TITANS HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - August 10, 2015
(on putting the pressure of the play clock on Marcus Mariota)
Yes we have. I think that's a little bit more today in the one situation where we added the noise too. But there are so many things as a young quarterback that you've got to go through. I didn't want to overwhelm him at first, but now that we're getting to a game, it's important. It was good that we got to do it at the stadium, we did a little bit more today and we'll do it as the week progresses just so we'll be ready.
(on Marcus Mariota relaying the plays through the headset)
Yeah, it's gone well so far. We haven't really been in a game; we haven't been in Kansas City or a really loud place. There are a lot of things we haven't done since he's a rookie, but so far he's handled everything pretty well. I think the hardest thing for him right now is there is no real call sheet. When we get to a game we'll have a number of plays, and the way he, in just the time I've been around him, the way he operates, he'll know those cold. So most of the time, once you start to say the play, he'll be able to pick it up. Right now, because you're just kind of picking them out of the air, it's pretty difficult. So sometimes he has to get it a second time, which I understand, but so far he's done really well.
(on the way Marcus Mariota has learned the playbook)
Yeah I mean we've had an installation schedule, we used it in the spring. We did it in the veteran minicamp and then we did it again in camp so he gets it in advance, he knows what's coming in, we talk about it. He already has a lot of the information. But just like today, when we do some of the impromptu periods, then everything is game. So then he doesn't know for sure, and that's part of what you have to do, so I think we've had a pretty good blend.
(on if the practice drills at the end of practice were unknown to them)
Unknown to them.
(on if any of the practice was scripted)
No there was probably only two really scripted plays, periods, so there was a lot of unknown today. It was a lot of situational work, which I thought was really good for us.
(on how many total periods today)
Six or seven.
(on how the team handled the scripted periods)
Well I mean for instance on the noise today, we were offsides twice. Which you know, out of 12 plays, that's not something that you are excited about, but I think you've got to understand this is the first day doing it so we've got to continue to work at it, get better. I thought as far as the overall part of it, they did a nice job with it. It was a very good period.
(on Marcus Mariota's football IQ compared to other young quarterbacks)
You know it's really hard to compare. I mean we are still early in the process, but from what I have seen from him so far, everything you have found out about him or thought about him beforehand is accurate. He is very sharp, doesn't make a lot of mistakes and really works at it. I can't emphasize enough, there are going to be growing pains, there are going to be tough spots that we go through, but he is really doing a nice job with handling this whole process.
(on playing towards a goal)
The one thing about this camp is that it's been very competitive on a daily basis. But it's always good, not so much playing for a goal like a game, but playing against somebody else. These guys are tired of going against each other. I know Taylor Lewan is tired of seeing (Brian) Orakpo, just to name one. There's a bunch of them I could say but that's training camp.
(on offensive line getting tougher)
I think the real test will come when we get into the games. I mean there are a lot of positive signs but the first game last year was a positive sign, so let's just see how it goes. I'm happy with the way out guys are working and I'm excited about the progress we're making.
(on the types of positive signs he has seen)
Just in the way they're practicing and the way they've handled the double teams. You know, I've talked in the spring about how the linemen were working on their fits, working together on their scheme blocks, their gap fits, and I've seen progress in that area. That's been good. I thought we had a couple of great runs in the practice Saturday in that environment which is nice to see. But once again, when you're thudding, when you're not tackling fully, you don't really know. So that's why I said I'm encouraged by what I've seen out here.
(on Sammie Hill returning to practice)
Sammie Hill has worked hard to get back, and it was nice to see him out there today. We're still just doing some individual work with him too and gradually getting him back in. He's a good player, and he played well for us last year. I think with the way that some of our defensive lineman, like DaQuan Jones is developing, also with Jurrell Casey, when you get Sammie Hill back you feel pretty good about that front. It's nice to see him out there.
(on if he's ready to see the players against another coaching staff to see how they are developing )
I mean every day is really an evaluation for us. We try to create match ups out here, put guys in positions to see how they do just like today. In that group we were doing a two-minute drill and we had some of the young guys in there and it's exciting to see how they respond and to see who makes a play. It was nice to see Justin Hunter make a big play in that two-minute period. If he can stack on top, those kind of things. It was obviously nice to see Rico Richardson make a play and the defense created a lot of pressure today, so you like that. I think it's great evaluation wise, because when you see them going against each other every day, it's nice to see them go against another NFL athlete just to get a measure of what they're doing.
(on if he is able to evaluate more when the players compete against another team)
Well that's a part of the process. I think there are a lot of different ways to evaluate them, but playing the game is definitely an important one.
(on how many reps he will give the starters on Friday night)
We haven't even really thought about that a whole lot yet. We'll see how that goes as the week progresses.
(on assessing Justin Hunter's camp so far and if there are distractions)
There hasn't been a distraction with Justin Hunter. He's worked; he's gotten better. He'll have opportunities in the preseason game to continue to do that. That's what we're looking for.
(on scripting the game for Marcus Mariota to give him confidence)
You know what David, if I could script things that would give him confidence, I would do a whole bunch of them. Sometimes you can't control those things. Do I lay in bed at night and hope that we have success early so you can build off that, yeah, and you try to think about plays that are ones that he is comfortable with, that he can be good with. Not that I don't think he can't be good with all of them, but obviously there is a comfort level with that, but you just never know. There are so many variables in this game.
(on the timeline for Delanie Walker returning)
I think Delanie Walker will do some work this week. So I'm expecting him to. It's going really well.
(on what Jacoby Ford offers to the team)
His history in this league is as a really good returner, so he has that going for him in a battle to make a roster spot. Obviously, if you're going to fit on this team, that is an important piece, but he has got to be able to show his competency as a receiver. At times he's done that. You don't want to make judgments about Jacoby Ford, because we're waiting to see what happens in the games, but I've enjoyed having him with us and you can see his speed today. We were doing a kickoff return drill and you really noticed him out there.