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Coach Munchak's Thursday Practice Report



(on some players getting healthy today)

David Stewart got through about half of practice, we gave him about half of the reps, which was good so he looked good. Both D-linemen, Jason Jones got the whole practice in and so did Derrick Morgan which was good. Jared Cook should be fine. He passed his physical and all of that so he should be fine and good to go and he practiced both days and is fine to play on Sunday. (Colin) McCarthy had a full practice today so he should be fine. Barrett Ruud didn't practice. Eugene Amano practiced a full practice, he is feeling fine.

(on if he is more comfortable with a 90 percent healthy David Stewart or a healthy Mike Otto)

Well I think it's more if Dave feels he can play and we watch him warm up and if gets through practice tomorrow and does well, I think we will be fine. Last week was just the opposite, he practiced on Thursday and by Friday he didn't feel very good at all. I think he is feeling a lot better and we are assuming that he is going to be a go unless something happens tomorrow.

(on how Buffalo has been so successful at tipping balls on defense)

I think teams are doing a better job, and they are one of them, Pittsburgh has always been known for doing it, the Ravens have done it well over the years. Some of these D-linemen aren't necessarily pass rushers, they do a lot of batting balls, they get a push, they read the quarterbacks quickly, they get up and they have a knack for it. They can see big plays are made and I think it's something every defensive line should work on and at some point I know they want to win their battle, but those end up being huge plays usually especially when you bat them up in the air. I think it's good that they do that. It's hard because you try keep their hands down as an offensive lineman and it's hard to do. You can't just pull guys' hands down. You want to stay engaged, stay active and try to discourage it, but it's hard in some cases to do that. As far as us having more, it's probably more because Matt (Hasselbeck) looks for the secondary receiver and that's a lot of the times when it's being battled when you are looking for the running back or you are looking for someone over the middle to dump it off to, that's a lot of times when those balls get hit. I think because he is the type of quarterback that is looking to make big plays. Those guys may tend to have a few more than maybe other teams.

(on Mr. Adams enjoying wins over the Bills)

I have never asked Mr. Adams but maybe because like the rest of us the disappointments and highs and the lows that we have had with Buffalo over the years. Obviously, he knows their owner very well and they have a good relationship. It's just very competitive between our two teams just because they have played each other so many times.

(on Damian Williams becoming a target around the end zone)

I just think that he has a knack for getting open, he has great control of his feet as far as getting down in bounds. He has had numerous catches now where he has been able to get his feet in bounds even on the sidelines. He is one of your go-to receivers between him and Nate (Washington) trying to make plays for us and both of them have done a great job. He is just getting more confidence and Matt (Hasselbeck) is obviously getting confident that he can throw him the tough ball or a ball that maybe only he can catch and he has been finding a way to catch them and you hope that continues.

(on if it is time to start paying attention to the other games that affect the Titans playoff chances)

I don't think that during a game you would, I think that once it gets to Sunday it's all about the team that you are playing, in this case it's Buffalo and that is all we will be worried about. As far as during the week, I think it's usually after a Sunday. If you win a game you want to see where you stack up. This is your business and you should probably know what's going on in your business. You don't dwell on what other teams are doing or think too much into it, but I think that it's good to know what's going on around the league at some point during the week. On Wednesday, Thursday, Friday we are here and it's all about Buffalo. I think you are going to be aware of it and what's happening and what these wins mean and how important they are. I think a player should know how important a game is, this game and what it means and why. Not just because it's the next game but because it means a lot to what we are trying to accomplish. When you only have five of them left, you have to start figuring out how important they all are now. We can't afford to have an off day.

(on if how a team performs in December determines their legacy)

I agree with that, we are remembered last year for 1-7, no one remembers 5-2. When I first got the job all I heard about is how we are rebuilding because they are looking off of how you finished and that is how it is. Last year, we started off as one of the best teams in the league and we ended up one of the not so good teams in the league, the way our record ended up so there is no doubt that how we finish up these next five games will define us as how well we did ultimately as a team. Just like the running game, we look at it the same way. Well the first half wasn't so good but we are hoping the second eight we are as good as anyone in football and that has yet to be proven. Ultimately, there are still a lot of success in a season even if it's not an 11 or 12 win season but right now it's all about how we handle this weekend, starting with this weekend. Can we put ourselves in position to make the next four even more important for us.

(on if players have an extra gear in practice because they know what's at stake)

There needs to be but I think you prepare the same way and I think we have been preparing well. I don't know that that has been much of a problem for us of how we are Wednesday's and Thursdays, and during the week. I think Sunday you can talk and everyone knows what is involved and things need to be said. I think it's important that things are said and guys understand what is expected of them and what is at stake and think that's important and we are not overdoing it. Ultimately, they have to win the game on Sunday and it comes down to those 60 minutes to put themselves in position to make the next game bigger than this one. I think that makes it exciting when you are getting to the end. We are in December now and there is no doubt that excitement builds when you are getting to the opener of the season coming off of preseason. I think there is extra excitement. The fact that we are where we are and we have a shot at a lot of things that we want to accomplish, it makes it more exciting and I think less has to be said probably as you get into this time of the year.

(on how critical it is to have both the running game and the passing game working to win games in December)

It's going to be real important for us to beat the types of teams that we have to play these next five weeks and this week in Buffalo, everything is on the line for them too. We knew that we couldn't rely on the pass game or Matt (Hasselbeck) to carry us for 16 weeks. The run game helped a lot last week along with the defense and the special teams obviously by scoring. We can't have one good week and then one bad week, one good week, we just can't do that if we are going to win football games.

(on how closely the Titans looked at Marcell Dareus during the draft and his impact so far)

He is what we thought he would be. He is a very good football player. I think some guys got hurt around him and that has hurt him as far his production because you can focus on him more. He is going to be a very good football player in the league and he is playing in a system that he is pretty familiar with similar to what he did in college. He is a force to be reckoned with and hopefully we can keep him from making many plays in our game.

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