TITANS HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT PRESS CONFERENCE
(on Jake Locker's shoulder injury)
I'm sure most of you know about Jake (Locker) by now. He's going to have surgery tomorrow on his shoulder, and he will go to IR. We have signed Jordan Palmer to come in here on a short week, obviously, to be the backup.
(on Jake Locker's shoulder injury compared to Zach Mettenberger's shoulder injury)*
Jake (Locker's) injury is completely different than Zach (Mettenberger's). Jake's came out of the socket. Zach's never did that. Jake's is similar to what happened to Griff (Michael Griffin) and to Blidi (Wreh-Wilson). He came back on the field yesterday and was going to be available in a backup role, but he couldn't do much but maybe hand off. What we had hoped, and what he said today, was that if he had gotten range back in it and feeling that he could move it that he would like to try to continue to play, but that didn't happen. When he got the MRI, it showed that he needed to have surgery. That's the course that we're going.
(on if he feels bad for Jake Locker's history of injuries and not being able to live up to his expectations)
I feel badly for Jake (Locker), just the way this season has ended, because of everything. The whole experience this year and the way the season has gone and then how he stood up and worked so hard this week to get back in there and play these last three games, and then unfortunately to take that hit and go out. To me, he is a true pro. He is a great teammate, works hard, and you obviously feel badly for Jake, just from the standpoint of having to have surgery and the season being over.
(on why they signed Jordan Palmer)
He's available. Mike Mularkey's had him before, so he could give us a little bit of insight on him. Our guys keep a running list of available players at all positions, and he was one of the ones that has been on there for a while. Knowing something about him, knowing that he can operate, that he's been in this type of situation before certainly helps from that standpoint.
(on if he will give Jordan Palmer a limited playbook this week)
We'll have to see. It is a short week, so we'll have to see how he's able to handle it. I'm sure that if he does go in there, what he would have to use would be a scaled-down version. We'll have to figure out what plays he's comfortable with and what he'll be able to do.
(on what are Jordan Palmer's strengths as a quarterback)
I think that he's a smart guy. Once again, I haven't actually worked with him yet. So just based on what I've seen of him in the little bit of tape that I've seen on him, he's a confident NFL quarterback. What we're asking him to do, I believe he can handle. He can manage the huddle, he can certainly throw it well enough. We'll see as the week progresses, mentally, what he can handle.
(on if he is bringing in Jordan Palmer for just two weeks or possibly look forward to having him in the offseason)
I think it's an opportunity for both of us, for him to show us that and for us to look at him. One of the things, as we've seen this year with our football team, you can never have enough guys at any position. I think you're always looking.
(on if he is confident in Charlie Whitehurst for the remainder of the season)
Yeah, I haven't changed in my feelings on Charlie (Whitehurst). I've felt and said consistently this year that I feel good about Charlie and what he's done. He's played well for us when he's had to go in there. I thought in a tough situation yesterday he did a nice job. He made some plays for us and made some good throws. He started against Jacksonville the last time and played a pretty good game, so I certainly feel comfortable with him.
(on Charlie Whitehurst as the backup quarterback and his performance against the Jets)
That's what we felt comfortable with bringing him in here. We felt like that's what he would do. When we made the decision to go with Zach (Mettenberger) it wasn't a knock on Charlie (Whitehurst) other than the role that we brought Charlie in here to play was exactly what he was doing. He fulfilled that. He's done that. He's been a great support in the room, and we have confidence in him that when he plays he's going to be successful.
(on if Kendall Wright or Taylor Lewan will return this week)
We're hopeful that we'll get those guys back. Kendall (Wright) I expect to do something in practice tomorrow. Once again, though, the X-Ray on his hand looks good. It's just a question of being able to manage the pain of it, which we were hopeful that this would be the game that he'd be able to do it. Taylor (Lewan) continues to progress. Hopefully we can get him back this week.
(on what the players did today)
They came in. They had to lift and run. The ones that were injured had to get treatment. I saw most all of them today. Kind of similar to a normal Monday.
(on Brett Brackett's injury)
We're going to see how he responds. He hurt his knee yesterday in the game and didn't finish. We're getting him checked out. I don't know the extent of what it's going to require from that standpoint. If that's something that's going to put him past the next two weeks, then that's definitely something we'll have to look at.
(on Delanie Walker after the game)
Delanie (Walker's) just banged up from the game. He should be fine.
(on Dexter McCluster's injury)
Dexter (McCluster) banged his knee yesterday and finished the game, but it was sore today. We'll have to see how it progresses this week.
(on Dontay Moch's injury)
What I saw, I saw him run off the field with his finger kind of pointed at an awkward angle, but he still continued to play.
(on if Kamerion Wimbley will be returning this week)
Yeah, I think so. I think Kam (Kamerion Wimbley) will do something in practice tomorrow, and we'll get a better assessment of that.
(on Michael Oher's toe surgery)
Surgery is scheduled for Wednesday. I don't know for sure how long it had been bothering him. Certainly, we're aware that he had some arthritis in the toe. He banged his toe a couple of games earlier this year. He came out to practice, he missed one Tuesday, I think it was, or Monday, I can't even remember the exact day, but he was out at practice the next day and had no issues. It just jumped up on us two weeks ago. It was surprising, but obviously it's bothered him. He went and had it checked out, and that's why he's having the surgery on it.
(on if Byron Stingily has a chance to return this week)
Yeah, he does. We'll see. Once again, he and Kam (Kamerion Wimbley) are kind of in the same boat. They'll practice tomorrow, and we'll see what we get out of it.
(on his strategy in using Shonn Greene over the last few weeks)
Let's go back to the sat him remark about the week before. I was very clear about why he was down, and that was a special teams issue that we had with the returner. It was nothing other than that. Yesterday, going against a rugged defense, it looked like he had the hot hand early and was running physical, so I just felt like it was good to go with him. I felt he had some extra motivation going against one of his former teams, and I thought he ran the ball well. That was purely it. Sometimes you've got to get that feeling and go with it.
(on if he has talked with Wesley Woodyard about his penalty)
Yeah, I have. I've done a lot of research on that situation. That was an unfortunate situation. I still believe that Wesley (Woodyard) was wrong to approach (Eric) Decker when he was on the sideline. He didn't really say anything. I think it was more the way it looked. My issue goes not to that necessarily, because that play happens all the time in the NFL. It goes to the realization that there's tensions already high because of the incident on the field. The officials are aware of it, so anything that even looks that way might be worthy of a flag, so we can't put ourselves in that position. After talking to Wesley, and I know he has a relationship with Decker, and even hearing Decker say to one of our players that Wesley didn't do anything or say anything, I understand that there was nothing that he did to instigate that other than to get into that area and look like he was making a move towards Decker.
(on if he thinks the officials should have not called Wesley Woodyard's penalty)
I would have preferred had that happened, or it should have been potentially offsetting penalties, because I know he did push Wesley (Woodyard).
(on if it matters that the officials didn't know about the relationship between Wesley Woodyard and Eric Decker)
It doesn't matter. They're not going to know, and it shouldn't matter. Like I said, I think, personally, if there had never been the incident on the field where there was a personal foul that would not have been called. Once that situation happened, there was a lot of chippyness in that game yesterday, and I think in that situation, as soon as Wesley (Woodyard) moved towards (Eric) Decker, that looked that way, and that's why he threw the flag.
(on if he learned anything about his team from the high tensions in the game)
I said yesterday after the game, I respect the way our team fought. We knew the Jets were going to come in here and try to play a certain way. I felt like our team responded. We were physical. They battled. We had opportunities in that game to win it, and we didn't come through with it. We can't get penalties, but I certainly don't have a problem with the way our team competed.
(on what set off Jurrell Casey in the brawl)
Something was said to Jurrell (Casey) that got him sideways.
(on if he wants Jurrell Casey to walk away from those situations)
He has to learn to do that. It's an emotional game, and I know that they pushed his button, but you can't let that happen.
(on Delanie Walker not getting the recognition he deserves this season)
I think that's fair for the whole season for him. I think if we had a better record, he would have gotten more attention for what he's done this year. He's been a consistent player for us and made a lot of big plays. It's unfortunate that that happened, but I don't think it diminishes the fact that in this season, when it's been very difficult, the way he's played. He's been a tremendous benefit.
(on if he would like to see Delanie Walker go to the Pro Bowl)
Sure. I'd love to see him in the Pro Bowl. I certainly feel like his play warrants that.
(on DaQuan Jones' performance against the Jets)
DaQuan (Jones) played his best game to date yesterday. He did a nice job. He was physical. He was quick. He got off blocks, controlled the point, did a nice job both as an end and as a nose. As a young player who we drafted in the fourth round that played a position that we felt was important, I thought he's showing great signs.
(on this week's schedule)
Tomorrow will be kind of a combination of Wednesday/Thursday, and Wednesday will be kind of a combination of Thursday/Friday. We'll incorporate elements into both practices. We're not going to be on the field very long. We'll split the fields and work offense and defense separately so we can get off the field in less time but still get our work in. I've done it a number of different ways through the years. The way we're operating this week is the one we've had the most success with and felt the best about our team getting enough rest and being ready to play on Thursday night, because it's tough. Three days from now we're ready to play a game.
(on if it is disadvantageous that they've dealt with so many roster moves and injuries)
Sure, no question, plus with our injury situation. We're down a bunch of guys, we're not practicing as many, so that makes it even tougher, but they're still going to play the game Thursday night, and we've got to show up and play it. I don't think anybody really is too concerned about that. We've just got to get in here and work and prepare.
(on how much they prepared for the Jaguars prior to playing the Jets)
The players, none. The players were all focused on the game, but coaches had been working on it over the weekend and even last week, just preparing. It helps, to the NFL's credit, giving you a divisional game certainly helps, because you have familiarity with their schemes and their players, so it doesn't take as much prep time. You can't devote as much time as you normally would, whether it's in your game plan or even on the field, just because the players, we just don't have as much time.
(on if yesterday's late start had an impact on the players getting enough rest before Thursday's game)
Maybe it does. I don't know. You wouldn't think three hours would make that much of a difference, but if you could tell me I had three more hours of rest before the game, I'd certainly take it, yes.
(on if the coaches began working last night after the game)
We had a little extra time before this game, since it was a later game, so we did some of that over the weekend. I know some guys came back in here and looked at the tape from last night, but we started up earlier this morning with working on Jacksonville.
(on Jake Locker's mood since his injury)
I talked to him today. Last night when we talked it was, see how it is tomorrow and see how we can progress through the end of the season and get an idea of where it is. I talked to him today after he'd been in this morning and gotten the MRI. He was good, he was upbeat. He was obviously disappointed, which you certainly would expect. Once again, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Jake (Locker) and the way he handles himself. He's a positive young man, and he certainly feels like, even though this is a setback, it's not going to deter him.
(on if he thinks Jake Locker's injury history will affect him when looking for a new job)
I really can't answer that question. Once again, I have a lot of respect for Jake (Locker) and what he's done, and he's a talented player.
(on Jamon Meredith's performance)
Jamon (Meredith) did an OK job. That was a tough situation to come in. That's the third time we've had to do that, where a player's been here for two days and played, played a lot. It helps that he's played, that he has some experience. He missed some things, especially some of the combination blocks that he didn't get as much work on, and hopefully we'll learn from the tape and he'll get better at it this week. He handled himself pretty well, considering. They brought three guys and we had a two-man protection. We were sorting, and the two guys inside came, so they have to squeeze that, which they did, and the guy coming free, you have to throw it off at him, so if Jake (Locker) chooses to take the shot down the field, he's got to be aware of that. We had a back in the flat that was there to take that off if that guy came.
(on choosing Jamon Meredith over Terren Jones to start)
He'd played. He had been in the league. He's played this year on teams in games. Terren (Jones) is an interesting young prospect, but his head was spinning the first game when he had to play. There was a different calmness with Jamon (Meredith), which you would expect.
(on if the final play would have counted if Delanie Walker had scored)
I've heard the discussion about that. My knowledge of this stadium is that those kind of plays are good. No flag.