TENNESSEE HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK
(On his time as a head coach)
"Last Sunday was good. It was a lot better than a week earlier than that, but it's been a lot of fun for me. [There is] a lot of the newness with all of the different things I'm doing and the different type of year with the lockout and not being with the players; so it's been very interesting that way, but I've enjoyed it, and it's a great challenge. Like I said last weekend, as anyone knows, when you win in this league, there's no better feeling, and when you lose, it's just the opposite."
(On bad blood from last year's meeting)
"I think what will carry over for us is that we did almost the same thing last year. We came in off a big win in New York—we beat the Giants—came into home, where we felt comfortable— where we're hard to beat— and Denver came in and beat us. We were 2-1 at that point, and it was kind of one of those games where we didn't play very well. They made the plays at the key moments to beat us. They get the lead at the end on the last drive, and then the kickoff was kind of an odd play where it almost ended up being an onside kick by accident. I think it's something that you don't forget. Yes, it's a lot of different players, different coaches, but it's still Broncos and Titans; so that's still a memory that we blew an opportunity last year to really get off on the right foot."
(On controlling emotions)
"I'm not worried about those types of things. I don't think that carries over as far as individual things that happened in the game, or if any of the players are still here—or there, for that matter. I think it's more about the organization coming in almost in a similar situation as last year, and we got beat at home in a game that we felt good about playing and just didn't play well."
(On the elevated passing numbers around the league)
"I think two weeks is hard. I know that everyone looks at stats early in the season. Two weeks I think is kind of hard to tell. I think that changes a lot as the seasons go on, as most people know. You start running the ball a lot more the second half of the season, and the weather changes, and there are a lot of things that kind of equal it out. I know at two weeks, it's the most that's ever been, but I really don't know. In our game, for example, it was the same way. We went in there thinking it was going to be a balanced attack, and the next thing you know, we were switching over to something that was working better. I guess at the end of the year, if it's that drastic, then maybe at the end of the year we'll look at something, but right now, no."
(On signing QB Matt Hasselback)
"The quarterback pool, because of the lockout and not really being able to talk to quarterbacks and bring them in – and you really couldn't think about trading people—there were only so many options available, and we were really happy he was one of them. We thought he'd be a great fit for us, because he was a veteran. We made the decision to draft [QB] Jake Locker in the first round, so we knew we needed some experience to match with that. We thought Matt was a good fit for that just because of what he's done, leading the team to a Super Bowl. We need leadership, also. We're making a huge change, and we felt we need leaders here, especially at the quarterback position. He fit that role as a leader, what he did at Seattle, so we had a comfort here, because Mike Reinfeldt, our GM, was in Seattle with him. A couple of our personnel people were in Seattle. Jerry Gray, who is our [Defensive] Coordinator, was just with him a year ago, so we had a lot of people who felt very comfortable with him and saw how he worked, up close, and really felt he fit all those things I just talked about and that he'd be great for our young quarterback. We felt that was another thing that was important, and we're happy with Jake. I think Jake could start right now for us if he had to, but I think we're in a good position in that we have two guys that we feel we can win with. Matt has come in in a tough situation, with not being here until training camp, and he's learning our system and just getting better each week. We're only two weeks in, so we're hoping that we can continue with consistency with him, but he's just been great for our team. The tempo, all of that stuff was the stuff that we'd hoped we'd have, and he came in here and was exactly what we thought he would be. That worked out very well for us.
(On RB Chris Johnson's home-run-hitter mentality)
"I think that's something that Chris has always had in the back of his mind, even when he was having success. When you have that ability, the negative is that you are always thinking about trying to get it. Like the home run hitter always trying to hit the home run, I think it's always in the back of his mind. I don't think it's any more this year than it has been, other than that he got all this attention this year. He wanted to be paid the top; he was, so much more is expected, not just from here, but from around the country. There's a little bit more pressure that way, but he's handling it well. It's only two games in. We've had runs like this before in the running game with him, and we'll pop out of it. The bottom line, as we all know, is winning football games, and yes, we'd like him to say this is the week that he'll have a good game running the ball; but even if it's not, if we win the game, then we'll worry about that next week. Every week we've gone with the same approach, and we're not going to try to force anything. If Denver takes that away or does a good job of tackling him or keeping us from being able to make plays with him, then we'll have to find other ways to win. We think, no doubt, for us to be successful, we need the running game to continue to improve, but I think it's a mixture of things. It's not all him; just like when he has a big day, he has a lot of help. That could be us checking in to the right play, him reading it right, us blocking better as a group—tight ends, everybody. We'll see. It's too early to get too worried about what he's doing."
(On Denver Tackle Orlando Franklin)
"We liked him. I didn't study the linemen like I have in the past. Bruce did more of that than me, because or need wasn't at that position in the draft. We haven't really addressed the o-line in a few years. We're usually looking for later round guys, but we liked him. I know [Offensive Line Coach] Bruce [Matthews] liked him a lot. It looks like he's doing a pretty good job, and for a rookie to come in and play right away –just like [C J.D.] Walton and [G Zane] Beadles did— they're doing a good job of bringing in lineman there—obviously, [T Ryan] Clady a few years ago— that are coming in and playing for them. It's the same thing. I think he will just get better the more he plays. We're only two games in, but I think so far so good.