TitansOnline.com Senior Writer and Editor Jim Wyatt offers hot topics from head coach Mike Mularkey’s Monday afternoon press conference.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans coach Mike Mularkey met with reporters on Monday at Saint Thomas Sports Park, one day after the team’s 19-7 preseason loss to the Chicago Bears.Here’s a look at six hot topics:
Davis, Decker updates
A decision on their status for Thursday’s game at Kansas City won’t be made until later in the week, but Mularkey didn’t completely rule it out. Still, it sounds unlikely.
“There’s a chance,” Mularkey said. “It’s probably slimmer than most, but there is a chance. Much greater than it’s been for the last three weeks.”
Mularkey acknowledged the team would likely have to ease Davis into action at the start of the regular season. Davis hasn’t played at all this season after suffering the setback the first week of training camp.
“Yeah, I think we would watch him,’’ he said. “I don’t think you’d see him play an entire game. Again, he’ll have this week to get ready mentally and physically, hopefully get more reps every day. But then next week, we get an extra Monday practice which helps. He’ll get four good days of practice next week, I’m almost sure of that. I think Eric Decker will be the same. That will help to get the extra day in there.”
Adoree’ JacksonInitially, Mularkey thought the inquiry about rookie Adoree’ Jackson was about the regular season.
The question: Is Adoree’ your punt returner? Mularkey said “yes.”
When asked for clarification, and whether he meant the regular season, Mularkey smiled. But he essentially gave the same answer.
“There’s a good chance he’ll be the punt returner,” Mularkey said.
Jackson, the 18th overall pick of the NFL Draft, returned a punt for a touchdown against the Panthers last week, but it was called back because of a penalty. On Sunday, Jackson fielded a punt inside the five, and was tackled.
“Again, that was a mistake,” Mularkey said. “One of the ones I’ve been talking about that – certainly after our conversation on the sideline, I hope he doesn’t make it again. We’ll address it again when we get to watch the tape, just how the ramifications of one thing can lead to another thing, to another, to a catastrophic punt block.”
Mularkey declined to name his kick returner.
Mularkey said he still has confidence in Jackson as a cornerback as well. Jackson struggled early in coverage against the Bears.
“Again, the early part of the game obviously he got picked on with a lot of success,” Mularkey said. “I thought it calmed down a little bit. I think once he got a feel for how fast things happen, especially your first game starting in the NFL, I thought he settled down and played better as the game went on. Again, he covered some guys, you didn’t see that. You do see when he gave up some receptions, but I thought he got better as the game went on.”
“Everyone will play”
The Titans wrap up the preseason against the Chiefs.
It won’t be a day off, Mularkey said.
“Everybody will play this game,” Mularkey said.
Mularkey said he doesn’t plan to play the starters for punishment after a sub-par performance against the Bears either.
“That’s not why I’m going to play them, no,” Mularkey said. “That was my thought prior to this game. You’re just talking about a couple weeks in between games. I know you get that in the bye week, I don’t know if you need it in the preseason. That’s the thought, again I haven’t sat down with the staff to talk about it, but that’s kind of the thought. One to two series.
“… I talked to the staff this morning, there’s some guys that haven’t had a chance to play yet and I think they need a chance to play. They’ve earned the right to play in an NFL game and they’re going to play this weekend. Everybody will play. Regardless of what the Chiefs do, that’s out of my control. I know what we’re going to do.”
“That’s not acceptable”Mularkey doesn’t care of guard Quinton Spain’s ejection on Sunday looked like it came as the result of a slap, not a punch.
“It doesn’t matter,” Mularkey said. “That’s not acceptable. That’s an expensive slap.”
Mularkey said Spain has to make better decisions to avoid hurting the team.
“It’s a violent game, that’s the way it is, up until he whistle blows,” he said. “Then it’s over, get away from the situation. Not going to say it again. He may be getting hit with a fine, (it’ll) be just what he needs, but that’s not what we want.”
It’s a busy week at Saint Thomas Sports Park, and across the NFL.
The team practices on Tuesday, and then travels to Kansas City on Wednesday for Thursday’s game against the Chiefs.
By 3 p.m. Saturday, all NFL teams must be down to 53 players. The Titans currently have a 90-man roster.
“It’s a pretty busy week,” Mularkey said. “It’s the first for me, playing Sunday and Thursday in the preseason. Having 90 guys on the roster this last game, it’ll be challenging, but again that’s part of this business, that’s what you’ve got to do to get ready. Unfortunately we’re traveling instead of being at home like the Chiefs, but that’s not going to be an issue. We’ll be ready to go.”
Mularkey said he’s already dreading letting players go.
“I’m not looking forward to it,” he said. “That’s a tough day. You’re telling some guys they’re not going to play, obviously for the Titans, but they may never play again. That’s a tough thing for me to do. With those numbers, I’m not looking forward to that at all.”