» Subscribe Today!
The Power of Information
Home
The Ledger - EST. 1978 - Nashville Edition
X
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Article
VOL. 40 | NO. 35 | Friday, August 26, 2016

Players like Mularkey’s honesty – even with media

Print | Front Page | Email this story

You don’t have to be around Mike Mularkey very long to realize something about him that you won’t necessarily find in a lot of NFL head coaches.

Blunt honesty.

Mularkey, when asked a question, doesn’t dance around an uncomfortable issue to protect a player. Instead, he meets it head on and gives an honest assessment, even if it doesn’t always paint a player or situation in the best light.

Consider it a warning sign. If wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham had, he might still be with the team.

Mularkey had been asked multiple times about Green-Beckham’s progress, and every time his answer was the same – the talented wide receiver had to be more consistent in order to have a role in the Titans offense.

DGB finally ran out of chances last week when Tennessee shuffled him off to Philadelphia, netting only a backup lineman in return.

Green-Beckham isn’t the only Titan that Mularkey on the receiving end of an unflattering assessment. Plenty of others have been sent a public message that their game must improve.

And it isn’t just a media show. The player – not the press corps – is the first to know when something needs to be addressed, Mularkey says.

“I’ve already said basically the same thing to the player that I’ve said to you guys,” he explains. “I’ll never try to send a message through the media to our players and, hopefully, they’re not going to do the same thing.

“It is what it is. They know what’s expected. I’ve already told them before I say anything to you guys. I think they appreciate (me) being up front. There’s no sugar-coating any of it. This is the way things are gonna be done.”

Players who have needed the occasional reminder actually appreciate the coach’s candor.

“He talks to us all the time with those types of things and keeps us in the loop with just about everything that happens,” left tackle Taylor Lewan says. “If he has an issue with somebody, he’s gonna pull you in. He’s not just gonna say it in the media. He’s gonna tell you and then he’ll address the media if needed.”

Most of the time, Mularkey says, if he has something to say to a player about his performance, that players already has an idea a “reminder” is coming.

“I’ve said it out here a number of times, I’m a professional reminder. That’s what I do,” Mularkey says. “I don’t have to go in there in the team meeting this morning and say, ‘Hey, we can’t let them score on the first drive.’

“Everybody in that room sitting there knows that. They all take it personal. I’m here to say, ‘What have we got to do different?’ Something different in practice? What are we going to do to make a difference?’

“It’s not about reminding them what they can’t do, it’s about how can we do it better.”

Receiver Justin Hunter, who has been on the receiving end of more than a few of Mularkey’s assessments, likes that the coach will let him know what is expected and if he is coming up short of expectations.

“I would rather have a coach tell me that than not tell me, just for the fact to see what he is looking for me to work on and what I need to do to get better,” Hunter says.

Harry Douglas, who played for Mularkey in Atlanta, says the brutal honesty in Mularkey’s approach is a must.

“You have to, and I’ll tell you this, the majority of players love it that way. They love it when a coach keeps it real with them,” Douglas says. “Players around this league respect a coach that is 100 percent honest with them.”

Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter & RSS:
Sign-Up For Our FREE email edition
Get the news first with our free weekly email
Name
Email  
TNLedger.com Knoxville Editon
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0