TitansOnline.com Senior Writer and Editor Jim Wyatt offers six hot topics from head coach Mike Mularkey’s Monday press conference.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans coach Mike Mularkey met with reporters on Monday at Saint Thomas Sports Park, one day after the team’s 27-21 win over the Chicago Bears.
Here’s a look at six hot topics:
Cox release, Reed promoted
The Titans parted ways with cornerback Perrish Cox on Monday, and the team promoted cornerback Kalan Reed from the practice squad to the active roster to take his place.
Mularkey said the decision was based on performance, with no hidden message.
Cox recorded three interceptions in 11 games this season, but he struggled in recent games for the Titans. Mularkey said Cox did not play “to the standards that we expect.”
Mularkey didn’t say who would start opposite Jason McCourty. Brice McCain and Valentino Blake logged significant playing time on Sunday, when LeShaun Sims saw his first action of the season.
“(Perrish) has shown over the last few weeks he hasn’t played consistently,” Mularkey said. “There is no message sent. This is the way the NFL is – if you don’t perform at the level we ask, then we are going to find someone who does.
“We just needed some better play at the corner position. We have some options out there, but how we rotate it, we’re still talking about it.”
Running back Derrick Henry carried the ball eight times for 60 yards on Sunday, and scored his second career NFL touchdown on an 11-yard run.
“The one thing about him is he has made an impression every time he has run the football, there is no question,’’ Mularkey said of Henry. “From Day 1, through the preseason and all these games, he has made an impression with his ability to run it, (and) run it when there is nothing there, he is moving the pile.
“He did good in the limited opportunities he had yesterday.”
Mularkey said the team has discussed using Henry more in short-yardage situations.
Cornerback Jason McCourty suffered a bruised knee on Sunday, and should be ready for practice next Monday.
Defensive lineman Jurrell Casey suffered a sprained foot. Mularkey said he probably would not have played this week if the Titans had a game, but he believes he’ll be ready for the Broncos game on December 11.
Left tackle Taylor Lewan (knee) made it through the game with no issues.
Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyardintercepted Bears quarterback Matt Barkley on the 16-yard line on Sunday, and he had a key breakup on the team’s final defensive stand.
Woodyard was credited with five tackles, three passes defensed and a tackle for a loss.
“He played very well,’’ Mularkey said of Woodyard. “It was probably one of his best games.”
The Titans have a bye on Sunday. They’ll return to action on December 11 against the Broncos.
Mularkey said the team can use a break both mentally and physically.
“Be smart with your time off,” Mularkey said of his message to the team. “We have been very good as a team this entire year about any issues where we’ve had to deal with players off the field, and I want to continue that.
“We want to make sure that they continue to train like they’ve been training up to this point. I am knocking on wood, but we have been very healthy and we anticipate going into Denver very healthy. And the only way we can do that is if they take care of themselves this week.”
The Titans have four games left in the regular season – vs. Denver, at Kansas City, at Jacksonville and vs. Houston.
On Monday, Mularkey said the Titans will be locked in on the Broncos, even during the bye week.
The Titans are 6-6. Already they’ve doubled their win total from a year ago.
Mularkey was asked how important it is for the Titans to string some wins together.
“We are going to concentrate on the Broncos, and not any streaks or anything like that,” Mularkey said. “The next thing we have to do is get over .500 (mark). We haven’t gotten over .500 with the exception of when we’ve won the first game – I am talking about my time here, where we were 1-0. We need to take that next step.”