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Three Quick Hits from Wednesday's Practice

Posted Jan 3, 2018

TitansOnline.com Senior Writer and Editor Jim Wyatt offers three quick hits from Wednesday's practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Titans just wrapped up practice on Wednesday at Saint Thomas Sports Park.

On Saturday, the team will face the Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs, at Arrowhead Stadium.

Three quick hits:

Mariota talk

Quarterback Marcus Mariota will play in his first playoff game on Saturday against the Chiefs.

He’s one of 35 Titans set to play in the postseason for the first time.

Titans offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie was asked during his media availability today how he’ll approach things with Mariota heading into the contest.

Robiskie said Mariota has proven to be a gamer in the past, so he’s not concerned about how he’ll handle the pressure.

“We try to approach it like it’s another game, but at the end of the day you know it’s not just another game,” Robiskie said of the playoffs. “It is the hype behind it, and everything increased probably 1,000 fold. The guys who have it, have it in their veins.

“It’s just (Marcus). He has been in big games, and has played in some of the biggest games in college football history.”

Mariota played well down the stretch of Sunday’s playoff-clinching game against the Jaguars.

He even showed some swagger after his stiff-arm, and staredown of Jaguars safety Barry Church.

Teammates loved it, and so did Robiskie, who applauded Mariota for running. Mariota carried the ball 10 times for 60 yards in the game, including the 13-yard scamper late on third-and-five.

“That was very, very funny to me,” Robiskie said of Mariota’s emotions after the big run late. “It was funny, but it was always great joy. That is what we know (Marcus) is capable of doing, and when he is capable of doing that, it helps our offense. 

“I hate to say it, but if he can’t do (take off and run), we’re not the offense we’re trying to be.”

Walker on Kelce

Titans tight end Delanie Walker and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce have been teammates on the AFC Pro Bowl team.

The two players respect one another, and are considered among the game’s best at the position.

Kelce leads the Chiefs with 83 catches for 1,038 yards and eight touchdowns.

Can Walker help give his defensive players tips he learned in Orlando last year?

“I have been telling them – Kelce can run routes, and he attacks the ball very well,” Walker said. “They are going to have to make sure they get hands on him and be aggressive. That is pretty much the best advice I can give them. He is a playmaker, and he is going to go out there and try and make plays. And we just have to stop him.”

Titans coach Mike Mularkey said “it will be a couple of guys who will have their hands full with him,” when discussing how the Titans might defend Kelce on Saturday.

“He’s a handful to handle,” Mularkey said. “And we have a number of guys we feel good about. I think Kevin Byard is going to have a day with him. It is easier said than done covering this guy.”

Other Injuries

Running back DeMarco Murray (knee) did not practice again on Wednesday.

He hasn’t practiced or played since injuring the knee against the Rams on December 24. 

“Again, I am holding out hope,” Mularkey said of Murray.

Cornerback Logan Ryan (illness) and safety Da’Norris Searcy (illness) did not practice.

Cornerback Brice McCain (hamstring) did not practice.

Mularkey said he hopes to get Ryan, Searcy and McCain back for Thursday's practice.

Tight end Jonnu Smith and cornerback Kalan Reed practiced again on Wednesday, but remain in the concussion protocol. Mularkey said they were scheduled to go through further tests on Wednesday afternoon.