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 19-17 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Here's a look at six hot topics:


Klug to Injured Reserve**

Titans defensive lineman Karl Klug suffered a torn Achilles tendon in Sunday's game, and will undergo surgery.

The team plans to place Klug on Injured Reserve.

Klug played in all 14 games for the Titans this season. The sixth-year pro has played in 94 games for the Titans since the 2011 season.

"He's a big loss for our team,'' Mularkey said of Klug. "(We'll miss) his relentless play. He's a guy who is where he is supposed to be on all downs, just a tough, physical, dependable player. A team-first guy, a guy we really like."

Klug dealt with a sore Achilles last week, but he practiced on Friday and made it through warm-ups without issues.

"I watched him on Friday, and he had a really good Friday practice and was full-go,'' Mularkey said. "I don't know if he would have let me not let him play. He wanted to play. So it disappointing it happened. I don't think we put him back there too early. I saw him Friday do a lot of things."

Mularkey said the Titans are discussing options for the extra roster spot.


Two-point try**

Mularkey was asked about the much-debated decision to go for two after the team's final touchdown of the game, a one-yard run by running back Derrick Henry that cut the lead to 17-16 with 3:12 left.

Mularkey said the play was designed for quarterback Marcus Mariota to go to receiver Harry Douglas, and he thinks he was initially open.

"It wasn't really well executed in our standards,'' Mularkey said. "It could have been executed much better at the point. I would have liked to have seen what would have happened if (Marcus) had put it on Harry. I think the throw was there. It was not as clean as you would like, we thought we could get a cleaner lane. But that is part of the execution of the play. But even with that being said I would have liked to have seen what would have happened if he had thrown it."

Mariota didn't throw it initially, and he eventually threw an incomplete pass.

Mularkey explained the decision, and said the momentum of the game influenced his decision. He said the belief the coaches have in the players played a big factor.

"It was well thought out,'' Mularkey. "It was a mindset that we wanted to win the game, then and there."

"Divine intervention"

Mularkey was still gushing when talking about kicker Ryan Succop's game-winning 53-yard field goal.

Mularkey said he's seen him hit plenty of kicks from that distance in practice.

"I think that whole sideline believed he was going to make that kick," Mularkey said. "Call it divine intervention or whatever it was, but there was a belief that he was going to make it."

Mularkey also offered praise for tight end Delanie Walker for getting to the 35-yard line after making a catch from Mariota, which made it a 53-yarder. According to Mularkey, the Titans would have been in a "Hail Mary" situation from the 36-yard line.

"I give Delanie a lot of credit," Mularkey said. "If Delanie turns and goes the other way, Delanie gets tackled on the 40. Delanie just made a great play on the throw by Marcus and got us where we needed to be. That's what big-time playmakers do."


Mariota talk**

Leading up to Succop's kick, the Titans took over at their own 25-yard line with just 1:07 remaining, with no time outs left. Mariota drove the team 40 yards in six plays.

It was the fourth game-winning drive of his career.

"I like how he has handled it, pretty much every time we have been in that situation, including out here on the practice field,'' Mularkey said. "We have practiced that, really since the OTAs a number of times, and he has been very good. Our offense has been very good in that situation."

Mariota completed 19-of-33 passes for 241 yards against the Chiefs.

In the previous week's win over the Broncos, he completed 6-of-20 passes for 88 yards.

On Sunday, the Titans will face the Jaguars.

Mularkey said Mariota's numbers haven't been as gaudy in the past two games because the offense has chosen "a different way to attack." Mariota hasn't thrown a touchdown pass in the past two weeks after a string of eight straight games with at least two touchdown passes.

"I look at it as a positive that we can score and find ways to win without having to throw two touchdown passes every game,'' Mularkey said. "I find it more that our offensive staff has found ways to attack two different defenses, very good defenses, and found ways to win."


Praise for Sims**

Rookie cornerback LeShaun Sims has been the team's top-ranked player on defense the past two weeks, according to Pro Football Focus.

On Sunday, Sims came up with a huge play when he intercepted Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith in the end zone in the third quarter. The Titans were trailing 17-7 at the time.

A fifth-round pick from Southern Utah, Sims was credited with four tackles against the Bears and Broncos leading up to Sunday's game in Kansas City.

"I think the more he is playing, the more confident he is getting in is game,'' Mularkey said of Sims. "I think you've seen him make really big plays in the red zone the last two weeks. … I think he is just feeling more confident in his play.

"The one thing he is doing that gets talked a lot about is his run support. He is a physical player. He is not afraid to stick his nose in there and it is nice to have a corner who will do that in support."

Other injuries

Cornerback Jason McCourty suffered a chest contusion on Sunday's game, as well as a shoulder sprain. He'll be out during the early portion of the week in practices.

Tight end Phillip Supernaw and safety Da'Norris Searcy are in the concussion protocol and will be evaluated during the course of the week.

"Once they get through a practice and get tested we'll know more about them,'' Mularkey said.

Linebacker Sean Spence should return to the practice field this week after missing Sunday's game with an ankle injury.

The Tennessee Titans take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 15 action at Arrowhead Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

Related Content

Fan Zone

Titans + Nissan Stadium App

Titans + Nissan Stadium App

Stay up to date with team and stadium news, concert and event announcements, stream live Titans games and more!

Tennessee Titans Marketplace

Tennessee Titans Marketplace

A one-stop shop for Titans memorabilia, autographed items and more!

Tennessee Titans Email Newsletter

Tennessee Titans Email Newsletter

Get Titans news sent straight to your inbox.