TitansOnline.com Senior Writer and Editor Jim Wyatt offers six 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 37-16 win over the Jaguars.
Here’s a look at six hot topics:
Murray and HenryRunning back Derrick Henryran for a career-high 92 yards against the Jaguars, including a 17-yard touchdown run.
Running back DeMarco Murray had just 25 yards before feeling tightness in his hamstring, and he watched most the second half wearing a baseball cap.
At this point, Murray is questionable heading into Sunday’s game. Mularkey on Monday said he still considers Murray the starter, and Henry the back-up.
“I still see it that way,” Mularkey said. “(On Sunday) I thought Derrick came in, and really both of them played in the first half. It was a grind trying to run the ball with both of them in there. Derrick took over for DeMarco in the second half, we stayed patient with the run game, and we decided to hit some holes.”
Henry leads the Titans with 117 rushing yards after two games.
“He was real good (Sunday), especially in the second half,” Mularkey said. “That’s the position, if you can have the luxury of having … two guys who can run the ball like that. It’s a tough position, there’s a lot of pounding that goes on their bodies. So if you can have good depth at that position. We are fortunate that we have it, and that’s part of the reason we drafted Derrick.”
Safety danceThe Titans played without safety Johnathan Cyprienon Sunday, but two other safeties stepped up and played well against the Jaguars.
And we’re not talking about Kevin Byard, who played all 67 snaps on defense and racked up six tackles and also broke up a pass.
Safeties Da’Norris Searcy and Curtis Riley both recorded interceptions against the Jaguars.
“They played well,” Mularkey said. “They played very well obviously, and were in the right place at the right time. The interceptions, and in run support they were very good. They played very well on special teams.
“I’ll say this about our whole secondary: Probably one of the better games I’ve been a part of since I’ve been here in regards to supporting the run, from all of them.”
Adoree’ returnRookie Adoree’ Jackson improved on his play at cornerback, but he also provided a huge spark on special teams when he fielded a punt and raced 46 yards.
“The thing Adoree’ did is he hit it,” Mularkey said. “If you are hitting it as fast as he does it is very hard to take an angle, and get a good solid tackle on him.”
“It was pretty well executed by our guys, a lot of big blocks,” Mularkey said. “Trawick didn’t let his guy off the line of scrimmage, his guy was 30 yards behind the punt. Logan did an outstanding job against the gunner … and walled off some other defenders. … A lot of big blocks on it.”
Mularkey said the play was a big one from an emotional standpoint.
“Watch our sideline,” Mularkey said. “That was a big play for us.”
Slimmer, and fasterTight end Delanie Walker’s down 10 pounds from a year ago, and he’s faster because of it.
Titans Online did a feature on Walker heading into the season, when his new diet was revealed. Walker has cut out pork, and he stays away from red meat.
Mularkey was asked about Walker’s wheels on Monday, a day after Walker led the team with 61 receiving yards and scored his first career rushing touchdown.
“He is a physical specimen,” Mularkey said. “You can tell he’s put a lot of time and effort into coming back. He is faster, and he’s outstanding in the run game, too. He’s probably more physical in the run game that he’s been. All around (Delanie) has been much more of a complete player.”
Asked if he could go on a non-pork diet, Mularkey replied: “Could I? Here in Nashville? No.”
InjuriesAlong with Murray, Titans receiver Corey Davis is also dealing with a hamstring tightness.
Mularkey called both players “day-to-day” heading into this Sunday’s game against the Seahawks.
Cyprien has been ruled out for Sunday’s game, but cornerback Tye Smith(hand) should be available.
Mularkey said Murray felt hamstring tightness on the sideline, so the team thought it was a good decision to hold him out.
Next up: Seattle
After Sunday’s win, the Titans are now 1-1 and tied atop the AFC South with the Jaguars and Texans. The Colts are 0-2.
Mularkey said the celebration after Sunday’s win has ended.
“We won an important game, on the road, in our division,” Mularkey said. “But that was yesterday. We are already on to Seattle. There is nobody in here patting themselves on the back. We have a lot of work to do still. Just like the week before, with the bad taste (after losing to Oakland), the good taste — the taste is gone. We have to get ready for the next one.”
Quarterback Russell Wilson leads the Seahawks.
“(With him) the play is never over,” Mularkey said.
Mularkey said Seattle’s defense is solid with one of the best secondaries in the NFL.
“This is a top 5 defense just about every year we have to deal with coming in here,” Mularkey said.