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Coach Munchak's Thursday Practice Report



*(on if this game will be a good test of the new, bigger, Titans defense)

*Yeah, I think these next few weeks, the first part of the season is going to be a true test. This game, the Ravens game, the Steelers game, we realized coming in what we will be facing and this is definitely one and it always has been with Jacksonville. They want to come out like we do in a lot of ways, very similar in their offensive approach. They want to control the line of scrimmage, they want to control time of possession, so this will be a big challenge for our defense right out of the box.

*(on the memories from the last Jacksonville game)

*We stick to the numbers of the first time we played them, we like that number a little bit better from the Monday night game. It's something that sticks in your mind the guys that were here. A lot of these guys weren't here, the system was different, and the coaches are different, so you still learn from what happened in the past because they are still the same type of offense and they are still going to do the same type of things. I think they have watched that and they know what to expect. You watch any film they play, you see the same type of way they attack defenses.

*(on if he likes opening up on the road)

*It's exciting both ways, I guess what it adds is that it makes the second week even more exciting because you can sell the fact that this is our home opener so you get the two openers to get the excitement going for the players because this one is going to be exciting no matter where you play, and then come back and build on this being our first shot at home. I think it works out fine. If you win, I guess that's the bottom line to it, but I think we feel good about it and I don't think it matters where we play, especially in the opening game when you are so excited about getting to start.

*(on how does Jerry Gray's philosophy of mixing defenses and personnel packages help the defense)

*Well I know its preseason so it's hard to really tell, and in certain games it's hard to tell, but it's probably more about practice. How he is handling practice, how he is calling the game in practice, the position he is putting them in, and how he has been attacking our offense during practice periods. Really in the games in preseason, the guys haven't played enough to see what it's going to be like in a 60-play effort or 65 plays. I think the confidence they have in what we are going to do in this game plan is pretty much what we have been doing since we started training camp.

*(on if he was relieved to see Matt Hasselbeck voted as a captain)

*Yeah I was, you are not sure how that is going to go, but I'm excited for all three guys. I allowed the offense to vote for the offensive guy the defense to vote for the defensive guy, and the special teams to vote for the special teams guy because I thought that those guys know who is the leader in the rooms. I think we assumed it would be Matt not just because he is a quarterback, but because he came in and he can lead not only the offensive side of the ball, but the defensive side of the ball. I think it's a testament to him how quickly he made an impression here with these guys.

*(on if it's important for the quarterback to be the captain of the team)

*It's a nice added advantage, it's a nice plus to have that your quarterback is the guy that your players go to as the leader, that's what you hope to have. In this case we have that, eventually we will have that with Jake (Locker) when he gets and opportunity to be the guy. I think it's great. I think it's great on offense to have it that way and I think Cortland (Finnegan), the things he has done and the things he has done in the offseason I think the guys appreciate him bringing those guys together during the offseason and they see him as their leader out there on defense. I think you have two special guys that have an opportunity to have big years for us.

*(on how quickly the timing between Matt Hasselbeck and Chris Johnson is developing in the passing game)

*That should probably be the easiest part of this whole deal, is the fact that the passes are short, the dump-down passes. The screens are more or less of Chris (Johnson) getting used to finding the open lane again. The screen is you have to have a knack for finding the open allay or the open window for the quarterback to deliver the ball so I think Matt does a great job with that. I think Matt will help him be good at that and the same thing with the check downs where Chris can be big time at dumping the ball off. I think Matt does a great job of finding the running back so I think he will make him look good by finding where he is at.

*(on his thoughts on Peyton Manning's injury situation)

*When you have a great player like that that has been so important to your team and so important to this league, what a special guy he is and the career he has had and I think he has played 200 something games without missing a game which is unbelievable in this day and age, especially for the quarterback position, so I guess we are hoping that it goes well and he is back soon.

*(on how much Jacksonville helped themselves on defense with their changes)

*I think they did a good job. I think they have realized that for some reason they weren't making plays as far as getting the ball back or getting the turnovers they wanted, so they went out which most teams do, and add to it. They added at the linebacker position, two new linebackers, defensive line, secondary, (Dawan) Landry, they have done some stuff. I think it's hard to tell now in the preseason what the dividends will pay on that because they probably haven't all played together a whole lot in preseason just like a lot of teams faced that, you are not quite sure what you are going to get on opening day, but the bottom line is they are going to be a better defense than they were last year.

*(on if it will be a different feeling on the sideline as a head coach)

*I think I will be worrying about other things. When I went from player to coach I was wondering how that would be. When I was a player I would just worry about myself, then when it came to coaching I had to worry about seven or eight other guys and if I had them ready to play and did I do this or did I do that, or did I put the right runs or do we have the protections right. I think with head coach it's even a bigger worry. As a team I think I have such good help it's kind of different. Now it's more of how am I going to manage the game. What situations may come up, there is no telling what may come up or we do things and how quickly I can get a feel for the game of how we are doing offensively and defensively to help me make decisions on, 'should we go for it on fourth and one or should we kick the field goal,' and those kinds of things. Until I get out there I probably won't know but I will be as nervous as the rest of them.

*(on if he will stick to his normal attire on the sideline or wear a suit)

*They won't allow it unfortunately. They won't allow the jacket and tie and things like that so your hand is kind of forced in what you can wear. I wear whatever they put in the locker.

*(on if he will do anything special for 9/11)

*I know the league is doing a lot special in the pregame as far as us individually, no I think we will just honor the day and remember what happened and I think the league has quite a big honoring in pregame warm-ups.

*(on where he was 9/11/01)

*We were here in this building preparing for a football game. It was a Tuesday and we were preparing for the Bengals. We were actually in rooms when we heard about it and came running out to see what was going on. Like everyone else we were just as confused about what happened.  As far as in the league, we didn't know what was going to happen as far as if we were going to play that Sunday or were we not, or would they cancel the game. It was kind of 24 hours of trying to figure out what was the deal. Obviously the games meant nothing at that point, but it was more of what they wanted to do as far as life goes on. Do we play the game, do we not play the game, and obviously they canceled the week of the games. It was a very emotional day for all of us especially for the people that lost loved ones in that event.

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