HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK
Great day, it seemed like it was September or October with the weather, we had a good workout.
(on what the mindset of the team is going into week one)
I think opening week it's always excitement, can't wait to get going. The week seems longer because you had the extra days and you are anxious about getting going on Sunday and that's all good stuff. We will just keep working, keep putting things in tomorrow, tomorrow we will cover third down and the weekend will be here soon enough.
(on how much changed when Jacksonville released David Garrard from a defensive preparation stand point)
I don't think so. It was a surprise to everybody not just us when you make a quarterback move that late, but I don't think it will change much. We know their philosophy and we know what they like to do, especially run the ball with play-action and knowing that when you make a change at quarterback it's going to be a little bit different than it has been in the past. Maybe they will throw it a tad more, but I don't think it changes our preparation at all.
(on how much he knows of Luke McCown)
Just in watching the tapes I was watching the preseason games, I was watching the other guys and not really paying attention to him and then once the word came that they were making a change, I went back and studied him a little more. He looked good, threw the ball well, moves well out of the pocket, which is exactly what you want in an offense like theirs where you are going to run the ball and do play-action and be pretty consistent with the ball. I'm assuming they made that choice for a reason, so we will see on Sunday.
(on how wide open is the AFC South with the three new quarterbacks starting)
Well I think you go into it every year thinking it's wide open. We know the teams well, they know us well and I think every year, even though other people may think it's wide-open, we look at it that way every year that there is no reason that we can't win it. That's always our goal going into it, that's our goal right now to win it. We will worry about the other teams later, we don't play them for a while. We got Jacksonville first and we know that we've got to win this one because division games mean so much.
(on if the cool temperatures in Nashville are a concern given that it's forecasted to be in the 90's on Sunday in Jacksonville)
No, not really. In a perfect world, sure, you would want it to be 80's here. Maybe we will be more rested, feel stronger when we get down there, I don't know. We have practiced in it enough this summer so I think we will be fine.
(on if he is starting to think about the fact that he will be coaching his first game on Sunday)
I really haven't thought much about me, I'm more worried about making sure that everything for the team, and have us ready to play, and the staff. I'm sure at some point I will, yes. I think the four games really helped me even though they were preseason as far as how to manage the game and what I'm thinking about in my mindset, so there is no doubt that we will all be excited including me for the game, and I'm assuming that when the game time comes we will be confident in what we are going to do and hopefully I will be too.
(on if he used the off-season to think about things such as clock management, timeouts, and challenges that he didn't worry about before)
As a position coach, you think about it when you have the ball. Like when we have the ball and we are in the two-minute drill, calling timeouts or not calling timeouts. You work on that all the time out here in practice when we do our two-minute drills which we have done plenty. I'm calling those timeouts and getting a feel for do I want to call timeout, do I want to waste a down, what would I do in that situation. When I watch college games on TV now, I look at it differently now. Now I'm thinking well I would have done this, or I would have done that. Even when the other team has the ball in preseason, I'm thinking well I would have probably called a timeout there or maybe I would let the clock run. I think you are playing that game with yourself now, when you know you are the one making those decisions. I think that's probably the biggest thing is just managing the game and thinking a play ahead on offense and defense. I'm always thinking now, if there was a penalty, would I take it. If there is a penalty on their offense, would I take the penalty, or would I let the play play-out and assume its and incomplete pass. So I start playing those games more than I ever have, because before I never had to think about those things. Now I think ahead and click over to Alan Lowery and say, can he make this field goal, if it's another kicker? So, maybe I need to back him up 10 if we get a penalty right here rather than them punt. I think there are a lot of those during preseason that I spent more time on.
(on if there is a specific call from a game he has watched that makes him think, "what would I do here")
Not really, I haven't been doing enough. This past weekend when games started playing, I sit there and watch them differently now. I will probably watch the game tomorrow night a little differently. What would I do here, what would I do there, and there are not that many coaching decisions. I'm sure some games there are more than others, but we have two good coordinators that make a lot of good decisions during the game also, and I have a lot of help as far as throwing the red flag out with all the guys in the box. Head coaches have a lot of help with that, and I'm lucky I have the same thing here.
(on if how many guys to keep up at each position is going to be one of the tougher decisions)
I think that's something you start talking about throughout the week. Sometimes, some of the decisions are easy, and there are always going to be the one or two at the end that are goingto be tough because of the injuries and being short at one position. Then you take into factor who you are playing against, especially if its defense. How many defensive linemen do we need? Do we need more secondary, are we going to play more nickel, or are they going to smash-mouth you more? I think those are things you talk about with the staff during the week, you don't have to make your decisions until game time with some of those key ones. Usually, five or six of them are no brainers then you are going to have those one or two that you are kind of waiting through the week to make that decision.
(on how productive the running game will be given that both Chris Johnson and Quinn Johnson are new arrivals)
We are not looking for any excuses, we are looking like there is no reason that it shouldn't work well. We are blocking well up front, the tight ends are blocking well, we just need to fit them in and know that they haven't had as many reps as we would like, but we need to go down there and produce. We need to go down there and get yards and not worry about, "well if he was here longer, maybe he could have done this." The game is upon us, and we've got to go out there and win.
(on if Chris Johnson is where he needs to be after three days of practice)
I think he has done as well as you could have expected him to having three practices. The good thing is that in his side of the ball there hasn't been much change as far as what he is asked to do, so I think he feels very comfortable mentally that way. Now it will be more physical than anything once you get going. He is excited, he is confident, he has always been all of those things, but now it's just a matter of going out there and hitting a couple plays. Having some success early I think will make a big plus for all of us.
(on if he has anything to say to Jacksonville since Jeff Fisher used to stir it up on Jacksonville week)
No, we are going to show up, you can tell them that. We are definitely coming. I know how this has been a great rivalry, anytime you play within the division it's a big deal. There is always a little more added to it, especially when it's early. This is the third time I think in five years or so that we have opened with Jacksonville, and hopefully we will have the same luck we have had in the past two.