TITANS HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - September 14, 2015
(on Delanie Walker's hand injury)
I'm optimistic, there's a chance he'll play this week. We'll see how it progresses during the week. That was good news, like I said last night afterwards, because on the field I thought that it was broken, and it's not, so that's good. There is a chance he'll play this week. If he doesn't, then at least we'll get him back relatively quickly, compared to what we thought it would be.
(on if he feels fortunate that he kept five tight ends, and if he feels like the team is in good shape because of it)*
Yes to both of those. I would say we would have to be in good shape, we have five tight ends on our roster. But it's good that we do have that option. I think that some of the things Delanie (Walker) does well, Chase (Coffman) can fill that role if we need him to, which is good.
(on how he knows when it is a good time to pull starters from a regular season game)
Well, I mean we haven't had a lot of experience with that around here. I think some of it is where the guys are. We played 18 guys that it was the first time they played for the Titans yesterday. That's a lot. Some of them were rookies; some of them were obviously veterans that we had signed. I think some of it is dependent upon where the players that are playing are. Like for instance, (Jeremiah) Poutasi, he needs every snap that he can get, so he's going to stay in. But then you've got a guy like (Taylor) Lewan, you get him out. So we put (Jamon) Meredith in. Both sides of the ball, that's how you work those decisions. Obviously, our outside guys, to get (Deiontrez) Mount some play time, he played some during the course of the game, but those are the reps that are invaluable.
(on if he is excited about what he saw or if he is critical about what he didn't see, being a winning coach in Week One)
First of all, I'm happy for our team, I'm happy for our fans that we won the football game. I said yesterday, there's no substitute for winning a regular season game and I'm excited about that. But I think this year, trying to be a better coach and learn from last year, I'm certainly more critical of the mistakes we made in this game. That was part of what we did today in going through it. There were too many penalties. We put the ball on the ground twice. Defensively, we missed some tackles. There were a lot of things that we can work on to get better. Special teams, I thought we had a couple of obviously bad kickoffs. We gave them too much return yardage on punt return where if they don't get a block in the back, it's a big punt return for them. Not to be a Negative Nelly here, but we have to continue to focus on getting better. I think if we continue to do that, if we keep that same mentality, we're excited about becoming a better football team.
(on if he brings up last year's Cleveland game, where the Titans gave up a 25-point lead to lose the game, in order to keep the team grounded)
I hadn't even thought about it from that standpoint. We were still so focused on Tampa, preparing for them and getting past that and now we move on to Cleveland. I don't think that's even really going to be something that we talk about. It could have been any team that we took a big lead and didn't finish. I don't think that it has anything to do with the fact that it was Cleveland. I think it's hard to overlook that, because as you're watching tape you see the scoreboard and you go, 'Holy Cow, how did it get that way.' So you certainly have to do a better job of finishing it, but yesterday we did a good job of finishing that game, so hopefully we'll build off of that.
(on Terrance West's first performance with the Titans after joining the team late and if he will be extra motivated this week as he faces his former team)
If you hadn't said that I wouldn't have even thought about that, but that's right, he is going against his former team. You get so wrapped up in where you are. Yesterday, I thought there were a couple footwork things, a couple of situations where he wasn't as comfortable with our offense, you could tell. Especially the goal line, I thought that's really where it came up. There were a couple of those plays where we didn't get in that was because he hit it in the wrong hole, or he was a little too quick and didn't get a chance for the guard to get around or hit it in the correct hole. But that being said, there were a few plays where he looked really good. He looked explosive, powerful, showed good vision. I didn't like the spike that he had after he ran one ball, because that could cost us a penalty with the delay of game. But there are obviously a lot of things to be optimistic about with him. I'm excited about what he brings to the table and I certainly feel very good getting him and having him as a part of our group.
(on Taylor Lewan saying he tends to watch more tape of positive games like yesterday than negative ones and if he does the same)
I don't really think about it that way. I think you've got so many things going on, you watch that tape, you go through it, you correct it, and then you move on. I think if it's something really positive, then a couple months from now you look back then when you're talking about it or you look back through some of your cut-ups and then you're excited about watching it. I think the biggest thing for us right now is, we accomplished what we wanted to do yesterday, but we've got to put that behind us and move forward. We've got to go in this week with the same focus that we had last week. If we can do that, then we have a chance to be a better football team.
(on if it makes it tricky to prepare not knowing which Cleveland quarterback you will face)
I don't necessarily think so, (Jsoh) McCown, he's been running around a lot in the preseason from what I've seen, just because of crossover tape, but definitely two different styles of quarterbacking. I think we'll prepare as best we can for both. You'd have to anyway, because even if you just prepared for one of them as the starter, the guy could go out first play.