Coach Munchak's Thursday Practice Report



(on the health of Nate Washington)

Pretty good, we are hoping that tomorrow will be the day that he can get on the field and do some things but mentally he has been into it.  He has been helping guys, making comments and been very involved in the practice. He did all of the walk through stuff which is good because he gets all of his assignment checks. It would be nice to have him out tomorrow.

(on the health of Jason McCourty and if there is a chance that he will play)

Tomorrow should be the time that we know more. He worked out a little more today so we will kind of see how he felt from there and then kind of reevaluate him tomorrow…we hope so, but again that process is just something that we are all learning I think. It's just a matter that he has to be looked at and he did a little more working out today and just kind of see how he did in this phase.

(on if he will have to play a lot of nickel and dime coverage against the Saints)

They will mix in enough two-back where you will be able to stay with the base stuff. I think teams get worried about their tight ends and matchups there but I think they dictate that most of the time because they pretty much stay in the two tight ends and the three wide receiver looks than they do the two-back but we will get a little of everything.

(on the challenge of third down against the Saints)

It will be a challenge on both sides. On the offensive side, we know that if it is a lot of third-and-longs, then we are going to get, kind of like when you play the Jets and the Ravens, teams are going to try to get a little more exotic and Gregg (Williams) tries to get after it a little more there and make plays and take some risks. So we have to do a good job of making plays and staying on the field in that situation. We know on the other side that we want to get to third down and then we just have to get off. We have been hot and cold on that most of the year and we know how important this could be in this type of game if we do that.

(on if the fans at LP Field will help the Titans as much as the fans in Seattle helped Matt Hasselbeck and Seahawks last year)

You assume that should happen but it's up to us first to get them into long down situations and situations where it's not third-and-short where the quarterback can stay under center, where we get them in spots where he has to hold the ball a little bit for the routes to get a little deeper and that's where the crowd can help you get off. Some teams they have played on the road, the Rams did a great job of getting off the ball and beating the tackles off the ball. Again, they do a good job and they chip and they do some things to help if you gain an advantage. Believe me, we would much rather be playing them at home than going to their place because we want the advantage and we need the advantage of being at home, having the crowd noise, having the advantage on third down hopefully with the crowd. Hopefully that will give us a jolt on defense.

(on if they will try creative things on offense because Matt Hasselbeck had success with that in the playoffs last year)

Oh I don't know. To me it's just moving the ball and scoring, I don't know that we need anything magical to beat this team on offense. We should be able to move the ball and we should be able to do things. I don't think it's a team that is shutting people out where you can't score.  I think the point is that everyone is more concerned that on the offensive side they are going to put up so many points that you have to do all these great things. I think we just have to play within ourselves and play our game and run the plays that are called and if we do our job on those plays then we will have success. We have to do what we are good at and that's what we have to do and we will see how they do with it.

(on the Saints' offensive line)

Their line has been playing well for the last three or four years and that goes along with their Super Bowl and their playoff run I think is what they have done up front. Both guards are good and have played very well for them. Their line in general, they have been running the ball well, protecting well and in the last three to five years, their group has been as good as anybody's.

(on Roman Harper having six and a half sacks)

They will go right to the three-down stuff on second and third down depending on once you go nickel and they are going to bring their combinations in different ways. Like we said, since Gregg (Williams) has been here he does a good job of attacking your protections and showing you one thing and doing the other and then kind of breaking tendency. You have to know your roles and know what you are doing and go from there knowing that he is going to see what you are doing, try to beat what you do, and then during the game adjust. The good thing is there are certain people that are good at blitzing that you are going to try to find a way to have those guys be the blitzers and that is obviously what Gregg does. Not everyone can blitz the quarterback and do a great job so I think when you find people that are good at it and have a knack at it, you try to find ways to use them in your blitz packages.

(on how the Titans have been at blitz pickups)

I think we have done pretty well. If you just go by sacks, we are second in the league in least sacks allowed. We have a quarterback that reads coverages well and we have a quarterback that defenses have to be concerned about and exploited them when they take those kinds of risks. If Gregg (William) wants to do those kinds of things he has to be aware that we have a quarterback that is very aware of what he is trying to do and hopefully we can take advantage of blitzes. A lot of times you prefer a blitz because it tells you exactly what to do with the ball, or in the run game you prefer a team to blitz because you hoping that you have tendencies that you are taking the ball the opposite way. There are risks to doing those things and when they are doing them we have to hope that we do the right thing. There are times that they are going to bring more than you can block and there is nothing you can do about that protection wise. It's up to the quarterback and receivers to get the ball out. That's Gregg's baby is to bring more and blitz and have a quarterback that can't make the decision that the ball has to come out of his hand and then all of the sudden you have hits and sacks and things like that. I think the good thing is that Matt (Hasselbeck) has been in the league enough and has done a good job all year at handling that problem as far as knowing when the ball has to go.

(on his feelings about players calling this the biggest game of the season)

We have been talking about that the last three or four weeks how important the Buffalo game was, the Tampa game was for us and what it meant. I think they should know exactly what the case is every week. I don't think you over dramatize it or it's not the end of the world if you don't win it, but I think they will understand on a weekly basis of what we have to achieve and what we have to do, I think they should.

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