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Six Hot Topics from Mike Mularkey's Press Conference



NASHVILLE, Tenn. —** Titans coach Mike Mularkey met with reporters on Monday at Saint Thomas Sports Park, one day after the team's 16-15 win over the Detroit Lions.

Here's a look at six hot topics:


Game balls**

Following Sunday's victory, Titans tight end Delanie Walker presented Mularkey with a game ball in the locker room at Ford Field.

"It was a thrill,'' said Mularkey, who was named head coach on a permanent basis in January. "It was really nice to get the game ball. It meant a lot."

After accepting the ball, Mularkey then recognized first-year general manager Jon Robinson, and handed him the football. It was Robinson's first win since taking over as the team's GM in January.

"Jon has spent a lot of time and effort in trying to build this thing, and put this thing together with the roster," Mularkey said. "At the time I thought Jon deserved it as well."

With a smile, Mularkey admitted he gave away the only football he had. So he essentially gave away his game ball.

"And Jon tucked it away, and I couldn't get it back,'' Mularkey said with a smile, before revealing a text message exchange he had with Robinson on Sunday night. "We (always) text back and forth… I said, 'Does your wife Jaimie have a problem with you having a football in bed with you tonight?"

Warmack injury

Right guard Chance Warmack tore a tendon in his right hand during warmups prior to Sunday's game, and there's a chance he could undergo surgery to repair it.

"We're discussing whether to repair it or not,'' Mularkey said. "You can play through the injury, or you can have it repaired. We'll go from there if that's the case."

Mularkey said it could be "a couple of weeks to more than a month" if Warmack has surgery.

"You can play with it, but you'll probably have to play with basically a cast, a club in there, which is difficult to do at that position," Mularkey said. "He played through it (Sunday). … I'm sure he had some issues with it, there's no doubt about that."

Should Warmack miss time, offensive linemen Brian Schwenke or Josh Kline, who was recently claimed off waivers from the Patriots, could step in and play right guard.

"If that's the case, and Chance cannot play,'' Mularkey said, "then the time in practice will give them a chance to work with the 1s  for a few days."


Mariota's progress**

Quarterback Marcus Mariota was 11-of-13 for 107 yards, with two touchdowns and a 140.5 passer rating in the fourth quarter vs Detroit.

On the game-winning drive, he completed all nine of his attempts – to five different targets -- for 74 yards and a touchdown. Mariota connected with veteran receiver Andre Johnson for a touchdown on a fourth down play to win it.

Mularkey said he was impressed with Mariota's ability to rise to the occasion.

"He can handle the pressure in a tough environment,'' Mularkey said of Mariota. "He had done some good things in the game. The (interception), I credit (the Lions). They played that play better. Other than that I thought he put us in a lot of good situations."

Mularkey said Mariota was guilty of holding the ball too long on a few occasions, however, which resulted in him being sacked.

"At some point, he just has to realize the threat,'' Mularkey said, "and that there is no escape path, (so) get rid of the ball."

Dodd's play

Rookie linebacker Kevin Dodd started on Sunday in place of Derrick Morgan, who missed with a hamstring injury.

Dodd recorded a sack and also a quarterback hit against the Lions, while recording six tackles.

"He was disruptive,'' Mularkey said of Dodd. "I liked … his effort. He did a lot of things. When he was cut off at the edge he would retrace, and he would get in on some tackles from just an effort. I thought he was disruptive. I thought the (Lions) tackle had his hands full."


"On to the Raiders"**

While the Titans celebrated Sunday's win, Mularkey was quick to point out the team needs to keep it going.

The Titans haven't won two games in a row since the last two games of the 2013 season.

"Just like the loss (to Minnesota), we've already moved on from that game,'' Mularkey said. "There's some good things to take from that game, and there's some good things to take from every game. But we need to move forward.

"We need to start winning at home. And so we are already on the Raiders. We had a very good meeting this afternoon about the Raiders."

Other injuries

In addition to Morgan, receiver Kendall Wright (hamstring) also missed Sunday's game against the Lions.

Mularkey said the plan is for both players to work on Tuesday, and practice on Wednesday.

Linebacker Avery Williamson (back, hand) is doing better, per Mularkey, "and I think Avery will be back for Wednesday's practice."

The Tennessee Titans take on the Detroit Lions in Week 2 action at Ford Field. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

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