Coach Mularkey's Wednesday Practice Transcript

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TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - September 27, 2017

(on the team's injuries)

Delanie Walker was out today, he's day-to-day with a hamstring. Same thing with Erik Walden, same with the groin, he did not practice, he's day-do-day. (Johnathan) Cyprien will be out for this game and so will Corey Davis for this game.

(on if running backs DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry were full participants in practice)

They're full practice. Just those four.

(on how wide receiver Corey Davis is progressing)

I think good. I think smart, progressing very smart, doing everything we're asking him to do, football-wise as well.

(on if Corey Davis has been frustrated)

If he's not, I'd be surprised. Anybody that's not playing, not getting a chance to play, if you're a competitor I'm sure (you're frustrated), but he doesn't show it. He's got a great attitude, he's a great kid.

(on Corey Davis's hamstring injury)

They're different for everybody. It's an injury that's touchy, anything can set it off. Just going to be smart with him this time. We've got a lot of football left to play.

(on the team's multiple hamstring injuries)

We haven't done anything different from last year, we didn't have the issues. Our guys do an outstanding job, we have active recovery for them a couple days a week, we've got a lot of guys in there. We hydrate, which is a big part of it. I emphasize that, probably over emphasize it. We're doing things exactly like we did things last year. We'll evaluate it again after the year and see what it is.

(on Texans defensive end J.J. Watt being disruptive despite not having a sack)

Very disruptive. He's back, he's full strength, he's very disruptive. He's helping other guys make plays just by having to take care of him.

(on making sure the team doesn't give up big defensive plays as a result of focusing too much on J.J. Watt)

I think it's really their whole defense. Their front, it is disruptive. You're really not trying to take care of one guy, you're trying to take care of the front. That's what we do on these three days, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, is try to figure out how to help our guys get an advantage against him. It's a lot easier to say it than it is to do.

(on Texans DE Jadeveon Clowney emerging as an impact player in J.J. Watt's absence last year)

Much more than his rookie year. I think he's kind of to me, just the difference from one year to the next, different player. 100-miles-per-hour, very tough to block, very slippery, as athletic as you can get. He does a lot of things, we're nervous about field goal as well, the guys they have on their field goal block. You're talking about the same three guys are disruptive on that. Somebody's going to have to have to block him one-on-one at some point in this game and we're going to have to do that.

(on if quarterback Marcus Mariota's preparing for the Texans, even in games that he hasn't played in, has helped him)

I would think so. He's prepared every game that he hasn't played like he was playing. Most real professionals do that. Mentally, he's got a lot of looks at them, again, he's only had that one game last year against them.

(on if last week's preparation for Seahawks' quarterback Russell Wilson helps the team this week in facing Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson)

I'd say it does. We practiced last week for it, we again are doing it this week. I think it helped the way we did practice. I think it's a benefit to us, very similar guys making plays all the way to the end. They had two similar plays, Russell (Wilson) on a fourth down and (Deshaun) Watson on a third-down play just about on his knees and letting him go. You've got to cover him to the whistle. It's going to be a difficult task.

(on if there is an extra emphasis on ball security this week since the Texans lead the league in forced fumbles)

No more than there it already is. It can't get emphasized more than we emphasize it.

(on the change that he has seen in Deshaun Watson over the last couple of games)

I think he's gaining confidence the more he's playing. I think it looked like they were trying to help him out, ease him into that starting role in Cincinnati, and I think he did some things that convinced them that he can do more. He did more against New England, obviously, and I think they're starting to see what he's comfortable with. He's getting better.

(on if nose tackle Sylvester Williams taking fewer snaps is a result of the teams the Titans have played)

No, that's a product, that's our defensive scheme against what personnel is in more the offense. It's more that than anything.

(on how important it would be in the long term to win the first two division games on the road)

That's what you've got to do to win the division, you've got to win games in the division, you've got to win them on the road. That's what Houston has done to win the last two years, that's typically the case. These are the kind of games that are important.

(on the Texans winning the last several games against the Titans in Houston)

I wasn't here for some of those, so it's hard for me to speak for what kind of game (it was), I really don't know anything about them. The 'in-a-row' thing has to end some time, it can only go on for so long, and I'm hoping to set this week. They've had a nice run at their place.

(on if beating Houston on the road is a benchmark for where this team wants to be)

Absolutely, you answered your own question.

(on if punter Brett Kern is doing anything different this year)

No, he's actually punting like he does in practice, that's the beauty. That's exactly what you saw last week, he does that in practice. It's a matter of being consistent, and that's what we need from him. He was outstanding last week, and probably need as much this week as that.

(on what he likes about the combination of Erik Walden, Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo)

Similar to what Houston gives you, somebody's going to have to block one of them one-on-one at some point. Where are they going to end up when the ball's snapped. There's a lot of identification, a lot of communication goes on when they're walking around like that. And they all don't rush all the time, so you may be using up a guy, sitting there waiting for them to come, and you get a free runner from somewhere else, which we've had that as well. There's a lot of moving parts in that package.

(on if the team lacked depth at the outside linebacker position last year)

Not guys that have had 10-sack season. No, we haven't had that. Three guys that have had that much production on the field at the same time, not since I've been here. I'm talking about outside linebackers.

(on if linebacker Kevin Dodd is still building confidence)

I would say yes. Doesn't have a lot of experience, and we're trying to get him as much as we can. Obviously, he sat down the first couple of games. The more (snaps) he gets, the better he's going to get.

(on if Kevin Dodd having three special teams snaps is enough)

I'd like it to grow, I'd definitely like him to grow.

(on if Kevin Dodd has improved)

I've seen him improve. Much more disruptive, much more push in the pocket, much more in the quarterback's face. Quarterbacks are not being able to step up and complete the throw.

(on rookie tight end Jonnu Smith experiencing success early in the season)

Nothing changes with him. He comes to work the same. Really, the thing about him nothing intimidates him. We've put him on some tough guys to block as a rookie, some big defenders that he's had to block one-on-one and hasn't affected him. Has he dominated? No. Has he has some stalemates, which we consider wins? Yes. Anything we ask him to do, he hasn't blinked.

(on if it can be expected that two thirds of his catches are touchdowns)

What, do you have him on your team? We expect big plays, I didn't think a screen would go for as big as it went, thought it'd be a big play, but not for a touchdown. Just shows you what he's capable of doing with his ability.

(on downfield blocking contributing to DeMarco Murray's 75-yard touchdown run)

Like the run, if we get four yards that's a plus for us. That's the first time we've run that play this year. That's a play I'm familiar with, I used to run in hundreds of times in Pittsburgh. The first time we ran it we were hoping to get a good run, but not 75 yards.

(on if the team will be on the field for the national anthem on Sunday)

Yeah I know you have to ask and I don't have to answer. I'm sticking with my statement, I'm going to leave it at that and I appreciate you not asking again.

Titans players take the field for Wednesday's practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)

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