Titans head coach Mike Mularkey addresses reporters following Day 3 of training camp practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park.
TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT – July 31, 2017
(on the first practice with pads)
A lot of mistakes—rookies. We had some drops. More offensively than defensively. I’ve been really pleased with our defense the last three days. We’ve got three good days of work in, we’ve gotten better every day. Offensively, we struggled a little bit early. Really, not until the last period did we have a good practice when things looked clean. Again, some of that’s the norm when you get the pads on and you’re in this environment as a rookie.
(on what he liked in the defense today)The communication is outstanding. We’re doing a lot, we’re in a lot of places—we’ve got a lot of people in different places and we’ve got a lot of new guys in different places. I think the communication has been great, you can see the value of the offseason workout—what it does for you.
(on if mistakes in practice can offer better learning opportunities than a smooth practice)
Every play is a teaching tool. To me, that’s what training camp is all about. That’s why we tape it, that’s why we have so many angles of each play that we can watch to teach off of. But I think everything’s—you can teach something off. But obviously, I’d rather have less mistakes.
(on rookie wide receiver Taywan Taylor)
I think he’s got some ability to make plays and be an explosive player, I think we have a number of those guys. Again, Taylor had a couple plays that we designed today for him.
(on if Taylor could play outside or in the slot)
Every one of our receivers—we don’t even put a slot depth chart on the original depth chart. Everybody starts outside and then when we go to three wides then we create that. Everybody will be outside, then we’ll have a select few that will go inside and he’s one of them.
(on safety Kevin Byardgoing into his second year)A lot. Not like he’s going into his second year. He looks like a long time vet the way he makes his calls and gets everybody in the right place. And again, offensively we do a lot of things—there’s a lot of moving parts that you have to adjust to and make sure everybody’s on the same page to adjust to what we do and he’s done very well with that.
(on if Byard’s work over the summer is showing during practice)
Yeah. That’s the advantage of today’s world. The iPads—you can bring them home and they have every game, they have every practice, they have everything that they can sit and study compared to the old days where you had no film available. Again, you can tell the guys that did something off the facility site. He’s one of them. Film is invaluable as far as getting yourself faster up to speed.
Yeah, I think so. Austin’s had a couple good days. Again, I really have been so focused on a lot offensively when they’re practicing. I’ll know more when I watch the tape on them. But there are plays that they flash and I see both those guys, LeShaun as well, making some plays.
(on cornerback Demontre Hurst)
He’s stood out. He’s made a number of plays for us. You can tell he’s got experience. He’s done a really good job of really reading some of our route concepts and being where the ball’s going to be. That’s been impressive by him.
(on the players getting excited about an interception in the end zone and where safety Da’Norris Searcy stands now that safety Johnathan Cyprien has arrived)He is very steady and very consistent. Just like Kevin Byard, he is a guy that does a lot of communication for us but the reason they were excited was—whoever won the turnover battle today got 30 minutes less of meeting time tonight. It wasn’t about the turnover as much as it was getting out of meetings 30 minutes earlier. It’s good. Again, I’m just trying to create competition in things that we’ve got to be really good at.
(on if quarterback Marcus Mariota was forcing things today in practice)
The one thing he does, he can throw it into tight windows. He’ll continue to do that. I didn’t feel like he forced it at all. He’s trusting guys to be where they’re supposed to be. That’s how he makes a lot of these completions. That’s why it’s tough to defend. You can’t defend an anticipated throw, which is impossible.
(on what he and Marcus Mariota can do to aid in getting more yards after the catch)
Practice it. If you watch the drills that we did the first couple days of practice, as soon as we broke stretch we went down and did take off. The drill was going to the football, having guys around the ball, so we can free our guys up to make yards after the catch. It’s practice, being around the ball and guys finishing plays with it.
(on if he was impressed with guard Corey Levin)He had some things today he needed to clean up. He’s got a lot going on with the calls and the snap. He’s flashed it. He’s got some ability for us. He’s got some room to work.
(on Da’Norris Searcy’s interception in the red zone)
They’re so competitive all over the field, I don’t know if it makes any difference in the red zone. That is a huge play for us defensively to do what he did. But I don’t know if it’s because of Marcus (Mariota) and where we were. They want the ball, that’s the big emphasis.
(on what linebacker Erik Walden brings to the team)
He’s hard to block, ask our tight ends. It’s just like the games, he’s very difficult to block. He sets the edge as well as our starters do right now. He’s got a mentality that we want. He’s great for our younger guys. He brings a lot to the table.
(on the Middle Tennessee State football program)
Rick (Stockstill) has done a very good job there. It’s not just their ability, what they bring to the field, it’s what they do off of the field. They’re good for this football team off of the field.
(on who caught his attention during the first full-pads practice)I was watching the tight ends a little more, the fullbacks. Those guys, especially the fullbacks, especially without pads on, are hard to evaluate without pads on if they’re going to block anybody. Joe Bacci, specifically. I watched the tight ends, let me watch them again on tape and see more to evaluate them.
(on wide receiver Corey Davis’ second day of practice)
Probably not as good as yesterday. As I was walking over here I talked to him. I asked him to give me a number from one to 10. It was better yesterday than it was today. I like that he’s hard on himself, that’s a good time.
(on if Corey Davis ranked himself on a scale of one to 10 yesterday too)
He didn’t give me a number yesterday, but today’s number wasn’t good enough.
(on the ups and downs rookies experience in their first training camp)
That’s been going on since I don’t know how long, a long time. That’s just part of it.
(on what he saw from tight end Jonnu Smith today)
He’s not afraid to put his nose in there and block, at all. I’ll say this about him, and a lot of our rookies, and he’s one of them, he wants to be really good. He does it exactly the way we want to do it, and if he does something wrong he wants to know why and how to fix it. I’m pretty pleased with watching him the first day in pads.
(on if running back DeMarco Murray was cramping up during practice)Yeah a little bit. You’ll have to ask him. It wasn’t really hot out today, not like it’s been here.
(on running back Derrick Henry continuing to get better)
I think so. The familiarity of the offense from this time last year to this time this year, there’s not a lot of thinking. The blocking schemes, and having the same guys blocking for him, there’s a lot of why he’s further ahead than he was last year at this time.
(on Derrick Henry’s work ethic)
I think he knows his role here. He knows we want to get him the football when we can, he understands his role. That’s why he practices the way he practices, that’s why he meets the way he meets. He gets it, he’s a team player. If you don’t practice like you’re a starter you’re going to have a problem when you line up on Sunday, whether it’s starting a game, or coming in on a game, you better practice like you’re a starter.
(on wide receiver Jonathan Krause grabbing his attention in practice today)
He’s made some big plays. He’s dropped some too. I said last year, consistency.