TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - November 1, 2017**
(on how wide receiver Corey Davis has looked returning to practice)
Good, good. Did some really good things today, especially our last period where we have a competitive third down period, did some good things. Pleased with him.
(on if Corey Davis was a full participant in practice)
I'd say he was full today, yeah.
(on if tight end Delanie Walker was able to practice today)
No he was not, he was held out.
(on what Corey Davis can contribute to the offense)
I just think another dimension. Big bodied, a guy that – he's already shown that he can make the contested throw, the high catch, the tough throws that we really haven't had around here for a long time. He's got strong hands. What he can do down the field, we'll see. This is going to be a good test for him, we're going to get a lot of one-on-one this week. They have their hands all over you, he's going to have to beat some one-on-one coverage. It'll be good to see how he executes against these guys.
(on what Corey Davis can do to help the other offensive players)
Well, I think he's got a presence about him. He's only got one game in the NFL, I don't know if they're going to put a whole game plan together to stop Corey Davis this week, but hopefully it evolves to that at some point. He's got the ability, which we've all seen on tape. But, I think we need more than one game to put fear into some teams and I think that will happen eventually.
(on how different coverage has been on Delanie Walker this year compared to last season)
A lot, a lot. You see things against us that you don't see on prior tape that we design. He's taken out of the play, we've had to go to somebody else because of it. We've missed some throws where they've broken the coverage worried about – we hit a touchdown to Taywan (Taylor) on broken coverage trying to take away Delanie (Walker), then we missed another one a couple weeks back to Rishard (Matthews) when three guys jumped on Delanie. He's definitely a big attraction.
(on how much quarterback Marcus Mariota regaining his mobility will help him play instinctively)
I think it'll be good for him. That's one thing to take off of his mind, off his plate. I think it'll help his time clock, body clock of having to get rid of the ball quicker than he thinks. You know what a threat he can be if he's got any space to run, if he can.
(on if Corey Davis will take back his starting role if he's able to play Sunday)
If he is, yes.
*(on if he continues to be encouraged by what he sees out of Marcus Mariota) *Yeah, I do. There's been no restrictions on him at all. We're practicing like we're going to play in a game, that's what we want. Play breaks down, we want him to do what he would do in a game.
(on if he feels Marcus Mariota will be able to play at full health)
I think those two weeks were good for a lot of people, including Marcus (Mariota). But, I think that was good to get some people healed.
(on if he's ever had a season like this one where he faces good defenses in repeated weeks)
That's kind of the trend, everybody wants to build up that defense. We're facing some good ones, we have early on. It's a good test for us, this is no different. Very stout. This is a defense that's been tops in the league for a long time, going way back to when they were in this division and in the AFC North when we were with them. It is what it is, we have to do what we have to do. We'll be ready for them.
(on the challenge of facing Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco)
He's won a Super Bowl, he's pretty much seen it all. This is not a new defense to him. It's very similar to the Steeler-type of defense, so it's not like he's going to be surprised with a lot of the things that we do defensively. To me, I think he's gotten better as the seasons gone on, as he's felt more comfortable getting over the injury. I thought he was playing probably his best game before he got injured against Miami. He's playing better.
*(on the impact Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs can have on a game) *He can change the game, he can definitely change a game. He can get (a) sack, fumble, touchdown, any play. He's that disruptive. He's playing at a high level and it's not just in rushing the passer. In the run game, you set an edge, it's hard to get outside of him and that's a big factor. That's why their run defense is good.
(on how much help it is that Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau has prior experience scheming against Joe Flacco)
I'm sure that helps. We can go back and look at – I do that all the time to see previous coordinators, previous teams, previous whatever. You can gain an advantage by looking back on what's been successful. I'm sure it's no different this week with Coach (Dick) LeBeau.
(on how much of his bye week was studying uncovered tendencies)
Not much. Like I looked at offensively, you look at us, I would say it'd be very difficult to – we had, on first and second down the first seven games, we had 99 runs, we had 99 passes. I'd say that's pretty tough to figure out what we're doing on first down. Second down, one to six. Very close, it was 55 – there's nothing that stood out tendency-wise to me as a factor when we did our study.
(on the improvement of the defense since Week 4 at Houston)
Well, we're making less mistakes. We're getting more turnovers. We're just doing a lot of things right and we're really getting to where we're supposed to be. Gap control is good, our coverage has been good. We're not out of place a lot, we're just playing the defense and playing the calls. I think those guys took it personal what took place in that game and have responded the last three games, and they need to continue to do that.
(on if he sees the secondary trending upward the last few weeks)
Yeah. We've done some good things in not just coverage, but our run support against some of these teams that like to run the football have been good with our secondary. Not a lot of guys out of place where there's been free runners like we've had in previous games.
(on how safety Johnathan Cyprien has looked returning to practice)
He did more today than I was expecting. Again, I'm not going to tell you he's going to start on Sunday. Again, it's Wednesday. I'll let you know if he does more tomorrow, but he did more today than he did on Monday.
(on what his biggest concern is for the team coming off of a bye)
If there was one, it would have been earlier. May have been Monday, but Monday they came in and it was full speed ahead. It was really impressive the way they came in here and today was one of our better – I mean, one of our more physical Wednesday practices. So, I don't have any right now.
(on if Marcus Mariota is healthy enough that the entire playbook can be utilized again)
(on being ranked first in the league in fewest explosive plays of 20 or more yards allowed and if that has been a priority to minimize)
I wouldn't say it's been a priority. It's not talked about like turnovers. I think what's been emphasized is doing your job and I think that has helped limit a lot of the more explosive plays.
(on how much of a learning experience the slide Joe Flacco sustained a concussion on can be for Marcus Mariota)
I think it's just another tool. There's going to be a number of them when the season is over with for all quarterbacks. I'm sure the NFL is going to look at it as well with some of the injuries they've had to quarterbacks. Hopefully that's a lesson learned for them, the saying is 'Go ahead and get down.' It's not worth the hit. He's on the sideline, just got to avoid a hit over there, too. Get out of bounds. It's just not worth the circumstances that could happen if you do get whacked on the sideline, which we could have in Cleveland on a play.
(on how running back DeMarco Murray is)
He was full today.
(on if guard Quinton Spain practiced today)
(Quinton) Spain did not. Spain and Delanie (Walker) did not practice today, everybody else was full.
Titans players take the field for Wednesday's practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)