TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - December 20, 2017
26 (Logan Ryan) did not practice, still day-to-day. Karl (Klug), same way. We'll see what they can do tomorrow. Brandon Weeden was not here, he's got personal. Limited were (Derrick) Morgan, he did a lot more today, which was good, and LeShaun Sims, little bit of a hammy, so he was limited, came out in the middle of practice. Just did it about 40 minutes ago, so we'll know more after we get the MRI.
(on what work the team was able to do in the bubble)
Everything, everything we normally do. We're fortunate that we have the bubble like we do, it's all good turf. We got a lot done, it was very good.
(on if it will be good to have outside linebacker Derrick Morgan back)
Yeah, Derrick (Morgan) has had a really good year. He's been very productive, very consistent, he's been disruptive. He's been very good in the run game, which again, you've got a team coming in here that can run the ball pretty seriously. I'll say it'll be good to have him back.
(on if safety Kevin Byard will play nickel in the event that cornerbacks Logan Ryan and LeShaun Sims potentially being out)
We haven't even had a talk about any of that happening. It's still Wednesday. With LeShaun (Sims) down, I don't even know how serious he is to even start having conversations about it. I'm sure they'll come up here after we get done today.
(of if they bring another player up if defensive lineman Karl Klug is out)
If he's down, we'd have to bring somebody up, definitely. That's been talked about because we've had some time to talk about it.
(on how tough of a transition it would be for cornerback Kalan Reed to go from being inactive to playing)
I don't think as difficult as you think. He has really practiced extremely well. He has done a great job for our look team. He's really been absolutely a somewhat of a pain as a cover guy. The unfortunate part is you have to put somebody down, and with the numbers, he's that guy right now. If he came up, he studies it every week like he's playing. I know he'll be prepared if that's the case.
(on what has impressed him about the Rams offense as he's studied them this week)
They're running the football the way they are, spreading the football around to a lot of different guys, lot of different guys that are pretty potent with the ball in their hands. They've got some gimmicks, they've got some guys to run them. They do a lot, the up-tempo, they have a lot in their arsenal and they do it pretty well.
(on if Rams running back Todd Gurley II will be the best they've faced all season)
Yes. He's running the ball about as good as I've seen him run it. There's sometimes there isn't places to run it and he's making yards. He's just explosive right now, he's hitting holes. We can't let him get to the second level, he's dangerous out there. For as big as he is, he's got great feet. He's just running the ball really well.
(on the key to containing the Rams running game)
You've got to be in your gap in the run scheme, that's regardless of down or distance. You've got to be where you're supposed to be in the gaps to stop the run first. That's always going to be it, that's every team. Then you've got to be able to prepare for anything off of it.
(on if he's watched much of Rams quarterback Jared Goff)
No, I didn't watch him at all from last year. I've watched limited, I've watched some, but listening to more of our defensive coaches talk and the preparation. They do a good job with their no-huddle, with their up-tempo. They get to talk to their quarterback coach or Sean (McVay) can talk to them in the headset, give them a little direction of what's going on defensively - we've got to be good with our disguise. They're playing to what he does well, and that's what you should do, for every position, but certainly for that one. They're playing to his strengths.
(on if there are plans to include more no-huddle in the game plan this week)
That's all part of the plan. I'll say this again, it's something we talk about every week and it's all based on a number of factors of whether it will be used or not, but it is discussed.
(on if using no-huddle when team's are more susceptible to it is more reactive than dictative)
No, it's not that way. There's factors that play into it, I'll say that. I'm not going to tell you what they are so we don't give an advantage to our opponent, but there are things we talk about every week with the no-huddle.
(on the players saying they like the no-huddle offense)
We really like it. If it's the best way to attack somebody, we really like it, we really do. We practice it every day.
(on if the no-huddle would've been effective in the second quarter of the 49ers game)
It was, and we had a fumble on that one. As we were moving the ball on the no-huddle, we fumbled the ball. So yes, it was effective. It was exactly like you said, it was effective.
(on how the team is doing with 'drowning out the noise')
It's a good group, they know better. This locker room, knew they'd come back in on Monday, which they did, great focus. I knew we'd have a good day today, and we did. Had a really good day, really good practice.
(on the plan to go back to basics)
Somewhat, it wasn't take a step all the way back. We did somethings, we simplified somethings.
(on how it looked when he reviewed the film)
We have some guys that have executed better, certainly. Definitely executed better.
(on if there are things that they can do on defense to throw a 'monkey wrench' into the Rams offense)
There is. There is, yeah.
(on running back DeMarco Murray taking more snaps in the last two games than running back Derrick Henry)
Just how the game has unfolded and played out, especially with a no-huddle situation.
(on how they weigh not wanting the Rams offense to be on the field with knowing they'll have to put up points)
Offensively, third downs are going to be important in this game, convert third downs. We've got to make first downs on first and second down. We've got to be able to control the ball to control the clock, that'll be a big factor. That's as much of a defense as your defense is, is controlling the football.
(on if Derrick Henry gives him enough in the passing game to be on the field for more snaps)
He does, yeah. I've said it before, both those guys are very good out of the backfield.
(on how they 'deal with' Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald)
We've got some things, we're going to try and help inside, it's a little more difficult than it is helping the tackles, but we do have some things that we're going to try and help our guys out if we can.
(on if new veteran special teamers have been game-changers)
We're better, we're better because of them. We're definitely a better special teams. I like where we're at. We still need to make some game-changing plays. Adoree' (Jackson) helps with his threat of return ability. We're better because of the guys we've got here.
(on if cornerback Adoree' Jackson did better on punt decisions in San Francisco than he did in Arizona)
I think so, yeah.
(on how the team's negative turnover ratio has impacted the way the season is unfolding)
Typically you're not going to win many games. We've kind of beat the system by winning one or two where we didn't win the turnover ratio. Last week's a perfect example - we had one turnover that resulted in three points for the opponent and we lost by two. Typically it's not good if you're turning the ball over and you're not getting any.
(on if he wants to see the defensive backs take more chances)
We had two opportunities. We had two last week. We've had them, we've had some opportunities to get them, we just need to make those plays.
(on if the negative turnover ratio is due to giving up too many turnovers or not getting enough turnovers)
I'd say yes.
(on if he's seen the players block out the noise)
Yeah, I'm around these guys a lot. I don't know what they do outside the building and what they deal with out there, I don't, because we're in here. All I know is when they come in they are locked into what we're doing and when we go on that practice field they were flying around like they've been flying around all year.
(on the Titans having three players named to the Pro Bowl roster)
It's quite an honor. Deserving. Wish we would've had more guys that were voted in instead of alternates. Had a lot of alternates, a lot of guys got recognized for their play, it says a lot about our team. Based on, I'm going back a couple of years when we had none, there weren't a lot of alternates. They're getting recognized and that's good, they should be.
(on how coaches block out the noise)
We're on to the next game. We know better, we know what goes on. We're in the business, a lot of us for a lot of years. It doesn't do anything, all it does is it's negative energy, which doesn't no good for anybody. We're so consumed in trying to beat the next team, you don't have time for things like that.
(on how his Christmas shopping is going)
What's the date? The 20th? I've got some time.
(on how he viewed quarterback Marcus Mariota's game last week)
I'd rather talk about this game. I've had a press conference, I've done all the stuff for last game. Let's go onto this one.
Titans players take the field for Wednesday's practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)