TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY MEDIA AVAILABILITY - Nov. 23, 2016
(on an injury update)
Not practicing today—(No.) 29 (DeMarco Murray), more of us being cautious with him. (No.) 77 (Taylor Lewan), we're going to evaluate him day-by-day and hold out hope he can play on Sunday. Brice McCain has got a knee that we're going to watch daily—still he has a chance to play on Sunday. And Phillip Supernaw, who's still in the concussion protocol.
(on Brice McCain's injury)
He's got a knee, just got some swelling on it, but I'm hoping it's not too bad. I don't think it is.
(on if he has seen any improvement in Taylor Lewan)
He's better today than he was. Each day he's gotten better, yes.
(on if improved ball protection is a result of greater team focus or Marcus Mariota reducing his turnovers)
Well, it's our top priority every game. I mean, there's no question about it. I saw a lot of signs with Marcus (Mariota) in particular of doing some things in the pocket, even when he broke out of the pocket and running in open space, I saw things that he did with it. I know he's focusing on it. I know he's working at it, and that's all we can do. We can't talk about it any more than we do. We can't practice it any more. It's really a matter of him doing what he's doing in live situations. I'm starting to see that in games unfold.
(on if Marcus Mariota's improved ball security is a product of more game experience)
I'm sure it's the experience he's getting. It's some of the bad experiences of what has happened because of those turnovers and the results of some of the turnovers. That's a tough lesson to learn for a player. I promise you that's part of the process of him learning how to take care of the football.
(on if he told the team to stay encouraged with the Texans' Monday night loss)
You know what, again, the thing I've told them is we're absolutely in no control over what anybody else can do. We were still in it whatever happened in their game. Certainly it helps, but that's not the focus for us. Our total focus is the Bears. I haven't talked about any other game with them, no.
(on what has stood out the most about Dennis Kelly in his time with the team)
Very intelligent player, can play multiple positions, has done well, even as a tight end for us as many times as we've used him as a tight end. Big trust factor. Now you've seen him play an entire game at left tackle against a good pass rusher. Just trust him, really trust him a lot.
(on if Dennis Kelly will definitely start at left tackle if Taylor Lewan cannot play)
I wouldn't say definitely is the word. He's probably the likely candidate. He's working there today.
(on if Jack Conklin to move to left tackle)
Yeah, we've talked through those things, but Dennis (Kelly) worked there today.
(on why the team has been able to rebound after losses or in games when losing by a large deficit)
Well, we've had multiple experiences. That was a tough loss, I'd go all the way back to Minnesota. That was a very difficult loss, and then to come back and be behind in Detroit and come back in that game on the road. As the season has unfolded, there's multiple times, whether it's been in a game where we've found ourselves behind and had to come back and have fallen short a couple times, but at least we've had an opportunity to win some of these games. And then we've responded when we've lost some of these games. Some of these games that you lose, they can have a lasting effect on your football team. It hasn't to these guys. When they come back to work, it's past them and they're right into the next game. That's a credit to our locker room. That's the guys we have in our locker room.
(on if they prepare for the Bears' offense or a certain quarterback)
Yeah, that's what we're doing. We're preparing for their offense. Basically, what their offense does, it plays to the quarterback's strengths. A lot of what they do already, (Matt) Barkley can do, so it's not going to be a matter of who it is. We're going to defend the offense.
(on what it would mean to win this game to get to 6-6 before the bye week)
It's important for our team. Again, it's part of the learning process. Obviously, we all know we have to win the game, and it's part of us being in a position, a little bit of a pressure situation in us winning these types of games.
(on if Phillip Supernaw being in the concussion protocol changes how the offense prepares)
No, I think we have some options. We're talking through it. We're, again, giving him some time to see where he's at, but we have options if he does not play, and we have a lot of confidence in those options. Again, we'll let you know as that goes.
(on the weather in Chicago)
From what I heard, it's going to be in the 50's. The rain forecast, I've heard it's going to be less of a chance of the rain. And if it was, it was later in the afternoon. It is what it is. Again, it's cold for them, it's raining for them. It should be a pretty even surface.
(on if the forecasted weather in Chicago is similar to Wednesday's weather)
It was a little bit like today. That's why we stayed out. I wish we got a little more rain, just to practice in it, but it was a little bit like today.
(on if a holiday week makes game preparation more complicated than a regular week)
No, basically in the morning, we're the same schedule start time. The only thing we're doing is we're going to eliminate the lift and the conditioning we do with them in the morning, and we'll be done by 12:30 so they can spend Thanksgiving with their families.
(on if he will do a weight check after Thanksgiving like last season)
Oh, I have a plan for Thursday. They kind of have an idea. I'll let you know how it goes on Friday.
(on how the players did with the weight check last year)
(on if Chance Warmack made weight last year)
Chance (Warmack) made it. Chance actually made it. I can't remember who—it might have been (Daimion) Stafford that didn't.
(on who he is worried about overeating this year)
I'll tell you what I did. I have a bowl full of lottery balls that all have their numbers on it. We're going to weigh them in tomorrow morning, so they can have a nice meal and not worry about being weighed in on Friday. I said on Friday morning, I'm going to pick five balls out of this thing with your numbers on it. The guys that have not made their weights, and there's a number of them—it's not bad, it's by a pound or two—as many as they've missed, another ball will be added to the bucket, so the odds of them being picked, we'll see who's over and who's under. I'll let you know how it goes.
(on if the weigh-ins will be open for media viewing)
Let me see who I pick out. It's anybody's game. It will be interesting. I'll let you guys know how it goes tomorrow.
(on if the weigh-in applies to the coaches, as well)
No, absolutely not.
(on if he was surprised Andrew Luck was not removed from the game after his concussion)
Very surprised, based on how important it is to the NFL that they protect their players. I was very surprised, for his safety.
Titans players take the field for Wednesday's practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)