Six Hot Topics from Mike Mularkey's Press Conference


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans coach Mike Mularkey met with reporters on Sunday at Saint Thomas Sports Park, one day after the team's 27-14 win over the Raiders.

Here's a look at six hot topics:

Spain the starter

Mularkey declared Quinton Spain the team's starter at left guard.

Spain worked with the first team throughout the offseason, and in all three preseason games.

The front five vs. the Vikings in the regular season opener on September 11 is scheduled to look like this: LT Taylor Lewan, LG Spain, C Ben Jones, RG Chance Warmack and RT Jack Conklin.

"I thought they played well,'' Mularkey said of the offensive line. "I was really pleased with Jack Conklin. I thought he held his own and did a lot of good things. I was really pleased with those guys.

"… I thought (Quinton) handled the challenge really well. I thought the five of them played pretty well yesterday, with the front they were facing."

Roster moves

The Titans on Sunday began making roster cuts ahead of the NFL's deadline, and Mularkey said some recent additions at a number of positions resulted in the team parting ways with several draft picks.

A total of 12 players were waived today: safety Lamarcus Brutus, lineman Will Campbell, receiver Donte Foster, linebacker Amarlo Herrera, receiver Reece Horn, linebacker Deiontrez Mount, cornerback Tyler Patmon, defensive lineman Ropati Pitoitua, guard Nick Ritcher, defensive end Mike Smith and cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson.

The Titans also waived/injured center Andy Gallik.

NFL teams must be down to 75 players by Tuesday.

"Our depth is better than it was last year,'' Mularkey said. "We were trying to find the best 90 when we started training camp and now we are trying to find the best 75. And right now we feel that's where we're at with this roster."


Mularkey said he expects the team's starters to play a series on Thursday against the Dolphins, and that includes quarterback Marcus Mariota.

"We are considering (not playing Mariota),'' Mularkey said. "The initial thought is maybe a series, one at most. That's as I stand here. That may change, but right now I think one series."

Dodd, Wallace review

Linebackers Kevin Dodd and Aaron Wallace played well in their first action of the preseason, Mularkey said.

Dodd played 26 snaps against the Raiders, and Wallace played 15.

"I thought they did well,'' Mularkey said. "There were some good things, some really good things on their part. I have been talking about the conditioning part of it, and you could see that – a little heavy-legged with Dodd. But that's only natural. But we saw some things with Wallace on the outside with his rush, and I saw some things with Dodd. He's a big body and I liked how relentless he was. He was trying to do things the right way.

"For the first time I was pretty pleased."

Walker "fine"

Titans tight end Delanie Walker went to the locker room during the first half of Saturday night's game because of some breathing issues.

Mularkey said on Saturday night Walker was "fine" and he reiterated that on Sunday. Walker is expected to practice this week.

"He's fine,'' Mularkey said of Walker. "He's good. He just had congestion in his chest and (doctors treated him) like you do if you have asthma and it cleared him right up. … He should practice tomorrow."

Return game

Mularkey said rookie Kalan Reed will get the majority of the work on returns against the Dolphins, although he expects rookie safety Kevin Byard to get the first chance with the punt returns.

Mularkey said Antonio Andrews had a chance to get outside on one of the returns, but the team didn't block the edge well enough. Mularkey said Derrick Henry should have fielded the short kick instead of Andrews.

The Tennessee Titans battle the Raiders in Week 3 of the 2016 preseason in Oakland. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

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