Coach Whisenhunt's Monday Press Conference Transcript



(on Chance Warmack's injury)

Chance (Warmack), I'm sure you know, has a sprained knee. I realize that he did a self-diagnosis last night, or yesterday. Our hope is to get him back after the BYE week, so we'll see how that progresses. Everybody else, I don't think we came out of the game with anything other than that.

(on if Jamon Meredith is the player he'll turn to while Chance Warmack is injured)

Yes, right now it is. He finished the game up and did OK in there. We feel better about that for sure.

(on how Jamon Meredith did in Chance Warmack's place yesterday)

Jamon (Meredith) did OK. Jamon did a pretty good job. I mean, there are a lot of little things you always have to work on. Jamon's been bouncing all around, but he did good for not having gotten reps at that particular position, which is his job.

(on how Marcus Mariota is feeling)

Yeah, he took too many shots yesterday. Obviously, he's a little banged up, a little sore. But he's in good spirits, he's doing OK. As always, there are some things you want back, but he did a good job for us yesterday.

(on Marcus Mariota's performance yesterday)

Some of it, we've just got to be a little smarter. The one that started it all was when his shoe came off on that one when he cut back against the grain. I think that's one of the things that we talked about. Actually, the two things that we talked about from an emphasis standpoint today were that and then ball security. So we've got to do some work on that, just making sure in the pocket, especially when he's moving, that he's got two hands on the ball. I think that's all part of a quarterback like him because he believes that he can extend the play and make the play. To be quite honest with you, he's done that a couple times. We've just got to be smarter in certain situations, and from having been around him the time I have, that won't be an issue.

(on if the offensive line was beat more 1-on-1 or on scheming)

I would say it was probably about half, I don't know. Maybe more towards the getting beat 1-on-1 than it was the scheme. Well, let me back up on that. I hate to be kind of wishy-washy because, let me put it in the best context. Here was our biggest problem yesterday: Number one, we've got to get to the line quicker so we can communicate better. That is an issue for us. That will give us a chance to get our protections the right way, so we won't have a couple of the mistakes that we had yesterday, so that is an area that we have to get better in. When you have a rookie quarterback, a rookie tackle, you understand in that type of environment, those are issues that you have to go through. We certainly didn't see it last week, as matter of fact you said, 'Well wouldn't you see it at Tampa?' Yeah we did, but we got ahead so quick it took the noise out. Yesterday, it was the first time it was a really tough environment to have to deal with for an extended period of time, and we didn't handle it great.

(on getting up to the line quicker)

The line's got to do a better job. We as a unit have to do a better job. That's got to be an emphasis for us.

(on what slowed the process of getting up to the line)

We work with the clock out here every day. We do a good job getting out of the huddle with enough time on the clock. At least that's the way we work it. We've got to get to the line and get set so that we can get an idea of how they're going to align and that will give us a chance to communicate. When you play a team like yesterday where they overload you, they move their personnel around, as long as you're on the same page, there were a number of times yesterday when we did that and we didn't have any issues. We picked up their pressures and did a nice job. We obviously did that in the run game because we had a good game running the football. But to me specifically, more so on third-down, that's where we've got to get better at getting to the line and getting set and being able to identify that.

(on if Marcus Mariota tried to carry too much weight at any point)

I don't think there was. I don't know if I can point to any one (play) that I would say that. The young man makes a lot of plays out there. He's doing a lot of things that are really good, and then there were mistakes that young players make. When you go through a situation like we went through yesterday, in an environment like that, you learn from it and hopefully you get better the next time.

(on if yesterday was a learning experience for Jeremiah Poutasi)

Well you don't want to get down on Jeremiah (Poutasi) because it's tough. When you have to look to the side and see the center dip his head, then you have to turn back and you have to set and you can't hear, it's not easy, especially when you've got a guy like 99 (Paul Kruger) for their team come bearing down on you. You've got to make sure you know which way you're going, you're going to the right guy. There are a lot of things that are going on and we're asking him to do a lot, as you have to in this league. That being the case, you'll go through some growing pains, we're aware of that. Jeremiah didn't have the greatest day at times in pass protection, but other times he did a nice job. He did some good things in the run game as well. He's a young player and we've just got to do a better job of emphasizing some of the things that we need to do to get better as an offense.

(on if Jeremiah Poutasi got as much help yesterday as he did in some preseason games)

If they rush, they're a team that plays a lot of man coverage and they're willing to put six guys up at the line of scrimmage. It's hard to be able to get extra help for him, whether it's from a back or a tight end, when they're doing that.

(on how the offensive line did in terms of getting separation and getting Marcus Mariota some quick options)

At times we did pretty good, I thought. Obviously, we were pretty successful in some of our plays. Early in the game we had penalties. The first play of the game, we make a play, get second-and-five and get a penalty that puts us in a tough situation. As with anything, they have a good secondary. They won some of the battles, but we certainly won our share. We had a couple passes that we could have caught, should have caught, that could have made a difference. Hopefully, we'll have better luck next time.

(on watching Marcus Mariota handle adversity)

(Marcus Mariota) is obviously a good player. He's a joy to have on your football team, just because of his mentality and how he operates. But I was proud of the way our team responded. To be down 21-0 at halftime, especially after we had just given up a punt return for a touchdown, to come back and play the second half the way we did, with the exception of giving up the long pass defensively. We ran the clock, we controlled the ball, we were a lot better on third-down, and we shut them out, once again, except for that long pass. To me, I wish we had done that in the first half because then it could have been a different game. It was nice to see us respond better to that. We've just got to do a better job starting. We didn't do a good enough job starting.


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