Coach Whisenhunt's Wednesday Camp Transcript

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TITANS HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - August 12, 2015

(on what he wants to see from the team in the preseason game)

You know, that's a hard one, because I don't know what we're going to see. We've been working against a 3-4 defense all of camp and now we're going to go against a 4-3, and we haven't had a lot of work against it. You're just going to try to evaluate them as best as you can on how they adapt to that and really how they do in competitive situations. We've got a lot of young guys in there and I'm excited to see them play live. We've seen a lot of good things on the practice field, but this is going to be really about learning about our guys and then what do we have to do to get better.

* (on if he would rather go against a 3-4 defense)*

I would rather work against a 3-4, because there are more problems that are presented with a 3-4, so going against this defense, you see a lot of different looks that you have to adjust to especially with those outside rushers. When you go against the 4-3 it's not that they can't present different looks. It's more about the different spacing and the guys you're going against. You know your ends are wider; you're working against a three technique in a shade most of the time. You have three backers in the bubble which is just a little bit different, so your double teams, your courses on blocks are a little bit different, so that is something that you have to work on. Obviously, we've been so focused on getting better, we haven't worked on another team like this, so this game might be a little bit of trial by error.

(on if he will work on preparing the players for a 4-3 defense tomorrow)

We will, but once again, it's close to the game, so you don't really get the same sense that you do in the pads, but we'll prepare the best we can. I like the way our guys have been working, and we are preparing to get better as a team, but this is a good opportunity to go and compete.

* (on if he has anticipation for Marcus Mariota playing)*

We are all excited about it. He's had a good camp; he had a good spring. We obviously picked him very high in the draft, thought very highly of him, so this is what it is all about, playing in games. We're excited to see that.

(on how much Marcus Mariota will play)

I don't know yet. We'll work through that. We've been so focused on trying to get through the practices, what we have to install, and what we work on. Really, that discussion will probably happen some time tomorrow.

(on what he wants to see from Marcus Mariota)

Same thing we've seen out here in practice, just handling it in a game situation. We worked again with the noise from the sidelines today so we could simulate that and he's done smoothly with that, but this will be a different arena when you get on the field. He's played on a high level, played in a lot of games, so it's not that, it's just doing it now in a different environment where he has different responsibilities, where he has got to take the snap under center. He's got to communicate the play in the huddle. You can't get the do over again like you can in practice. All of those things are important in the progression and development, but I think he'll do OK.

(on if he will tell Marcus Mariota to not get too excited)

I think he's fine that way. He's played on a big stage before. He's won the Heisman Trophy; he's had a lot of things that go with that. He handles himself well, so he'll be fine.

(on the temptation to give Marcus Mariota more reps than a veteran)

We talked about this, I can remember if it was a couple of weeks ago or not. The only thing that you to do is to make sure the guys he's going to play with are the ones he's working in the preseason game with. You don't want to play your starting unit the entire preseason, because, lets face it, we're a young football team. If we don't get some of those young guys some reps to see how they play, then we're not doing ourselves the right service. That's the dilemma that you face. I think obviously you want to get him that experience because it is a game type atmosphere, but there's a lot of guys that we have to play and that's an important part of it too. 

(on how much he wants to see the offensive and defensive lines hold up)

That's always a part of the evaluation, and once again, there's no substitute for doing it live. The run game for instance, a lot of times the runs look OK here, or maybe they don't look as good. A back breaks a tackle and all of a sudden it's a good run, but you don't get to see that here, so this is an opportunity to really get a good evaluation of where we are. We know we're going to come out of this game and there's going to be a lot of things we've got to continue to work on, but it's a good place to start. 

(on the weather not being an issue in this year's first preseason game)

As long as it's not in the second (game) this year, we'll be OK. How about that, that was pretty tough last year. But it is nice to know that.

(on coaching staff being excited for the first preseason game)

Yeah I mean we're excited about it. I think you always get excited for a game. There's always that little bit of nervousness because you don't really prepare for a team. Quite frankly, we're going against a team that who knows what they're going to do. Are they going to run Seattle's defense? Are they going to run Cleveland's offense? I don't know. We don't have any tape. We haven't had anybody skunking their practices to tell us what they're doing so it's going to be a little bit of, 'hey this is what we think they're going to do,' but really our players are going to have to trust the rules, trust their techniques. The biggest thing is communication. You know if our guys, especially defense, we've got to communicate. There's going to be shifting, motions, making sure we get in the right gaps. Offensively, we're going to be going against different guys. Our offensive line is going to have to block a different front, our receivers are going to go against different DBs, so there's a lot of unknown. That always makes you feel a little bit anxious, but the way our guys have worked, I'm excited to see them play.

(on how excited the coaching staff is to see Dorial Green-Beckham go out against other NFL players)

Well let's be honest and say it's going to be a process for Dorial (Green-Beckham). We were talking about it today. It's almost two years since he's played a game. I asked him if he was nervous and sure, of course he is. You go from not playing for a while to going into an NFL game, that's a big adjustment. But we understand that. He's making progress, he'll continue to make progress, and it's really good for him to get that experience.

(on if the team will try to force-feed Dorial Green-Beckham the ball to help him get back into the groove of in-game experience)

I think we've found it's always best if you let it come to them. I think when you get into trying to force it, it creates problems that you really don't want to have to deal with.

(on how much younger guys can help and hurt themselves in the preseason)

I mean obviously a guy can show up, can catch your attention. Like a Cody Riggs has done in camp. And then if he does it in a game, he can really help himself. There's going to be some guys that maybe have had some bad practices that can do well and kind of get your interest up. But I don't think you can make an assessment off this one game.

(on how many reps he anticipates for Cody Riggs)

He'll probably be tired after the game. I would say that's a fair statement.

(on the chances of Taylor Lewan and Delanie Walker playing in Friday's preseason game )

(Taylor) Lewan is scheduled to play. Delanie (Walker) probably I would say won't play. And that's more just because of being smart with it.

(on how much more comfortable Derrick Morgan is in his second year)

I think he's a lot more comfortable. I thought he was comfortable at the end of the year last year. I mean, I believe that was a big part of the reason why we got him back. Because he felt like it was a good fit for him, he liked the direction it was going. So obviously, the things that he's been asked to do at that position, he now knows what they are and he's comfortable with that and he's doing a nice job. 

(on how much Brian Orakpo helps Jurrell Casey and Derrick Morgan )

Tremendously. (Brian) Orakpo's a good player. He helps us all get better. He helps Jurrell Casey, he helps our secondary. That's one of the reasons we were so excited to sign him. When you bring a guy in like that that's productive like he's been and you combine it with Jurrell Casey, with the way (Derrick) Morgan played, with some of our other guys, hopefully we'll build a good chemistry that will make them a tough defense.

(on if Dexter McCluster will be used any differently this year)

Is that a trap question? I would like to say that we plan on using him like we thought we were going to use him. We didn't really get to a lot of those things because when you're down by a couple of touchdowns, they're not going to respect some of the things that he can do well. We're going to incorporate him in games just like we have and hopefully he can make some plays for us this year.

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