NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Of Marcus Mariota’s 34 pass attempts in Cleveland on Sunday, just 13 went to wide receiver, who only caught seven of them.

“We’ve got to do a better job, in my opinion, at getting us receivers more involved,” Rishard Matthews told me in the post-game locker room. “It is what it is. I don’t call the plays. We got a W, that’s all that matters."IMG 3348

Was he surprised at the number of passes throw to wideouts a week after Mike Mularkey touted the group for making no mental errors?

“Yeah as far as the distribution,” he said. “It is what it is. Sometimes you get games like that. But we definitely want to be involved more earlier, early on. But like I said, I don’t call the plays.”

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans get the entire bye week off after meeting an incentive Mike Mularkey laid out for them. The coach declined to share what that incentive was.

Injured players must remain in town, so DeMarco Murray (shoulder/hamstring) Delanie Walker (ankle bone bruise), Johnathan Cyprien (hamstring), Corey Davis (hamstring) and Quentin Spain (toe) headline that group.IMG 3342

It wasn’t clear if Marcus Mariota is on that list at this stage of his recovery from his hamstring issue.

You should have no issue with time off for this team, though even at 4-3 it has not played well.

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mdi construction barCLEVELAND – Just as their boss wants, the Titans spat back the conventional, cliched, expected answers in the locker room after a 12-9 overtime win over the woeful Browns Sunday.

I don’t hold it against the players, honestly.

Mike Mularkey says any win is a good win, it’s hard to win in the NFL, the Browns are a good team on the cusp. It’s understandable, too, that the coach wants to hear his players echo the themes.

But it’s nonsense, frankly.Titans3logos

Sure, finding a way to win it and get to 4-3 and stay atop the AFC South is significant. Sure, winning it is better than losing it. Sure, anyone with a stake in the team would happily have taken an overtime win against a bad Jaguars team on Christmas Eve last year.

The display on the shore of Lake Erie, however, showed us a team that is far, far less than it expects and claims to be.

And only one guy had the gumption to say so.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – If you missed Friday’s Periscope/Facebook Live from Neighbors in Sylvan Park, shame on you. I will allow for you to rewatch it here.

On to the mail…

PK: There seems to be some real confusion on this. It’s not as if a healthy Marcus Mariota is constantly out of the pocket. The Titans don’t roll him out or run bootlegs. He generally drops back and looks downfield. The thing is, he can take off when he doesn’t find anything or when the rush closes in. The departure in the Colts game was that they didn’t call a couple runs for him and they asked him not to scramble. There was not a drastic reduction in throwing on the move, as he doesn’t do that much throwing on the move when healthy.

TitansGlowNASHVILLE, Tenn. – It’s a good thing that the Titans are looking to play their best people, with contract status and experience not playing a role in who plays and who doesn’t.

But when a team signs a guy to a three-year, $17.5 million free-agent deal, he needs to be at the front of the line.

Sylvester Williams was the Titans’ nose-tackle choice and when they signed him on March 14. From that moment, he should have been the front-of-the-line guy in the middle of the team’s defensive line.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Against a batch of largely-mobile quarterbacks, the Titans defense has managed a sack on just 4.2 percent of pass plays, 30th in the league.Sacks will come. I am nowhere near concerned. 1

The defense has, however, managed more pressure.

A year ago after six games, the Titans had 18 sacks and 73 pressures.

This season it’s nine sacks and 81 pressures.

“Sacks will come, I’m nowhere near concerned,” said Brian Orakpo, who’s got one this season. “It definitely is a slow start for everyone, especially myself. But we can’t start trying to play out of our element. They will come. We’re not doing anything different from last year to this point.

“They just haven’t fallen for us. A lot of teams are just hot going to let us tee off on these quarterbacks right now and finish with sacks. When you watch other teams get these sacks, you see a lot of broken plays, quarterbacks running around and they’re able to finish.

“We’re able to get the pressure but guys are getting rid of the ball. We just can’t get frustrated. I know it’s something people want to look at as far as the numbers. But I promise you by the end of the season we’ll be back to where we need to be.”

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