TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY**
Opening Statement: "Not the way you want to end the preseason, but like I told our guys in the locker room I was actually very proud of them because I know that each and every one of them that played tonight, some of them for their last game, I know they gave their best effort and competed as best they could. At the end of the day, that is all you can ask of yourself when you walk off the field or you leave whatever job is going to be the next one. Just do the best you can and I know they did that and that is all you can ask of your guys. I appreciate them."
Can you talk about your process of deciding to hold your starters?"Healthy going into the opener was the number one objective going out of training camp was to have everybody healthy to go against Oakland."
Did you want them to prepare like they were playing? "They did not know until today so they prepared mentally, physically all the way up until about 11:30 this morning they thought they were playing. Yeah I did. I wanted them to be into the game and they were into the game."
On the team's preseason routine: "We just want to get a sweat with them that is all. Get them a workout in. It was good. Marcus (Mariota) wanted to go out and throw to everybody, which I thought was good. We got a lot of work done with those guys and I know this, we are where we wanted to be back in late July. We are at full strength."
Was it important to get Corey (Davis) in a pregame routine? "Yeah it was. Again, probably me being overly cautious wanting him for that Oakland game as well, but it was good to get him into the throwing routine with Marcus and actually get (Eric) Decker in there as well."
You don't want to read too much into one game, but tough day for Kalan Reed out there. "Yeah, again I saw the same thing as you guys saw. The message this morning was one of the keys for the defense was don't let anybody get behind you. That is where we have had some issues this preseason and that was the case tonight. We had too many guys get over the top and make plays. They obviously made way more plays and we made very few. I give them credit there were some circus catches all over the field by their team and they made plays off of it."
Anybody else catch your eye in action? "Right off the bat, again I like to watch the O-line, especially that second group. See how well they held up and what they did in the run game. You are talking about the guys that started the game and played the first three quarters. I thought we were running the ball pretty effectively with them. I thought (David) Fluellen ran the ball well."
Is this team ready for the regular season?"It is ready, yeah."
Is Kevin Dodd okay?"He bruised his hip. Came in and went back in the game. That was really important that he did that for himself more than anybody. That he can go in, get dinged and go back and play, so I was impressed with that. That was something that he needed to do."
What are you thinking when you saw him lying on the field? "Well the way he hit the quarterback, I was thinking I do not know how he is the one laying on the field. I mean he walloped (Patrick) Mahomes and obviously that was another one of those circus catches and I was just surprised he was down but he got a knee in a touchy spot, the hip."
How did Adoree' Jackson look tonight? "Did some good things. I didn't think the main attraction. I mean I am not trying to pick on him but I thought he did some good things. I thought it was another good night, another good experience for him for as many reps as he got."
You have been at this for a while. Does the next couple of days get any easier for you? "No, it doesn't. I think that even tonight there was some things that may make some of the decisions a little tougher even. Like I said earlier in the week, I do not look forward to telling someone you can't play the game anymore. Some of them will not play again. That is tough for anybody."
Do you think Adoree' had that pick on the sideline? "I know he did. I was standing right there. There was not anybody closer but me. I am not disappointed in the replay. I am disappointed that they did not see it officially. Why we had to continue to keep going to instant replay to see things that were evident on the field is frustrating. That is a big play. Somebody has to have their eyes on it. On a tipped ball, interceptions occur. Again, Jayon (Brown) said he had the ball. I believe Jayon. There were two turnovers that we did not get. I am frustrated with actually not calling it. Not the replay system. I am frustrated that they did not call the right call."
What do you do about that? "I can complain all I want about it and get in their ear, but I have never had them change a call. They know the frustration with it. You know it is preseason for them too. They're trying to do their job and get ready for the regular season and there is a lot for them. A lot for them to learn from this tape as well as our players."
If one guy stood out this preseason, it seemed like Jayon was pretty spectacular? "Yeah, I would say that he has been that way since he has stepped on the field. The game is not too big for a rookie in his position. He has just made a lot of plays. He is around the ball a lot. He is a good football player."
TE DELANIE WALKER
Heading into the season, where do you feel you all are at offensively?"That's a good question. I think we're where we want to be at offense-wise. Of course, we can always get better. I think that's what we're going to be moving towards going into Week One; just trying to get back on assignment running the ball and being able to pass it."
What strides did the team make as the preseason comes to a close?"I would say running the ball. I think we ran the ball really well and that's what we do. We run the ball well. If we can keep that up going into Week One, I think we'll be in a good spot.
TE JONNU SMITH
How would you describe your first preseason?"It was definitely a great experience. Definitely a learning experience. We just want to continue to feed off that into the regular season."
DT JURRELL CASEY
Did the defense take a step forward this preseason and training camp?"I believe so. Everybody came off flying around, I believe we executed a lot. We didn't do too bad at all. I think we are where we wanted to be from last year. All it's going to take is all of us executing on all three phases offense, defense and special teams. That's how you win football games. Once we do that, we'll be great."
WR TRE MCBRIDE
You got to play a ton of football, didn't you?"I did. I got a lot of opportunities."
Do you feel like you made the most of them? "I feel like I made the most of my opportunities. Obviously, none of the games I played in were perfect games. There are plays I wish I could have back. But overall, I think I improved each game and I made the best of my opportunities."
At this time last year, you felt really good about what you had given to this team. Are you in the similar boat this year? "Yea. I'm confident in my ability. I just hope the people making the decisions feel the same way. Like I said, I didn't play a perfect game today. But, I think I came up with some big down and distance plays. At the end of the day, I just got to connect on those big ones that we had today. Other than that, I did the best that I could. If I'm fortunate to be here next week, I'm going to keep on grinding every day like I've been doing."
Does it get any easier? "It definitely gets a lot easier. From my rookie year to now, playing out there is like playing in the backyard. It's just like a practice, but against another team at this point now. These past two years, up to now, I'd say it's gotten a whole lot easier for me. And, I think that shows in most of my film."
DL KARL KLUG
Is this team ready for the regular season? "I think so. It might not show in some of these games. But, we've got a lot of guys sitting and stuff. We still have corrections to make. But, I think we're ready. We're all mentally and physically ready."
You said you were ready for training camp when last season ended. How excited are you for the Raiders to get into town? "Real excited. It would be nice to get the preseason out of the way and just focus on the Raiders, and put our best foot forward against them."
This is year seven for you, correct? You've been around this weekend seven times. Does it get any easier? "No. It does not. I'm still looking at myself – did I do everything I possibly could to earn my keep? We'll find out tomorrow."
You'll have to say goodbye to a lot of guys you worked really hard with. "Definitely. That's the hard part. I wish they could somehow change that and do that when we're not all in the building. It sucks when you see guys get tapped on the shoulder and they're finding out they lost their job. I don't like seeing that. You never get used to that."
CHIEFS HEAD COACH ANDY REID
Opening Statement:"As far as the injuries go (Leon) McQuay came out with a stinger, (Donald) Hawkins has a concussion and really everybody else came out okay, (Earl) Okine was okay, he was able to go back in. Just one thing for the people from Houston, our hearts are with them and we feel them. That's a very tough situation that's going on there. I know the NFL has really risen to the occasion, in particular the Cowboys and the Texans in helping out along with the rest of the league and their support. Our love is with them and our prayers as well. Time's yours."
Patrick tonight had a couple of deep balls, but the one that seemed particularly intriguing was the 46-yard pass down the sideline. Discuss that play and what you saw develop there and is that what you would like to see from him?"Well there was one where he was scrambling all around, I'm not sure what the numbers are but the one early, second series, I think it was down the middle so that was good. Good read, and then the next one he had to move around a little bit to the right towards our bench and then put it up and it was quite a play. I thought 14 (Demarcus Robinson) had a nice day catching them too. Then the one at the end of the half was really very well executed, that's a double-move play and a lot of times that receiver comes out a little bit slower than he goes in and you really have to get the timing with it and he did well there"
There was another in that sequence, I think it was 3rd and 18 on the sideline it was very close to being a great play and close to being intercepted is that a play you want to see him try?"I'll take the great play and not the interception. I know which one you're talking about it went through the tight end's hands is what it did, but you have to shoot those. You have to try and make it happen and I thought he did that. You have to make that catch though."
How do you think Cairo (Santos) looked?"I thought he did a good job. He missed the first extra point, but I thought he did well. He had big kicking day on Sunday and felt great coming out of that. He felt good tonight so we're in a good spot."
You talked about Demarcus Robinson – you were happy with him at the end of OTA's, has he shown you any of that until tonight, in camp or in preseason?"I thought he started off strong at camp and then kind of went through that rookie lull – he's not a rookie – but he had a little bit of a lull in there. But I thought these last two weeks he's come out, he's working with the ones, he's been rotating with the ones this past week in practice. So for him to come out and have a day like he did today was good, he needed that. He did a nice job. Quarterbacks have trust in him, which is important."
What is Demarcus' (Robinson) best trait as a receiver? "He's strong after the catch, we knew that when he came out. I think he runs good routes. He's strong, he's a strong player. He runs good solid routes. Experience would be the thing he's probably lacking there. But whatever he's going to do it's going to be a hundred miles an hour."
What was your message to the team after the game, with the roster cuts coming up? "Make it as hard as you can on Brett Veach. Brett includes me so make it as hard as you possibly can on us. And then in return we're going to give you an opportunity to show and have some film and kind of build a resume for yourself. One of the great things about this camp was and the preseason game, these kids were able to get themselves on tape. So if they don't make it with us, they have a chance to make it with somebody else. So I just thanked them for the effort. I don't know whose going to be here or who's not going to be here but I just thanked them for the effort that they gave us, they work their tail off. This ends up being the hardest time for you as a head coach, general manager. It's a tough time because these kids work so hard."
How many jobs are up for grabs tonight? "I would say a handful of spots there that you're looking at, rough estimate."
Tracking Patrick Mahomes throughout the preseason, where would you say he landed? Did he exceed your expectations? "I thought that this was a great experience for him. You can learn some things there that when you have to prep for a game that you don't have to learn as a relief pitcher, at least in the preseason as a relief pitcher. I thought he handled the last few days the right way. He knew he was going to be the starter so we gave him time there to prep. So he's also going to have to carry that same thing over as a backup. Knowing you're just one play away from being the guy. Again this was a very important thing for him."
Patrick (Mahomes) will be your number two quarterback heading into regular season? "Yeah that's what we're looking at right now."
What were your impressions of Tyler Bray and Joel Stave in the second half? "I thought they did a good job. Joel (Stave) didn't have quite as many opportunities as Tyler (Bray) had, they were blitzing a little bit. I mean Dick (LeBeau) was a wizard at that stuff and had a couple zone blitzes in there. I thought he hung in there and held his own. Did a nice job on the last one."
A lot of the starters didn't play – what kind of sense did you get from them watching the young guys play and how ready they are considering on a short week? "I thought Justin Houston was going to get a penalty, he was up in midfield cheering them on. The guys get into it, they love it. Marcus (Peters), Eric Berry – it was hard to keep all those guys back. (Travis) Kelce you saw out there, they were all involved and going after it. It was a neat thing."
WR DEMARCUS ROBINSON
What was going through your mind when Mahomes hit you for that big gain?"Yeah, my thing was just to get open down the field. I saw that he was scrambling, and I knew who we have at quarterback and he can make good down-the-field plays and I just try to get open when I see him scrambling."
How did the touchdown pass open up?"Just great blocking from the offensive line. Great read by the quarterback and we got it in the endzone."
What kind of arm does Patrick Mahomes have?"A great arm. You just saw him tonight, slinging the ball around with no effort, making completions.
WR JEHU CHESSON
Take us through the punt return."I got back there and had a right call. The hold-up guys did a great job holding up the gunners. We talked about all week how we were going to be explosive and make plays out there on the edge. (Leon) McQuay and (Marcus) Kemp did their job and I just did mine. I fielded a left ball and got it off the left shoulder, then made one move and up the field. You see, you got to hit it."
Is tonight an example of why special teams are so meaningful to you?"It is important, man. I don't know why some people think it is less important than offense or defense because any chance you have the opportunity to impact the game, you should. Special teams, I feel like a lot of guys don't get credit on special teams and what they do. Those hold-up guys did a heck of a job because you can't do it without them. Nobody can just run through by themselves. I don't care how fast you are or how shifty you are. Those guys did a hell of a job and I am just really thankful for them."
There have been two returns for touchdowns the last two weeks, what does that say about the emphasis of special teams?"It is huge. Coach Toub does a wonderful job of getting us prepared for the games. He does a wonderful job of encouraging us and really giving us the best game plan to be successful for that week."
QB PATRICK MAHOMES
Are you satisfied with your development so far?"Yes, I feel like I have gotten better every single day and that's been the plan all along. It's a process but you want to make sure you come in every single practice, every single game and improve."
*If you had to play in a regular season game, do you feel like you would be ready? *"Yes, I think it helps when you have Alex in front of you, teaching you. You have Coach Reid and Coach Nags (Nagy) and them helping you with the game plan and everything like that. Learning from those guys every single day will have me prepared." * *
Are the throws you made tonight, remarkable to you in any way?"For me it is all about getting the ball up and letting the receiver make a play. I saw Demarcus on the guy and the guy was behind him. I knew, if I put it out there, he was going to make a play on the ball and he did. It was a great play and a great catch. It's just something where you have to let those guys make plays." * *
*On that throw it looked like you were just trying to get rid of the ball. Was that ever a thought in your mind? *"I went through all the reads. They have covered it up pretty well. I started scrambling out to the right. The line had protected me for a day and a half. I was kind of scrambling out to the right and saw D-Rob out there and spit it out there."
*Is changing your arm angle when throwing something you started recently or something you have done your whole life? *"I think it is just something that has come from playing baseball my whole life. For the most part I try to stay with the same arm angle but if it comes to where I need to change arm angle, I can do that."
LB UKEME ELIGWE
How did it feel to get the start tonight? *"It feels good. It helps you get into the groove of things and feel the offense out. You get to make more plays because you feel more comfortable." *
*Have you picked up tips from Derrick Johnson? *"100 percent. Everything I am learning from all the veteran guys is helping me on the field."
What does this game do for your confidence heading into the regular season? *"It definitely helps. We will see what happens in the next couple of days and if I am on the 53. I just want to be able to contribute to the team no matter what it is." *
The Tennessee Titans take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 4 of the preseason on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017 at Arrowhead Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones Photography, AP)