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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 17-10 loss to the Oakland Raiders.

Here's a look at six hot topics:


Lewan thoughts**

Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan was called for unnecessary roughness in the game's final minute on Sunday, after the Titans had reached the Oakland three-yard line.

It's been one of the most talked about plays in the wake of a comeback attempt that fell short.

On Monday, Mularkey said he watched tape of the play in question, and said the whistle blew as Lewan was in flight, headed for a pile of players after receiver Tajae Sharpe caught a pass from quarterback Marcus Mariota. The 15-yard penalty backed the Titans up to the 18.

"The Raiders guy is also going in there to hit Tajae one more time,'' Mularkey said. "They are in mid-flight when the whistle blows, so there is no way you can control it. If (officials) are trying to be protective of the players, then they ought to blow the whistle earlier."

Mularkey acknowledged center Ben Jones also approached the pile and dove into it, but noted neither he nor Lewan made contact with any of the Raiders.

Mularkey said the Titans were going in "to protect their teammate."

"That is our mindset,'' Mularkey said. "We are not preaching them to be dirty, and we are not teaching them to do anything after the whistle, that has never been talked about. … That was a judgement call by the officials, and it is not good timing. But I am not going to take our aggression away. They need to blow the whistle. If they think the runner is down, then they need to blow the whistle."

Pass interference calls

The Titans had a touchdown negated in the closing minute because of an offensive pass interference call against receiver Andre Johnson.  

Later, a fourth-down pass from Mariota to receiver Harry Douglas fell incomplete in the end zone with 12 seconds left. Replays showed there was contact on the play between Douglas and the Oakland defender, but there was no penalty.

Mularkey said "you could argue the fact with (Andre)."

Mularkey agreed "there was restriction" on the play involving Douglas.

"All I am looking for is consistency in the calls,'' Mularkey said. "We didn't lose the game because of the officials. We have to coach better, we have to play better, and I think they have to officiate better. All of us have to do things better."

Mariota's mistakes

Mariota threw two interceptions in Sunday's game, and also lost a fumble.

After the game, Mariota said he's sometimes guilty of trying to do too much, and it's led to mistakes.

"He is so good at that position, and you don't want to restrict him, and what he is capable of doing," Mularkey said of Mariota. "I didn't see a lot of him trying to do too much yesterday, maybe on the run where we had the fumble. I know what he is trying to do – he is trying to get to the line.

"But we have been pretty thorough about ball security with him, when he gets outside the pocket. That is a tough lesson to learn. We are going to stay on him about it."

Mariota was 17-of-33 for 214 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions against the Raiders.

"I would like to see our receivers help him out and make some plays on contested balls like I see across the way,'' Mularkey said.

Wright, Walker updates

Receiver Kendall Wright (hamstring) should practice full speed on Wednesday, and Mularkey said he's hopeful tight end Delanie Walker (hamstring) will be able to practice no later than Thursday.

Wright hasn't played this season – in preseason or regular season – since suffering a hamstring injury early in training camp. When he returned to practice earlier this month he suffered a setback.

"I think it would be good to have Kendall and Delanie back in the mix, if we can do that,'' Mularkey said. "Kendall had a good week, at the end of the week. There's no limitations on him on Wednesday. He's going to take the reps for three days, which we have been talking about since the beginning.

"Delanie may not be full-go on Wednesday, I'll know more of that as a couple of days go by."


Player review**

Mularkey was asked about the play of several players specifically during Monday's presser.

He said right guard Josh Kline did "very well" in his first game starting in place of Chance Warmack.

Mularkey said tight end Jace Amaro also "made some plays" in the contest while leading the team with 59 receiving yards, but acknowledged he made some mental errors.

Mularkey said rookie receiver Tajae Sharpe "took a step back" on Sunday, and pointed to his depth and releases on routes.

"He has been playing consistently really well,'' Mularkey said of Sharpe. "I don't know if he's pressing."

When asked about cornerback Perrish Cox, he said he'd like to see more plays on the ball from Cox, while acknowledging he's faced some tough receivers in recent weeks.

Mularkey said Lewan "has played extremely good, in run and pass" this season, including on Sunday.

Other injuries

Safety Da'Norris Searcy suffered an ankle sprain in Sunday's game, and there's a chance he could miss this week's game against the Texans.

Left guard Quinton Spain suffered a slight knee injury that could limit him in practice this week. Mularkey said Spain played well on Sunday as well.

Linebacker Derrick Morgan, who missed the Detroit game with a hamstring injury, made it through the game with no issues, Mularkey said.

The Tennessee Titans take on the Oakland Raiders in Week 3 action at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

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