HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - Wednesday, January 10, 2018**
(on the team's injuries)
So when they get up here, you can let them know that DeMarco (Murray) will not be playing. He's out. (Quinton) Spain did not practice. He will hopefully do some more tomorrow. He's doing better. I gave Rak, Brian Orakpo, the day off.
(on how close running back DeMarco Murray is to returning)
Not close enough to play this week, but close enough to play next week.
(on running back Derrick Henry's confidence level)
Pretty good. I'd say it'd be pretty hard to not to be pretty confident for the game he had in the setting we were in.
(on if the coaches put Derrick Henry in a situation to run harder this week)
I think he's learned a lot in that Jacksonville game with the number of carries he had. He saw some of the things that he missed by trying to bounce some things. He's had a lot of success bouncing some runs, but at some point you've got to hit some of these holes that are there, and they're not big all the time. I think he saw that, and obviously he's a quick, fast learner.
(on if the breaking point for Derrick Henry was the 11-yard loss against Jacksonville)
That certainly helped matters, and the learning process didn't help us.
(on how much DeMarco Murray hates not being a part of the playoff run)
I can pretty much tell you he's very disappointed. I don't know if I've ever seen anyone work in a training room like he has to try and get better.
(on if the decision to rule DeMarco Murray out of Saturday's game was an emotional one)
Yeah, it is. I have a lot of respect for him and I know he's one of the tougher players that I've been around in my career. It must be painful enough not to be able to go.
(on if getting hands up, batting balls down and creating turnovers are points of emphasis this week when facing Patriots quarterback Tom Brady)
More than ever. That's what they do. He does it really good. This is one of these situations you can't get frustrated by not getting to him because of the quick passing game. That's certainly not going to stop up from trying.
(on if there is a common link between the Patriots three regular season losses)
Nothing that stands right out and says "We've got to do this to make a difference."
(on why Bill Belichick's teams have had success in the playoffs)
I've said it before, they're very disciplined. They're not going to beat themselves. They make minimal errors, they make the opponent do the damage to themselves. They're not going to let you. They're a bend-don't-break type of defense, very methodical offense of working the ball down the field. He's been in the same system for a long time. They can plug pieces in, and they have been for years and had success. They just don't make a lot of mistakes.
(on who gets the task of being Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski on the scout team)
That's Tim Semisch. He's done a good job, he has, he's done a really good job. He's done a really good job all year. We've faced some tight ends, and he's giving us a good picture.
(on if Rob Gronkowski is one of the best tight ends ever)
He's really good. He's a very good player. It's tough to find guys that can do both. You have your blockers and then you have your pass receiving tight ends, and then very few guys can do what he does as well as he does. That puts him in a different class.
(on if he's confident he knows what's coming his way in the Patriots)
I think we've got a pretty good idea. Yeah, I think we do. I'll say that, leave it at that.
(on the challenge of facing a quarterback like Tom Brady that can get the ball out quickly)
A lot of it is get your hands up. If you can't get there, try to at least get a hand up when it's not as clean of a throw. The coverage has obviously got to be very good. You know what to expect, you know that they do. The hard part is they try to get mismatches, and they've done a good job of that for years. That's the thing we've got to do a good job of changing up what we're doing a little bit to kind of counter what they're doing.
(on if there is one position group that he needs to play 'the best they've played in their entire life' on Saturday)
One? Quarterback wouldn't be bad. That'd be a good position to play your best game ever. Yeah, that'd be a good one.
(on if he has confidence that quarterback Marcus Mariota can deliver one of his best games)
Yeah, the last couple of games have been good for him just confidence-wise and health-wise. He's done some things that have helped us, obviously, and put us in a position to win the last two.
(on if players deeper on the depth chart will have to 'deliver in a big way' against the Patriots)
I think everybody's got to play their best game. That's how it is when you get to this level and where you're at and as you go up. There's minimal room for error, and I think everybody has to play at a high level and not make mistakes that can cost you.
(on if he's worried about the 'wow factor' of playing at Gillette Stadium)
I wasn't until you just asked me that question. I don't think so. We played in some pretty tough environments. That was a good one (last week). This is a great place to play as well, lot of history there. I don't think that has any influence in how our guys are going to play or not.
(on how much he dislikes seeing DeMarco Murray out for this game)
Very disappointed, I'm extremely disappointed for him. I love him as a player, as a person, what he does for this football team. It's hard to watch when I know he wants to be in there with his teammates. It's very hard.
(on if the sting of DeMarco Murray being out is lessened because of the way Derrick Henry ran against the Chiefs)
No, teammates want him here. They want him to be a part of this. He is, he's going to travel with us. He's just as much a part of this being on that sideline with us. He just can't go this week.
(on if the first drive of the second half against Kansas City is a blue print that the offense wants to replicate every time they have the football)
I would like to think that. We've had that before, we just haven't had it consistently. We need to have that, especially in the games that we're getting into right now, it's important. We're trying to do that, I'm glad we did it so our guys know we're capable of doing it in big games and big environments. It certainly had to give us some confidence that we can. We went on to get two more scores because of it.
(on Tim Shaw and what he means to the team)
It's great to have him around here. He's been a big part of our team. He's a big part of why we're where we're at, I believe that. From that first time he got up in front of our football team two years ago, I think his impact has had a huge influence on why our team is where it's at right now.
(on players celebrating with Tim Shaw after the game)
Watch him out here. When we get ready after individual drills, if you watch, our linebackers and D-line, they all really around Tim (Shaw). He gives them a word for the day and they're off and going. The respect is out of this world for him and I'm just glad he's a part of this.
Titans players take the field for Wednesday's practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)