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Coach Munchak's Wednesday Practice Report



(on the rumors regarding Penn State's interest in him to be their next head coach)

Obviously, I think you all know that Penn State means a lot to me. I went to school there and I am real concerned for what they have gone through the last couple of months. I'm flattered that people think that I would be a great fit to coach there. They have not contacted me in any way or talked to me about the possibility of working there. I have not reached out to them in any way. I have a job I enjoy quite a bit. So, that's kind of where it's at. However that got started I'm not sure. People like to speculate on the possibilities. Like I said, I'm flattered that people think I would be a good fit for that university but I'm sure they are going to find themselves a great coach and if I can help in any way obviously I would do that. I would love to stay involved with Penn State in some way but I'm coaching the Titans and I'm very happy with what I'm doing and that about all I can really say about it.

(on if Penn State reaches out to him, will he say that he is staying with the Titans)

Well yeah, I don't anticipate that happening. They haven't to this point. I would imagine that Penn State would do it the right way anyway and if they were then it would probably be after the season was over. I am happy what I'm doing.

(on if the Penn State head coaching position is a tough sell for the university due to the allegations)

I don't think it should be. I think it's a great opportunity for someone to come in there. It's such a great program that I don't believe it will be a program that will suffer long as far as on the football field. There is healing involved when something like this happens to the university itself, but as far as the football program goes, it's a great program and it has great tradition. I don't think it will be a struggle like people think it may be. Obviously, I have a vested interest in that and I want to see them do well right away and I think it would mean a lot to the university to be able to do that. I think it's going to be a great opportunity for whoever gets the chance to coach that football team.

(on the Texans defense improving from 30th last year, to second this year)

I think it's a great job by them. I think they have had the talent I just didn't know if they were using it the correct way. They have been smart with the draft. They drafted people that play hard and they are physical players and they are in a system now where they feel very comfortable. They went out and got some help in the secondary. They added the first rounder in (J.J.) Watt. J.J. does a really good job. I think they did the same thing in the run game a couple of years ago. They were worst in the league in rushing and then they went to first last year. They did it on the offensive side two years ago and this year they did it on defense. Give credit to (Gary) Kubiak for making some great decisions on hiring coaches and drafting the right players. They have won the division. We are always shooting for that and they did it. I would say they have done a great job.

(on how much Houston is relying on the running game now that they are down to their third quarterback)

I don't think any more than they ever were. I think that's them and that's where it all starts in that offensive style and philosophy. The run game ties up the play-action and the boot-legs so that's what makes it a little easier. Don't get me wrong, they miss their quarterback. You have to have one of those and they had a special one. Now they have a young one but they have a system that allows him to not have to do a whole lot. You can still win and be productive with what he can do and then when you have a defense like they have, second ranked, it takes a little more pressure off because they are not going to give up a lot of points. They shouldn't get into a situation where they are behind by much and that's why they have been successful. They won the division and they are a team that we have to go down there and beat.

(on if the Texans will rest players to try to be healthy going into the playoffs)

They lost the last two weeks. They lost last week like we did to Indianapolis. You know that they want to win and play well. I think that if you have guys injured, you would consider that as far as how much you will play a guy coming off of an injury or that's banged up a little bit. You may just want to give him a quarter or a quarter and a half to get him feeling good and making sure he is over the hump so he feels that his confidence is back, maybe rest guys like that. Unfortunately there are only 46 guys dressing so everyone has to play and you have to play quite a few players. I think in this league when guys put their uniform on they are going to play hard and they want to win. Even though people don't think that it means a lot, it does. They are going to want to win and beat us, they are a division team. They are not going to want to lose to us and then have the chance of us playing them again if all the things go our way. We know that it's going to be a tough game for us to win and we are assuming all of their guys are playing all the way through and they are going to play to win.

(on if the Titans win, having the ability to watch the results from the other games on the plane ride home)

I think that would be exciting. Like I told them this morning so they would get it out of their mind, once we do win, our playoff chances are alive until the second level of games is played. It's good that we don't have to watch the scoreboard or get guys caught up in seeing what other teams are doing at the same time because there is nobody playing that could affect us. The Jets are the only other game going on and no matter what they do it won't affect our game as far as knocking us out, it just changes the circumstances depending on what they do. Our goal is to be in that situation I guess.

(on Jared Cook's touchdown celebration)

I'm glad he didn't get hurt. I'm glad it wasn't a penalty. I am glad he was past the goalline when he did it so they didn't assume that it was going to the ground in celebration. I think when they saw it they didn't think he was celebrating. I think the official probably thought the same thing that we thought, 'why did you do that now?' That's one of those things where nothing needs to be said. The guys teased him enough to where the coaches didn't have to say anything.

(on having three veteran cornerbacks healthy for the majority of the season)

That's been great for us. I think that has been allowing Jerry (Gray) to do a lot more things moving Cortland (Finnegan) inside and even (Chris) Hawkins being another guy that has stepped up when needed help in the Saints game and the game after that for two weekends in a row. We still think Tommie Campbell is a guy, he obviously hasn't played defense at all since the preseason, but he is another guy we have that has great size and has some upside. We are very lucky there because those guys are hard to come by and we need a huge game out of them and hopefully some turnovers but we have been very happy with our deal there and we have stayed healthy.

(on if moving Cortland Finnegan into the slot has worked the way they wanted)

Yeah, and that's been nice. Those guys have stayed healthy. Akeem Ayers and the way he has been able to stay healthy the whole year as a young rookie playing for us from day one. We have been very lucky in that way that we haven't lost a lot of players, especially in the secondary other than (Chris) Hope getting hurt for a while, we have been pretty good.

(on if he thinks that any of his players should have made the Pro Bowl)

Yeah, I think you think all of your guys should make the Pro Bowl. At 8-7 or whatever we were, the usual guys that you thought would have a shot, we didn't have the running game that we thought we would have and that kind of hurts CJ (Chris Johnson) obviously and it hurts the offensive line. (Rob) Bironas kicked well and there are a lot of guys that have had good seasons. Nate Washington had his best year ever, and (Jared) Cook has come out with a great year. A lot of those things go by stats and numbers and you don't compare them all. A lot of guys unfortunately didn't see these guys play if it goes by not having a national TV game. All of those things factor into who gets picked as the fans get a third and the coaches and players. I think that it's just something that if we keep winning and you earn some playoff games then you will get noticed.

(on if not having a Pro Bowler is another piece of motivation)

Well if that helps us in a positive way, I haven't, no. I think that's something that the guys are all aware of who made it and who didn't. Some guys may be bothered by it and some guys may not be. If that's something that motivates guys then great, let's go do it. I hope what motivates us more is the opportunity we have to finish the season 9-7 and a chance to be in the playoffs and a chance to beat a team that we played very poorly against the first time around, so if that helps some of them then I am all for it.

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