TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY MEDIA AVAILABILITY - Nov. 2, 2016
(on the injury report)
(Quinton) Spain was out today and limited was DeMarco (Murray). He did a little bit, but we're going to just be smart with him. Also limited, Aaron Wallace with a shoulder. We'll see how it goes tomorrow with Aaron. Other than that, we're pretty healthy.
(on if DeMarco Murray did less because it was a physical practice)
Yeah, I think it's going to be more and more as the week goes along.
(on if there is a chance DeMarco Murray misses the game)
I wouldn't expect that, but again, he's limited today and we'll see how it turns out tomorrow.
(on Philip Rivers' experience)
He's played a lot of football and been very successful. He's had a great career, an unbelievable career. I think this is the fifth or sixth time he's faced Coach (Dick) LeBeau. You know, he faces a 3-4 defense every day, so he has a little bit of an advantage of seeing it, just like us. We practice against it every day, so there shouldn't be an advantage to either side.
(on if the Titans' have an advantage with Ken Whisenhunt having coached here)
I'd say probably you could say the same thing (about the Chargers). He knows very similar offenses, almost the same terminology if you're talking about the base terminology. I don't know if there will be an advantage, to be honest with you. I don't feel like we have one over them.
(on if Ken Whisenhunt has a greater advantage)
I mean, he knows our personnel being around them. Again, our personnel has changed dramatically. A lot has changed since he's left. The guys that are here, he's got a good feel for them.
(on how Joey Bosa has improved the Chargers' defense)
He's pretty potent. The thing about him is you can tell each game he's just gotten a lot more confidence—body language, where he's lining up, how he's lining up, the way he's playing. He's playing very well. Again, they're using him the right way of getting some mismatches with him.
(on his analysis of Joey Bosa leading up to the draft)
Liked his energy, liked his effort, very talented, very good athlete for the size. You talk about a guy who can move, extreme quicks, great techniques. I mean, very disruptive in college. You've got to put two guys on him to take care of him. He hasn't disappointed the expectations for where he was drafted.
(on if the Chargers create mismatches with Joey Bosa by lining him up in different spots)
He'll line up—we call him the spinner—he'll walk around, he's played outside linebacker in a game for them because of injuries. He's played in a couple different positions, so he's versatile. He can do it all.
(on the challenge Joey Bosa presents to Jack Conklin)
Well, the nice thing is they've played against each other. There hasn't been a lot of reps when you watch film on them in college. It's not a lot of reps, but there's enough. Jack (Conklin) has some experience playing against him. We like what Jack's done for us against some very good pass rushers that we've faced this year.
(on what he saw on film when Jack Conklin faced Joey Bosa)
I think Jack (Conklin) handled it—I mean, that's one thing we saw about Jack. There weren't a lot of guys that gave him problems or a lot of mismatches at all.
(on the weather this week)
The weather's outstanding. I thought it was going to be a lot hotter today. It was beautiful. It's a beautiful day, kind of what we expect when we get to San Diego this weekend.
(on if the weather helps the team prepare to play in San Diego)
I don't think that's going to play a factor in it, no. I was worried about the heat. I was going to do a couple things differently with the practice if it was as hot as I was expecting. Fortunately, it was beautiful.
(on his message to the team at the halfway point of the season)
Well, halftime is over. Like you do in a regular game, it's nothing-to-nothing. We're starting from scratch. This game here is important. We can't watch what anybody else is doing. We have no control over any of that. All we have control over is this game, and lock in. Whatever we have to do, see if we can repeat, continue to make the progress that we're making. We are making progress every week.
(on if he could see in practice that players benefited from the long weekend)
Yeah, even Monday's practice, they had three days off. That's typically one that it's like pulling teeth to get them to fly around, and they were flying around without any pushing from me or any of the coaches. Today, come out—we haven't hit anybody in a week—come out in full pads and get the practice we got done, that says a lot about our football team.
(on how Tre McBride can help the team on the active roster and if it's a reward for his hard work)
It is, it's a reward to be brought up to the active roster. We're looking at all our options when it comes to who's going to be inactive. We've got a lot of conversations to take place, but his role still is out here playing that wide out that we've got to give a good look for our defense. Nothing really has changed in that category.
(on Antonio Gates' career and his success in the red zone)
He's very crafty. They're using him the right way. They're using him on third down. They're using him in the red zone. He finds ways to get open. It doesn't look like he's lost a beat, but he's not playing the number of reps that he used to play, so he's a guy that can come off the bench and wreck your game just in the red-zone scenario. He's phenomenal still to this day.
(on if playing a small amount of true three-wide sets is a product of the run game)
It's probably more of the run than it is anything. If you look, we probably have more personnel groupings than anybody in the NFL I would think based on who we put in the game at specific times. We have a lot of personnel groupings which, to me, is to our advantage. There's numbers all over the place of what we think are different personnel groupings. I'm sure they are to the defenses, as well. Three-wides is still a big number for us with our third-down and our no-huddle and our two-minute, so that's where you see those numbers.
(on how much more three-wide is played now than when he was a player)
A lot, especially with the tight ends that are in the league today. So you put three receivers and a tight end that's hard to cover, that's become predominate of what's going on in the league.
(on if three wide outs and a tight end amounts to a four-wide set)
Four-wides is a whole different world. I think there's a difference between the two because I've been predominately four-wides and I've been more lately of three-wides, so there is a difference attacking.
(on why Marcus Mariota's numbers and production have improved over the last four games)
I think one thing is our consistency with our wide receivers has gotten much better. I believe there's a trust factor that has gotten better each week. We're making bigger plays. We're making plays down the field for him. I think running the ball has helped us because, again, when you've got more guys up there to stop the run, you've got less to defend pass. I think that's helped our offense. I just think the scheming that Terry's (Robiskie) doing with the staff, I think there's a lot of things that are helping him build his confidence in what we're doing.
(on if Marcus Mariota playing each game this season has helped him improve)
That certainly doesn't hurt to play week-in and week-out. He sees the progress, he sees the whole offense is making progress, he's seeing guys around him making progress. That's good for him. Again, it's a lot about trust.
(on if Derrick Henry will continue to get a higher workload)
That will be a lot of how the game unfolds. We have a package, we have things for Derrick (Henry) every week. We've had that. Some weeks, they haven't come to light for various reasons. We'd like to get him more involved, but that's how the flow of the game's going to go.
(on if there are more challenges playing a game on the west coast)
Again, it's not the east—going there. We're going to gain. We've got Daylight Savings Time on Sunday. We're going out a day early to kind of get adapted. When it gets hard is when you do have to go from the east and you go the night before, your body—the dehydration with the flight is a little bit of a concern. We're trying to get them out there, get them acclimated to the time and just basically their body clocks of what time they play a game on Sunday.
(on if he thinks the Cubs or Indians will win the World Series)
I'd have to go probably the Indians.
Titans players take the field for Wednesday's practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)