. Hopefully, we should have him back tomorrow. Delanie—a little bit of a strain on the hamstring—more taking care of him than pushing it. I think he'll be fine. (Valentino) Blake has got the chest contusion. Chance (Warmack) opted for surgery on the finger. We had a long discussion with him on all of his options and he chose to have the surgery on it, so we'll place Chance on IR with that injury. And then limited were (Phillip) Supernaw—he's got a low back strain, he thinks he'll be fine and so do we—Derrick Morgan did some work in individual and we liked what we saw but didn't push him too far. He should do more tomorrow, and Kendall (Wright) the same. He did a little bit today and hopefully more each day the next two days. A little longer list than normal.
(on who played right guard during practice today)
Really both of them—Josh Kline and (Brian) Schwenke.
(if he thinks Chance Warmack's injury is more of a season-long injury)
You know, it's something that we're going to put him on IR. He can return, but this is an injury that he's going to end up having to wear a club anyhow, even when that time comes up. That's a tough position to play with a club on your hand.
(on if he thinks it's likely Chance Warmack will miss the remainder of the season)
I would say that, yeah.
(on if they will evaluate Josh Kline and Brian Schwenke throughout this week to determine a new starter)
Yeah, we're going to work them both in there throughout the week and then make a decision by week's end.
(on the challenge of bringing a new player into the starting lineup and building chemistry)
As quickly as we can. Brian Schwenke has been rotating in there at all three positions. He has to because of his role on Sundays, so that's not as big a deal with him. He knows all the calls. A little tougher on Josh Kline. He's the latest edition, but he's picked it up rather quickly. You know, we've spent a lot of time with him. Mike Sullivan did a great job with him. He knows it. He just doesn't work with those guys, but as far as communication, he's played in some pretty big games in his career, so we feel pretty good about him, as well. The chemistry—they've got to come together and we've got a good test. They've got some big defensive linemen they've got to handle this weekend.
(on if Josh Kline is a better fit to replace Chance Warmack because Brian Schwenke can play either center or guard)
They really both can. They both can play center and they both can play guard. I think because of (Josh) Kline's experience at the position, that gives him a little bit more—I'm talking about in New England—gives him a little bit more of an advantage. But again, we're going to weigh them all out in the next really three days of practice.
(on if Sebastian Tretola is not in the mix at guard because he lacks experience)
Well, you've got to look at the role. When we go in on Sundays, we need a swing guard/center. You're talking about finding another spot to bring him up. Right now, I can't find one.
(on if decision to have surgery was a mutual decision between Chance Warmack and the team)
No, this was Chance's (Warmack) personal decision to do it.
(on if Chance Warmack could have played with a club)
That was one of the options. He could have played with it.
(on if he has seen offensive linemen play well while wearing a club)
It really didn't—one of the options was not have the surgery and not have to wear a club, so that was an option as well.
(on if he feels optimistic about Kendall Wright's return)
A little bit. He worked some yesterday. We wanted to get really a full practice in today, and I don't know if he's ready for that yet. I'm hoping each day he does more, but I'm a little optimistic about this weekend.
(on how much work Kendall Wright did today)
He did individual and did some scout team reps, but not like some of the guys who are taking a lot of reps in scout team. He didn't take a lot. He took a lot more than he has in the last 60 days.
(on the importance for the offense of getting a receiving threat like Kendall Wright back on the field)
Yeah, we've missed him. Obviously, he's a very good player in the slot. That's important, especially on third down. That's really important in our no-huddle. Harry (Douglas) has done a nice job. That's what Harry's role has been, but that's what Kendall's (Wright) specialty is, and we'd like to get him back. I mean we've wanted him—it's gone on for a long time. I'm hoping we're getting close with him, and I know he is too.
(on if Kendall Wright can be a dynamic playmaker that can open up the offense)
Well, I think it will help other positions. Delanie (Walker)—take a little pressure off of him. I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure I had Kendall (Wright) for a game, maybe two, dating back to the middle of last year. Really, to have a full force of your best weapons, we haven't had that yet and it'd be nice to have that. The sooner the better.
(on if they have moved away from the running game when it is not successful)
No, we're calling runs. We've stuck with the run game really through the first six games—the preseason and the last two. We've stuck with it and we've stuck with it when we were behind. There's certain situations that dictate that it's not optimal to run the ball at that time. It's like we played Oakland last time and we went no-huddle, they stayed base defense, you don't have a lot of runs against their base defense, so you throw the ball then. But we haven't gotten away from it for any other reason but maybe the way the defense is set to defend us.
(on if he is satisfied with the run-pass ratio they have used)
So far, yeah.
(on if he feels the team is poised to win back-to-back games)
I think we have the locker room that's capable of doing that. That was a good win for us, but again, we've got to move on. That hopefully is going to teach us some lessons for future games of what we're capable of doing. There's a lot of good energy in the building, I can tell you that. Practice was very good today. These guys came in ready to go to work. We had 40 guys in here yesterday on their day off.
(on if he has sensed a different vibe since the win)
There has been a different vibe here—I mean, there was a good vibe even after the loss to Minnesota. These guys are in the right frame of mind.
(on if playing the Raiders in the preseason is helpful in preparation)
No, it does. It helps. We know the personnel. Our guys know their personnel and then we've used their game in the breakdown. I'm sure they've used our game, as well. All you do is look for tendencies. Are they still doing some of the things that we saw a month ago and does it play a factor in how we game plan against them? And it does. I'm sure vice-versa for them.
(on if the Raiders are gambling more on offense than in the past)
You know, that's something that's the flow of the game. A lot of that is the playcaller, the head coach, how he feels the flow is going and the confidence that they have. I think it's circumstances that really dictate when to do that.
(on if the Raiders' struggles in pass defense influence how they will attack on offense
We have a game plan. We know where their weaknesses are for the first two weeks. I think they're going to try to do some things to correct that. I think they already have with some of the information coming out of there. We're not going to let our guard down based on statistics from the other two games. We've got a plan for what we do well with the people that we have.
(on the importance of throwing occasional passes to certain players so that opposing defenses don't rule them out as threats)
You know, if that happens, it's part of the progression that they're getting. But it's not a design, we've got to get a ball to a guy here or there to get pressure off of anybody else. That's never the case. It's really the play design allows how the coverage dictates where the ball is going to go.
(on how good Marcus Mariota's final drive against the Lions was for him)
Really good. Obviously, the interception was a negative. They made a great play. That just shows you that he doesn't let things like that affect his play. No matter how the game went back and forth, the ebb and flow of that game, the penalties, everything that was going on in that game, he never let any of that fluster him and got right back into it. He knew the situation, knew we needed two possessions to win the game and didn't flinch. We stuck with the offense. Terry (Robiskie) did a good job of sticking with the plan and those guys executed it.
(on his sense of Marcus Mariota in the huddle)
He really has a command of the huddle. When he's on the field, we're going to be in the right place if he's out there. I mean, just really a great command.
Titans players take the field for Wednesday's practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn, Amber Harding)