‘Good push off:’ How the Titans are preparing for DeAndre Hopkins

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In a 56-14 embarrassment in Houston on Oct. 1, DeAndre Hopkins pushed the Titans around en route to 10 catches for 107 yards and a touchdown.

He’s easily the most dangerous guy on the version of the Texans that will be at Nissan Stadium Sunday.

“We’re trying to simulate it as much as possible, the physical part of it, and get as much of a good look in practice as we can,” Mike Mularkey said. “Plus we’ve played him, these guys know him well enough. It’s a physical matchup.JacksonPIT

“One thing he does… I think they’ve got the most pass interference calls against them in the league, and they’ve got the second-most holding calls in the league against the opponents against him. It’s a tough challenge covering him.”

A guy you may never have heard of is a big part of getting the Titans ready for Hopkins.

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How Marcus Mariota adjusted to Corey Davis' sloppy routes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Marcus Mariota pledged to get the bottom of his recent spurt of interceptions and to get better.

Wednesday, after the Titans installed the first phase of their game plan for Sunday’s home game against the Texans, he spoke a bit about what he’s been doing wrong.

Mike Mularkey said the Titans aren’t finding a specific issue with the quarterback.

“I don’t think there is anything mechanical,” he said. “I think there are things we can do better route-running wise. And then he’s thrown some poor throws, there is no doubt, he knows that. That one (in Indianapolis) to Harry Douglas, was a poor throw.

“I don’t know if it was mechanics. It’s going to happen.”Mariota3IND

As for the idea of the quarterback falling into bad habits, Mularkey wasn’t buying my premise.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – During my football-watching lifetime, the home team’s game has been a ratings-grabbing given.

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But as the NFL circa 2017 deals with a popularity decline, I’m amazed there has been no real examination of the broadcasts.

Sure, a good share of people are going to watch it no matter what. But that number isn’t as big as it used to be. The NFL and its broadcast partners should be examining and considering everything.

Generally, a Titans game is the highest-rated broadcast in Nashville each week. And that makes CBS, and Fox which occasionally has a game, think everything is rosy, so they alter nothing.

Which is incredibly short-sighted.

The broadcasts of your lower-ranking crews absolutely need to be revamped.

The issue is two-fold.

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Amid interception issues, Marcus Mariota has stopped fumbling

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – An offseason of rehabilitation from a serious injury rather than polishing mechanics is clearly one factor that’s contributed to a down season for Marcus Mariota.MariotaRollIND

His 12 interceptions are already the most he’s thrown in a season, after 10 in 12 games as a rookie and nine in 15 games in 2016.

The odd thing is that, even without that offseason of work, he’s totally taken care of one major point of emphasis.

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Despite new weapons, Delanie Walker remains Titans' main man

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Delanie Walker’s first touchdown of the season prompted him to perform CPR on the football.

And the Titans offense did return to life after that in Indianapolis.

“Whatever it was worked,” Mike Mularkey said.

A team that has not really found a start-to-finish offensive effort during a 7-4 season needs for it to become a symbol for an offensive resuscitation that extends well beyond Lucas Oil Stadium.DelanieCatchIND

With Rishard Matthews (hamstring) out, Walker was a singular force for the Titans passing game.

The lack of a touchdown before the Colts game and the constant double teams working to slow him swayed me from thinking he was playing at the same high level. But Sunday's game told me I was definitely wrong.

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Indianapolis edition: Reaction to over-reactive tweets

INDIANAPOLIS – Sunday afternoon I started getting texts and Tweets. They all asked, “Did you really like the Tweets you are ‘liking?’”

No, no, no, no, no.

An in-game “like” from me on Twitter could well be my bookmarking a Tweet that simply demands attention here.HenryIND

As soon as I grab it back at home or the hotel, that heart is going away.

I think I am willing to be misunderstood for a few hours in exchange for increased efficiency. (Though a full-time assistant would be more effective.)

Now I shall address some of the tweets I liked and have since unliked.

PK: So we delved into this during the postgame Periscope/Facebook Live broadcast, which you can find here. My people there told me someone posted it on Reddit based on seeing Mike Mularkey with a call sheet late in the game. Doesn’t he always have a call sheet?

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Quick pressure produced eight sacks for Titans in Indy

mdi construction barINDIANAPOLIS – The Titans found a quarterback who was willing to hold the ball.

And all their pent-up feelings and frustrations over what they feel has been a largely close-but-no-cigar pass rush got heaped on Jacoby Brissett.

Eight times – the most ever in a game for the Titans in their 18 years of existence.CaseyRushIND

DaQuan Jones awoke with two sacks, while Brian Orakpo has one and a half. Avery Williamson, Wesley Woodyard, Derrick Morgan and Erik Walden got one apiece, while Jayon Brown got half a sack.

“I didn’t even know until we got in (the locker room) that I had one'” Williamson said. “Indy was handing them out, so we took advantage of it. We did a good job blitzing, and just I feel like we did a good job of helping our coverage and taking advantage. We got the job done - the fact that we were able to get him down. It was huge. We haven’t been getting the sacks like we thought we would, but they came in bunches.”

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