TITANS HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT**
(on injuries from the game)
We actually came out of yesterday's game in pretty good shape. Nate (Washington) has a shoulder sprain. I don't anticipate that he'll practice this week, but he should be OK next week. We should get Taylor Thompson and Coty Sensabaugh back in practice tomorrow. I'm sure there will be a couple of guys that we hold out just from a standpoint of trying to get them healthier going back in. Sammie Lee Hill would be one of those guys, just because he's got an elbow and a couple of other things from playing. We'll have a better assessment of that tomorrow when we get into practice. To be honest with you, I think most of the guys are going to want to practice. That's a positive.
(on this week's practice schedule)
We're going to go two good practices, tomorrow and Wednesday, then they'll be off for four days, and then we'll go another practice on Monday. We'll get three days of practice with them.
(on preparing for next week's game)
I think Monday, maybe, we may do some of that, looking ahead a little bit. The way I look at it right now, we've got a number of deficiencies that we need to work on. Also, we want to get Zach (Mettenberger) as many reps as we possibly can. I think in a competitive situation, which this will be, especially tomorrow and Wednesday, those will be good reps.
(on the coaching staff taking time off for the bye week)
We'll get some days this weekend. I think everybody needs that. You guys need some days off. This is kind of a grind. It comes at a good time. I wish we had the inverse record. It would be a lot better if we were in a better situation that way, record-wise. I still think it's important that you take some time away.
(on what the team is working on this week)
We're working on specific situations. We're working on third downs, and we're working on red zone. I think what we're going to do is we're going to narrow down some of the plays that we have and get more reps out of it so we can process the reads and be more detailed in what we're trying to accomplish with those routes. Speaking from an offensive perspective, regardless of what coverage we see, it's good work, because we get a chance to get a sense of timing as well as going through the progressions and reads.
(on if players would have gotten more time off if they had won Sunday)
They could have gotten the whole week off, not with this game. If we had won the last two games, then they would have gotten the whole week off. I told them back many years ago when I was in Washington, that was probably, I know it dates me a little bit, but it was back when the bye week was just coming into existence. Joe Gibbs told us for every win that we got, we would get a day off during the bye week. At that time, it wasn't regulated by the CBA as far as having a set number of days. I wouldn't put it past Coach Gibbs to make us work that whole week. We were seven weeks in, and we were 7-0, so we got a whole week off. He hedged his bet a little bit, and we didn't actually get seven of them off, but it was a powerful incentive.
(on how he rates Zach Mettenberger's performance against the Texans)
As far as assessment of him from the game, I would say he was probably a little bit over-amped in the first half. I think he settled down and played much better in the second half. I'll give you a couple of examples. I know we had a couple of long balls, one to Kendall (Wright) and one to Justin (Hunter) in the first half that were both overthrown. I know the one interception right before the two-minute, that play actually was designed, we were trying to get it off before the two-minute time, because we knew they were going to pressure us coming out, and we felt like we had the play that we wanted. Zach (Mettenberger) had to fake to the back, and he tried to get it in there real quick, quicker than it needed to be, and that threw him off-rhythm, and that's why he underthrew the ball, which ended up in the interception. In the second half, the throw to Nate (Washington), similar to the first half that was down the boundary, which was a good throw, Nate made a good catch. One that really stands out to me is the one where he moved up in the pocket and threw it to Kendall down the field, which was a good throw. Made a good throw on the end to Justin, which we didn't catch, so I thought in the second half he did make some throws down the field that were accurate throws, but what I think I liked quite a bit was he hit some check downs. He hit the back, he took some throws that were there, which allowed us to get going, and that's an important piece of it.
(on Zach Mettenberger taking chances with plays)
I think one of the things with the a young quarterback in his first game, you always worry about those. That's probably why I was a little conservative with the first two runs, just because of that. At some point, you've got to work through those things. I don't think accuracy was necessarily a detriment. Justin (Hunter) fell down on the first route that was the third down in the red zone, which was unfortunate. He slipped. There were a couple of other things like that during the course. That happens.
(on Zach Mettenberger's decision making)
I think that there were a couple of times in the game where he came to the sideline where they were playing different coverages than we anticipated because of the way the game was. Some of those coverages required him going to the different side with his read, and he's not there yet, because he hasn't gotten a lot of reps at that particular play. That's what I'm talking about this week being valuable is getting some repetitive times at a play so that you can get a better sense of a play. In other words, there were a couple of times where, for instance, the one he threw to Dexter (McCluster) in the flat that Dexter ultimately caught, but he got hit right as he did it, that was into a cover-two shell. In that case, your progression takes you back to the other side. That's one of the things that as you get more comfortable with that route and more reps on it, you'll be able to process that and go there. He's shown that he can do that. One of the things I really like about Zach (Mettenberger) was this was a good defensive front. They've been able to generate some pressure. He stood in there and didn't seem bothered by it and made some good throws.