<
>

Mike Mularkey: Penalty punishments a must for Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Among the slew of issues for a three-win team in 2015 were some untimely penalties.

The Tennessee Titans were flagged 115 times last season, counting penalties that were declined. That was actually tied for the sixth-fewest in the league.

But for a team with a very small margin for error, they were still judged as too many by Ken Whisenhunt, and then Mike Mularkey.

Mularkey has harped on having a disciplined team, and he has time to get his players there.

But the three officials monitoring Wednesday’s practice were busy.

“Too many, again,” Mularkey said. “A lot of them are false starts and offsides, which are cadence. A lot of them are inexcusable. They are in 7-on-7. There is no reason to jump when there is no D-line there.”

“We just had a discussion about it. We talk about the penalties after every practice, what we’ve got to do. Because we’re not going to be one of those teams that beats itself on Sunday. We’re going to just keep addressing it.”

Mularkey said he and his staff find penalties on practice video beyond what the skeleton crew calls.

At the start of each week, Mularkey shows the Titans a chart listing the primary offenders, and he believes not wanting to be on that chart in front of the rest of the team is a motivator to play more cleanly.

So are position-by-position consequences players have settled on. The offensive linemen, for example, committed to running gassers for their offenses.

“As a big guy, you never want to run,” center Ben Jones said. “It just puts a little more focus on that.”

Said Mularkey: “You’ve got to do something. If you don’t do something it’s like you’re endorsing that it’s OK. It’s not OK.”