TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY MEDIA AVAILABILITY - Dec. 21, 2016
(on how he felt when he heard which players were selected to the Pro Bowl)
Very proud. I mean, I thought (they were) well-deserving, I thought they've had very good years and it was nice to see them recognized. I was hoping that was the case. Even the alternates, to be recognized, to have that many guys where your peers and fans are starting to take notice of your play, that's something for them. I'm very proud of them.
(on the team's reaction when the Pro Bowlers were announced)
Real good. We had a team meeting about five o'clock yesterday. Really, Jon (Robinson) did the announcement and we kind of played off of each other, but it was fun to see the reaction and how our team really cares about each other. It was a really good environment, a lot of good energy and a great way to end the day.
(on if having players selected to the Pro Bowl helps raise the level of competition on the team)
I'm hoping it shows. We have a lot of young guys. We have a lot of young guys playing on our team, a lot of rookies that are playing a pretty good bit. I'm hoping they're watching. You look at the guys that were named to the Pro Bowl, they do a lot of things on and off the field that I would absolutely follow their lead if you want to be that kind of caliber of player and hopefully someday have that recognition of you.
(on Taylor Lewan's improvement this season to be named to the Pro Bowl)
Well, he deserved it. There's no question about it. He deserved to be named to the Pro Bowl, but that started way back even before April. I mean, this guy has been in here working as hard as anybody in the weight room, in the meetings. He's been outstanding in everything we've wanted him to do. He came in this offseason with a great approach and has never wavered and has played at a high level. That's a good sign we're going in the right direction with him but a good sign for other players to watch how he did it.
(on how much credit he takes for Taylor Lewan's development in the last year)
Yeah, it was a tough situation when I took over and then what we had to do with his captainship. I'm not sure that was what did it. I know he's got a fiancé that has been great for him. He'll tell you that. She's great. But I think it's just maturing over the years and seeing how other guys do it. He's a young player, and I think it's just watching other guys around how you do it. This year, he came in here and did it the right way. He's been recognized for it.
(on if it is significant that coaches and players around the league voted five Titans to the Pro Bowl)
I would say so. Yeah, I mean, I would think that says a lot about you when your peers are watching. Obviously, watching tape, the coaches—it's hard to ignore the production these guys have had. That's a nice honor, whoever voted for them.
(on the mindset of a team playing its first game after a head coaching change)
I think they know Doug (Marrone)—his personality as a line coach, it's not something new. I'm sure they've watched him with his position there. It is really difficult on him because of, I'm sure, his respect of Coach (Gus) Bradley. I anticipate a very tough, physical football game. That's his mindset. He's a very good football coach and they will be well prepared. If I know Doug, they will be very well prepared.
(on why the offense has been effective in the two-minute drill)
We practice it a lot. We've been doing that since early April. We talk about it. We like the system that we run. It's been successful, really, going back to Pittsburgh when we installed it, through Atlanta—it's been a very successful system for us throughout the years, and it is here, as well.
(on if Marcus Mariota's experience with the two-minute offense helps it run successfully)
Yeah, that helps. You've obviously got to have a quarterback that's confident and comfortable and can execute it. Everybody's part of it. You're talking about now, even this past game, we protected the tackles all the way up until the two-minute drill. Now you leave them exposed in two series that we scored on and the tackles had to pick up their game, and they did. They made those two drives happen.
(on playing in Florida weather after playing in the cold in Kansas City)
It will be good. I think these guys are even happy to be indoors here right now, even though I know it's not as cold outside. Again, it's going to be warm. They've got to be ready to play in the heat, too. I don't know if we've played in a game in the upper 70's and that kind of humidity, so we've got to be ready for that as well
(on if it is easier to prepare to play in a warm or cold climate)
Probably the heat. You can simulate that. We've done that in here. We've tried to get it to the temperature it's going to be down there, so I'd say the heat.
(on upcoming roster moves)
Karl (Klug) went on IR today, and we're going to make a transaction with DJ (D'Joun) Smith, our corner. We're going to bring him up with the injury to Jason McCourty. Jason did not practice today. He'll probably not practice tomorrow, just from now, and I'll give you more details tomorrow after practice.
Titans players take the field for Wednesday's practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)