TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY MEDIA AVAILABILITY - Nov. 16, 2016
(on practice participation)
No participation was DeMarco (Murray). Everybody else was full. We held him out just for precautionary reasons.
(on if DeMarco Murray will sit out on Wednesday practices through the bye week to aid his recovery)
You know, I don't go that far. We talk about who's going to practice the day before and all the way up to when we come out here. That was the plan for this week.
(on the importance of Marcus Mariota preaching the "stay the course" message during the team's struggles this season)*
I think everybody was, as far as I know. From top to bottom, everybody was saying the same thing because that's what we believed in and didn't listen to the noise and stuck with our plan. Again, I think we're making progress. We're making a lot of progress, and that's what our plan was. You look at all three phases, there are a lot of new faces and a lot of new schemes going on. We're 10 games into a lot of new and we're getting better. That's what's important.
(on the importance of this game against the Colts)
Pretty big. I mean, last week was important. I think as we continue through these next games, they're all going to be that much more important and they are. A division game, we're all kind of lumped in there together—it's an important game.
(on the sustainability of the high scoring totals from the offense in recent weeks)
Well, you'd like to think it's something—I'm smart enough to know that's pretty tough to hold up those kind of points week-in and week-out. I think if we play as efficiently as we have and we're good on some of the phases—the third downs, the red zone, the important things, efficiency on first downs, all those things—we know what we're capable of doing if we do those things. I think that's giving us some confidence. I mean, that's the plan every week. We don't have a goal board. It's to score every time we touch it.
(on if the Colts have improved and gotten healthier since the last meeting)
Yeah, both squads are healthy. We talked about it this morning. It's going to be a good matchup with everybody being healthy, especially with them on offense with some skill guys back they didn't have the last time. That just gives them some more firepower we've got to handle.
(on if he expects to need the silent count in Lucas Oil Stadium)
It's one of the loudest stadiums, to me, outside of Seattle. I'm not so sure it's not the second-loudest that I've been a part of. We use silent all the time.
(on if the improved third-down production this season is a product of a good run game on first and second down)*
That has a lot to do with third-down conversions—get you into makable. We've been better on third-and-long which we call at least nine,10-plus (yards). We've been better at that than we've been in years past. We spend a lot of time on third down. That's been a big emphasis for us since April of being good at it.
(on what Marcus Mariota's AFC Offensive Player of the Week honor says about the team's improvement)
It's a great honor for Marcus (Mariota), but I think a lot of guys—everybody has come out here every day and worked their tales off to get to that point. It's a big contribution from everybody. I'm sure he would say that, but we've improved in a lot of areas that have helped him get to that point. That's a nice honor.
(on if he expects Quinton Spain to pick up where he left off if he starts at left guard)
I would think. I mean, he hasn't missed a significant amount of time. Yeah, I didn't look at him specifically on every play. The plays I did watch him, he looked good. I'm going to watch the practice tape, see how he moved around in everything. So we'll see where he's at tomorrow, especially after a full day of practice.
(on why Jack Doyle has found success in Indianapolis)
He's smart. He's a smart player, knows how to get open, doesn't have to be the fastest, quickest, strongest, he knows how to block people. He's a smart football player and you can play a long time.
(on the importance of improved insider linebacker coverage against the Colts)
It'll be pretty important. I think Dwayne Allen's a really good tight end that doesn't get a lot of credit. They had (Coby) Fleener, they've had guys there, but this guy is a problem. He's reliable and (Andrew) Luck knows it. He's a favorite of him, and we've got to do better than we did last time against them. I mean, we all know that. We have to cover better, we have to beat blocks better in pass protection. I don't care how many guys they keep in, you've still got to block them. There's a lot of things we need to improve on.
(on what has not been executed well by the inside linebackers in pass coverage)
Some of that is, again, these are fire zones, so it's not a true one-on-one where you're covering the guy from the snap to whistle. You're jumping it when he gets into your zone, so that gets a little hairy because now the receiver is into the route already. It's not like starting from scratch, so it's a little tougher on not just the linebackers, but the safeties.
Titans players take the field for Wednesday's practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)