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Six Hot Topics from Presser with Titans Coach Mike Mularkey

Posted Oct 23, 2017

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 12-9 win over the Browns.

Here’s a look at six hot topics as he looked ahead to the bye weekend, and the November 5 game vs the Ravens:

Delanie Walker update

Tight end Delanie Walker remains in a walking boot after suffering an injury on Sunday in Cleveland.

But Mularkey said it’s more of a bone bruise than a sprained ankle, which is positive. Pain tolerance will determine when he’s able to return.

“That’s good news,” Mularkey said. “Now that’s a painful injury. Any time of bone bruise, it’s very painful if you’ve ever had one.”

Mularkey said he’s “hopeful” when asked about Walker’s playing status after the bye.

Corey Davis

Titans rookie receiver Corey Davis is expected back after the bye, and Mularkey believes he’ll make a big difference.

Davis played in the season opener against the Raiders, but he re-aggravated a hamstring injury in Week 2 against Jacksonville and hasn’t played since.

Mularkey said Davis could practice next Monday before the Baltimore game. Mularkey said Davis has kept up mentally with what the Titans are doing.

“I think (he’ll make) a big difference, I do,” Mularkey said. “We have one game to go off of, and I thought he did some really good things in his one game, with no prior game experience. I thought he did a really nice job with not just the six catches that he had, but the other things he did for a rookie starting in his first game.

“I think we should be better if we could get him back.”

Despite not being able to practice, Davis has made progress of late, Mularkey said.

“We’ve seen him run,” Mularkey said. “We need to get him in the huddle and run plays with our team.”

Marcus Mariota

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota on Sunday was another week removed from the hamstring injury he suffered against the Texans, but he was still limited against the Browns.

“His limitations were very similar to the Monday night game (vs. Indianapolis),” Mularkey said of Mariota. “We obviously have to do some different things with the game plan with his immobility, which is tough.”

Mariota completed 21-of-34 passes for 203 yards in Cleveland, and he tucked the ball and ran eight yards for a first down on one play.

Mularkey believes he could return to being a dynamic player after the bye, or in the not-so-distant future.

“If he is back to full strength,” Mularkey said, “we can get back to our full game-planning, and get back to what we are good at, and that is multiple things.”

Other injuries

In addition to Davis, Mularkey said the Titans are also hopeful safety Johnathan Cyprien will be able to return following the bye.

Running back DeMarco Murray suffered a bruised shoulder against the Browns, but he’s not expected to miss time. Mularkey said the two weeks off will be good for him in his recovery from his lingering hamstring injury.

Guard Quinton Spain continues to deal with turf toe.

Mularkey said it’s mandatory for injured players to remain in town rehabbing. 

Browns win

The Titans improved to 4-3 with the win on Sunday.

The team is tied with the Jaguars for first place in the AFC South.

Mularkey said Titans receivers didn’t get enough separation, and Mariota missed some throws. The team struggled on third down, and in thee red zone.

“We didn’t play very well offensively, for a number of reasons, and we’ll address that,” Mularkey said. “But I’ll say this: When we needed them at the end there, when we needed all three units to function as one, we did it. We stopped them on defense, we had a good return by Adoree’ (Jackson), and our offense got us in position to kick a field goal and that’s what you want.”

The most important thing is the Titans found a way to win.

Titans kicker Ryan Succop’s 47-yard field goal won it in OT.

“It is hard to win – turn on every game in the NFL,” Mularkey said. “Especially on the road, it is tough to win. Was it pretty? No. When we had to win it, and it came into overtime, this team rallied together in all three phases and found a way to win the game, and that’s good. I see nothing negative about that.

“I’ve never said, ‘It’s a bad win’ in my life.”

Bye Week plan

Mularkey said the Titans plan to do a lot of self-scouting during the bye week.

Coaches will look at every play, and every player on every play.

“We are basically doing what we do during the offseason, going back and looking at situational football – all phases, regardless of whether we’re having success or not,” Mularkey said.

“We’re looking at the red zone, third down, short yardage, goal line, two-minute – anything that pertains to difference making situations in the game. We’re doing a study on ourselves.”