TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - December 6, 2017
(on the team's injuries)
Did not practice: Delanie (Walker), Logan (Ryan) and (Derrick) Morgan. Limited was Rishard (Matthews). Hopefully we'll get a little bit more from Rishard tomorrow and we'll see where those other guys are by tomorrow. Day-to-day.
(on how wide receiver Rishard Matthews looked today in practice)
He did some things he hadn't done. He progressed from last week, so that was good to see. I thought we were smart with him. It's been handled really well, especially by him.
(on cornerback Logan Ryan being in concussion protocol)
You've just got to go in stages. He's got a chance to practice tomorrow if it works out.
(on preparing for Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald with the possibility of Logan Ryan being out)
Next guy's got to get up and get ready to play. We fortunately have some guys that can do that, which they showed last week.
(on how preparation changes when facing opponents that the team sees only once every four years)
Preparations not much different for the players. Hopefully they're studying a little more, personnel wise. Obviously, it's been a while since we've played them. Defensively, it's not far off from what we already do. It's not like the scheme wise, it's just personnel that's doing it, there's some wrinkles here and there. You do have to put a little more time in, into the game plan, coaching wise. I know we have. That's the nature of the beast when you haven't played a team for so long, but it's more about their personnel.
(on how Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson changes the game)
In which phase? He can change it in either one. He's a cover down in corner and he's a punt returner that can score any time he gets it. He can change the game in a good way for them, but hopefully not.
(on if they shy away from testing Patrick Peterson on defense)
I can't tell you where he's going to line up, so it would be hard to go into a game plan and try and shy away from him when you don't have any idea where he's going to line up. He can line up anywhere on the field. He's going to challenge us, we're going to challenge him. We're going to play, we've got to win out there.
(on where Larry Fitzgerald is lining up)
He's lines up everywhere too. He runs all routes, he does everything you can ask a receiver to do.
(on if cornerback Adoree' Jackson is at a point where he could line up against Larry Fitzgerald)
I think Adoree' (Jackson) is pretty confident in his ability to do that, yes.
(on what makes Larry Fitzgerald special and what has allowed him to play and be effective for so long)
His size, he's physical, he can run all the routes, he's patient, he's very good in double moves. He has great hands, throw it anywhere around him and he can catch the football. He's as tough as I've been around in regard to blocking. Their run game all relies on him. He's like another tight end the way he blocks. He blocks linebackers, I've seen him block defensive ends, I've seen him block everybody. He's a special player.
(on what he sees now from Cardinals QB Blaine Gabbert compared to their time together in Jacksonville)
He's matured, he's got more playing time, he's got more starts. He's grown up since then, you can see there's a maturity in his play.
(on if he's got a better sense of what tight end Luke Stocker can contribute after practice today)
A little. Again, tough off the first day. He's still learning the cadence and the formations. It's tough, especially without the pads on today.
(on if he thinks Luke Stocker will be active this Sunday against the Cardinals)
I don't know. That may be a Friday question, let him have a few days in the system.
(on if it is feasible to have four tight ends active)
It'll be part of the discussion when we talk about the inactives, which we talk about every day. Just see how far along he comes and his value on special teams, always.
(on what his message to the team has been as they head into the final month of the season)
That's something for our team. That's something we're keeping in, other than we're trying to win this game. It's not about the month or anybody else, it's about this game. It hasn't changed anymore than that. There's other things in house.
(on how Cardinals running back Adrian Peterson is running compared to the last time they faced him)
He's still running pretty good. I think he's a guy that if he gets going, he's hard to stop. He gets through that line of scrimmage, he's more effective getting through there. They've got a run scheme very similar to ours that they're pretty stubborn. They're going to do it no matter what we try to do. He's the kind of back that you want to have to do that. He's still playing at a high level.**
(on why the team has been able to be consistent in stopping the run)
Being disciplined and doing their job, being where they're supposed to be, being in their gaps, tackling better than we have. Our secondary support is as good as there is in the league. A lot of reasons.
(on the key to carrying over the success of the run game from last week to this week)
Seeing what if you do it and if you don't, the results.
(on if he saw quarterback Marcus Mariota use his legs more in last Sunday's game)
I didn't see that. I know he threw the ball well, he had a really good week of throwing the ball last week, and I'd say that again today.
(on if Adoree' Jackson has been a better tackler than he expected when he first entered the league)
Actually he showed he's pretty good. Especially if you're going to play some cover-two, you've got to have a corner that can support the run and be out there by himself. I thought I saw that on tape from college and he hasn't let us down. He's not afraid to stick his nose in there.
(on if Marcus Mariota still catches opponents of guard with his ability to run)
He's fast, and maybe deceiving fast. You don't really see a lot of good angles on him, that's been the case since he's been here. You just don't see a lot of good angles. You don't see really any good hits unless you're a perfect mathematician to time up where he's going to be. He gets it going, he's fast.
(on if he tells guys to 'exaggerate it' when facing players that they haven't gotten good angles on)
You just need more bodies going. You just need as many guys, yeah. It's just like a returner, you're trying to cut the field off, the wide side of the field, and send them into the short side where you have more help. Very similar to that.
(on if opponents throwing more against the Titans than any other team in the league is a product of the team's success against the run)
I think that has something to do with it. I think it's definitely part of it because we've faced a couple of teams that can really run the football really well.
(on if his philosophy is that the only stat that really matters is wins and losses)
I think that's pretty much (it). I think that at the end of the day it's who wins the game. It's not about stats, it's not about yards, it's not about any of that, it's about who wins the game. That's all that matters.
(on the key to staying on track on the West Coast trip)
I can say, I haven't done this as a head coach. I went out there during a playoff game, we went out there because of weather.
(on how they have to prepare for being on the West Coast for a whole week)
These are long days for us anyhow, it's not going to change much. I'll be in an hotel instead of my office. They're long days. Players will have time to do some things out there, we've designed some things for their day off to do. There's plenty for them to do out there, and the nice part is that they're going to get to do it together for the week.
(on if the activities planned for the players in Arizona are under wraps until this upcoming game is over)
(on if they have to do anything different since most of the team hasn't played at the University of Phoenix Stadium before)
No, not really. The surface doesn't look, this is their third game in a row, it looks like it's a little chewed up. We've just got to be conscious of that and get out there and try all the shoes we can to make sure we've got the proper footwear for the game.
(on if there was a 'false start' with the new field at Nissan Stadium)
It just didn't catch. I think we're going to replace it and start all over again.
(on if one advantage of having back-to-back road games is to have time to fix the field)
Right. It's done constantly, especially with all the events that take place here, the concerts and everything.
(on the biggest challenge the team faced with the field)
Other than coming up. They're trying to get there, especially inside with our O-line, just trying to get any footing. That was all it was. It just wasn't staying.
Titans players take the field for Wednesday's practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)