Titans head coach Mike Mularkey addresses reporters following Wednesday’s practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park.
TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT – August 23, 2017
(on what he hopes to see from quarterback Marcus Mariota as he enters his third season)
I’d like to see if we can get him maybe to help us get out of more situations that he knows are going to be bad plays, based on defenses out-flanking us, or a blitz. Putting more on his plate that he can hopefully get us to the right play. Not a lot, but just enough to maybe save us a couple of snaps.
(on how much more freedom Marcus Mariota will have at the line of scrimmage)
Not that much more. We spent a lot of time Mondays and Tuesdays making sure we don’t have to have a lot of calls. That’s the thing, if we’re doing our homework, if we’re putting in the game plan the way our coaches have, we shouldn’t have to get out of a lot of plays. We’re talking about a couple, at the most, and that may not even be all in one game.
(on Marcus Mariota’s calm demeanor)
He’s just very easy going. I think it’s dangerous (that) he’s easy going. You wouldn’t expect him to be able to do what he does. He can pick you apart, he can beat you with his feet, he can do a lot of things. He does all his talking with his play and I like that.
(on if he has seen quarterback Marcus Mariota get tense)
(on if it is unusual that he hasn’t seen Marcus Mariota get tense)
Pretty unusual, because I know how much of a competitor he is, I know how important it is to him. I just don’t see him waver. He’s driven, he doesn’t pay attention to a lot of things.
(on if he has coached quarterbacks in the past that have been much more tense)
No. Everybody is different. It’s unusual for as young as he is, this early in his career, to be that way.
(on if the starters playing a whole half Sudnay against the Bears will be beneficial to the team)
Every live snap against an opponent, whether it’s a series or a half, is critical. The more the better.
(on the difference between this week and the first two weeks of training camp)
This is a little different. There’s more planning this week than there has been the first two weeks. You want to see a guy go in at halftime. Maybe we have a two-minute drill – you can’t have a two-minute drill if you don’t play the half – and then have to start the third quarter. That’s something that’s not bad to go through it one dry run before you actually do it.
(on if the starters will definitely be starting the third quarter)
I’m not going to say definite to anything. It’s always based on how the game is flowing.
(on if Marcus Mariota will play as much as the rest of the starters)
That’ll be discussed Friday morning.
(on if running back DeMarco Murray will play this Sunday against Chicago)
I expect him to be a go. A lot of that will be based on the next two days. He did more today than he did last week, see how he feels after doing more. We haven’t talked numbers of reps for anybody.
(on if he has seen a ‘big burst’ from DeMarco Murray in practice)
Kind of. There’s different kinds of bursts, it’s hitting a hole, or it’s hitting an 80-yard run. I’ve seen a couple of things that I liked better today than I have in previous practices.
(on if the work DeMarco Murray gets Sunday will be enough before the start of the regular season)
I would think. He’s played a lot of snaps in his career, a lot of snaps. I’m not worried about him having to get back on the bike.
(on facing different offensive situations against the Panthers)
It was good. We had a lot of different situations in that game, that was the beauty of that game. A lot of teaching off of situations. Scoring off of the turnovers was very critical. When you can get three turnovers and score touchdowns, there’s a good chance you’re going to win a lot of games doing that. Some of the fourth-down situations where there wasn’t a lot of thinking behind it, just go and trust your guys, they’re going to make it happen. That’s all good for this team, the staff, for me, building more trust. A lot of good situations.
(on if he learned anything new about Marcus Mariota during his rehab process)
No, I didn’t expect anything different from Marcus (Mariota) when he was in rehab. That’s how he functions every day. He’s a workaholic. He’s in here first thing, whether it’s studying the playbook or rehabbing. So no, it doesn’t surprise me how well he came back from that at all.
(on balancing training camp and prepping for the Bears)
There is some balance, there’s got to be. We’re in a game-like situation week, but it’s still training camp. We’re going to be in pads tomorrow, which during the regular season we’re not. We still have things we’ve got to get better at that we can’t do without pads on. Are we planning more for this game? Yes. Is it going to be like we’re going to plan for a regular season game? No, it’s not to that extent. But, it is more than we have the first two weeks.
(on the added benefit of having the game on Sunday at noon in terms of planning)
I like that. I like that we’ve got the full week. It’s the first time in my career that we’ve had a week to get prepared. You try and simulate it as much as you can. I do like the noon game. I think we need to get out and play. Hopefully it’s a little warmer than it’s been most of this camp. The hard part will be the following week, playing on Thursday. That’s a tough task. We’ll have to deal with that next week.
(on running back Derrick Henry stepping in for DeMarco Murray)
(on what he’s liked about Derrick Henry’s play)
How well he’s played, how prepared he is. There’s a play the other night that we faked it to him, it was a screen, the guy blocking, the one with Jonnu (Smith) down the sideline. The guys all the way down the field blocking for Jonnu (Smith) was Derrick Henry. If that doesn’t say a lot about who he is and what type of player he is, when you’re faking away from the play and you end up blocking for the guy catching the ball, that’s pretty impressive.
(on if he will be playing the Power Ball)
I heard that. I heard the odds too, so probably no.
(on if he has had to reassess balancing the workload between Derrick Henry and DeMarco Murray)
Not really, no.
(on if he will have to have a conversation with Derrick Henry about playing time when DeMarco Murray returns)
I don’t think so.
(on wide receiver Harry Douglas‘s reaction to new additions to the roster)
Harry (Douglas) comes to work every day, since I’ve known him for ten years, nothing’s changed. He’s a pro. Good guy to watch if you’re a young player.
(on if wide receiver Tajaé Sharpe will play in Sunday’s game)
He’ll get some snaps Sunday, for sure.
(on how Tajaé Sharpe has looked returning to practice)
Actually really good for as much time as he’s missed. I just got to see what kind of shape he’s in. If we’ve got a long drive or a two-minute drill, got to just see if he can operate at a high level, if he’s in shape to do it.
(on if nerves are starting to kick in for the players with roster cuts approaching)
I’d have to agree. There’s probably guys worrying about it, counting numbers, which is probably the worst thing you can do. There’s a lot of teams evaluating every play of every game, and you can’t play that way.
(on the second half of the third preseason game)
We’re going to play to win the game. We’re going to call the same game, same plays. Just the same as the first or second game, nothing’s different. Game plan doesn’t change.