TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - October 18, 2017**
I'll give you a little update, I'll save you a question. Corey (Davis) and (Johnathan) Cyprien did not practice. 91 (Derrick Morgan) abdominal strain, day-to-day. DeMarco (Murray) with the hamstring strain, he's day-to-day, and I gave Rak (Brian Orakpo) a day off today to catch up.
(on if OLB Derrick Morgan and RB DeMarco Murray were limited in practice)
No, they did not practice today. All of those guys I just named did not practice today.
(on how quarterback Marcus Mariota is doing)
He had a good day, he had a really good day.
(on if Marcus Mariota was a full participant in practice today)
(on if there has been any consideration to DeMarco Murray not playing on Sunday)
(of if there is concern that Derrick Morgan will not play Sunday)
Yeah, I think it's day-to-day, he could be better tomorrow, he could be better tonight. I'm not concerned.
(on if Derrick Morgan suffered the abdominal strain early in the game and played through it)
No, when he did it he was out.
(on playing a team that is winless six games into the season)
Well we played them last year at about the same time, a very similar time, they were winless at home. It was a close game, a very, very close game. Winless in this league, undefeated in this league, it's a week-to-week league. You see it every week, there's surprises. I said it on Monday night, it's tough to win in this league. The records are out the window when we play each other, regardless of who it is.
(on what he's seen from Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer)
Obviously, he struggled early. I haven't watched a lot of tape on him. It's been a short, very short week, to say the least. I'm still in the offensive side. I think what they're trying to do, again, like you would with any rookie quarterback, help them out with the run game. They've got two good backs that are there to help him out. He's still throwing quick games now. He just lacks experience right now, and I think that's what they're trying to do, get him some more.
(on preparing the team for the next week after having a Monday night game)
We shortened the day today. We had them in later this morning, get them some more rest. Practice was shortened, we came out later, we're in earlier. Just trying to get as much recovery as possible, which I think's important. Walk through was lengthened to make up for the reps we lost. Just trying to take care of them, especially after that late of a game. That's a tough duty to come out here, but they had a good practice.
(on Browns rookie Myles Garrett)
He's a really good player. He's playing up to what they expected when they picked him with the first pick.
(on if Marcus Mariota will be more mobile this week)
If he continues to do what he did today he should be very close, real close. He's much further ahead.
(on if Marcus Mariota is real close to being at 100 percent)
Just real close. He did a lot today, so that was good, good to see.
(on OLB Brian Orakpo having the day off)
He's playing good football, he is, he's playing good football. That was my discretion to make a decision on giving him some time and I think it was smart to do today based on the reps he's played.
(on Derrick Henry bouncing runs outside and when he should do it)
That's a better question for him, especially this week with some of the things they do with their corners. You're going to be bouncing it out to corners that are basically their run support, so you're going to be bouncing it out to a lot of unblcoked guys. I'm not going to tell the guy what he's got to do, he's been pretty productive with the way he's done it. I'm going to keep letting him do what he does best and not screw him up if I can.
(on Derrick Henry running on the outside being instinct or how the plays are drawn up)
Well some of it, the last play designed to bounce outside, the play is called 'bounce.' We ran it up inside in the same formation and really didn't get much. That play was not in the game plan, we put it in late in the game, didn't practice it all week and scored a touchdown on it. That was designed to get outside.
(on if he has an issue with how much Derrick Henry runs outside)
No, he's been very productive doing it, he has. To me, he's got very deceptive speed for as big as he is. I just think there are poor angles taken on him when he goes outside.
(on Derrick Henry getting stuck in the backfield at times)
That's going to happen, it's feast or famine on some of those.
(on the offensive line taking a step forward in the second half)
I was pretty pleased the first half to be honest with you. We scored every time we had the ball, that was our objective. We didn't score touchdowns, which we obviously need to do better, definitely have to do a better job. Our O-Line protected Marcus (Mariota) pretty well. We knew going in it was going to take some time to establish the run game, and it did. I thought they played well. I thought it was a good step for them.
(on wide receiver Eric Decker's play being a reflection of him settling in with the team)
I just think the more he's playing, the more game experience he's getting, the better it is for him. Obviously, working with Marcus (Marioat) as much as he is, I think that's helped him. A lot of the coverage dictated going to him as well. That's the case, it's not always trying to force it to anybody, it's who are they focusing on. If you watch the game, at times they triple-teamed Delanie (Walker), that's how Taywan Taylor got so open. We had another play that they took Delanie and Rishard (Matthews) was wide open. We missed him on it, it could've been a big play. We're not trying to get one guy or this guy the ball more than the other, it's just how it's unfolding.
(on tight end Delanie Walker drawing extra coverage from defenses)
He is. Some of those plays he's getting chipped from their defensive linemen. They're not rushing, they're worried about hitting Delanie (Walker), getting him out the route. That's a good thing for us, got to find somebody else that's open, but they're not rushing the passer.
(on finding more pass rush early in games)
It's kind of like the run game, you can't give up on it, you can't get frustrated with it, you've got to keep bringing it, you've got to trust what the calls are, be where you're supposed to be and win some one-on-ones. Hopefully they break down at some point, that's how it unfolds.
(on if there is danger in expecting or anticipating the team to have a big second half)
No, I don't think you can do that. We'd love to have 300 yards in the first half, that would be a dream come true. We know we can, we're not relying on it, we know we can do that. We know what we're capable of doing, we'd like to do it for four quarters.
(on with the team being 3-3, if that gives them more 'elbow room')
Sure, there's a lot of room to get better.
(on if the team can count of having explosive plays for scores week to week or if it's due to execution)
That and we've been better on third downs as well. We've also gotten the run game going after really beating our heads trying to get it going, trying to establish it - that's kind of been the pattern. Like to start earlier, always. Like we said this morning, offensively, the objective is to score every time, we scored every time we had the ball in the first half. I don't know if you can start any faster than that. We need touchdowns, we definitely have to improve on that. There's no doubt that we have to score touchdowns. We've got to get better at that.
(on the challenges that having a bye week next week presents)
It can be a distraction, yeah. That was addressed this morning. Take care of everything you're going to do next week, get it taken care of as quickly as you can. It was addressed this morning to get that one thing out of the way.
(on what he needs to see out of OLB Kevin Dodd to be active)
Force on the corner, a guy that can set an edge for the run game and put pressure on the quarterback. That's what we need.
(on the key to find more success on third downs)
We were really good with the details to be honest with you. That was about as good a game as we've played outside, receiver wise. Everybody was where we were supposed to be. It was amazing, we had the fewest mental errors offensively, the fewest mental errors, which would be zero, for our wide receivers, which was a first for me. When details are really very good, the production goes up, that has a lot to do with it.
(on the improvement on third-down conversions from the first half to the second half)
We missed some things in the first half that we had opportunities to hit, we did. We had some opportunities, we did. Knowing what we missed, it was us more than anything.
(on if he is confident in Kevin Dodd being able to help the team out)
He has to, yeah, he has to. Derrick (Morgan) doesn't play special teams, so this would strictly be get up and be an outside rusher for us.
(on the team taking fewer amount of penalties)
I'll say that we had one on offense, two on special teams, which absolutely have to have something done there, that's a big discussion right now. That needs to be fixed, but overall pleased with how many. I think we had four for the game. We're not beating ourselves in that area, that's a plus for us.
Titans players take the field for Wednesday's practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)