Coach Whisenhunt's Monday Press Conference Transcript



(opening statement)

Obviously, a tough day yesterday. I know the question that you've got about Marcus (Mariota) is about Marcus and his health. He had an MRI this morning and he's got a sprained MCL, but he's walking around the facility here today just fine. So as the week progresses, we'll see how it goes and see if he has a chance to play.

(on the degree of how serious Marcus Mariota's injury is)*

Yeah, I don't know what it is. I mean like I said, from what I've seen of him walking around today and he's moving around fine. We've got to see him on the field to be able to see what he can do, and that will happen, we think Wednesday.

(on how the knee injury will affect Marcus Mariota given that he is a mobile quarterback)

Yesterday in the second half of the game he was moving around pretty good. In fact, a couple times he was out of the pocket. I think the big test was what he was like today, so it was positive that he was able to move around today. Once again, we're not going to do anything to put him in any kind of jeopardy, so that's going to be determined by how he progresses this week.

(on the conversation right after Marcus Mariota was injured and if he thought it was something he could play with)

Yeah, that was the biggest concern, was, 'Could he continue to go?' But they checked him out on the field and it really comes down to him and his ability to be able to do that, and he felt like he could at that point. We talked a couple times during the course of the game. I thought that was important to see. But he moved in the pocket, he moved up in the pocket, he still did some things during the course of the game that seemed like he was able to play.

(on if the trainers knew it was an MCL-related injury when it happened)

Well I didn't come in there and ask him what it was. I just asked him how his knee was and if he could continue to go. I mean, they knew it wasn't something that could keep him from playing or they wouldn't have let him go.

(on splitting up reps in practice on Wednesday to maximize Marcus Mariota's chance for return while also preparing Zach Mettenberger)

A lot of it is going to depend on how (Marcus Mariota) does tomorrow, and where we feel like he can be Wednesday. I think that Zach (Mettenberger) has done a nice job of preparing as much as he can, but we'll split the reps accordingly, based on what we think Marcus can do. Some of it may be determined by Wednesday and what he can actually do on the field.

(on if he has had a chance to watch film of the play where Marcus Mariota was injured)

On the hit? It was low, it was late. The league has a mechanism for addressing those things and I'm sure they will.

(on other injuries from Sunday's game)

I don't know how serious (Perrish Cox)'s hamstring is. I think we'll see as the week progresses. (Michael Griffin)'s knee is sore. I don't know where he's going to end up being on Wednesday as well. (Al Woods) was in and out, but Al seems fine today. There is not an issue with Al. (Harry) Douglas, he got hit in the ribs. His ribs are not broken. So we'll see if we can manage the soreness as the week progresses.

(on Marcus Mariota's toughness and if he was surprised he didn't want to come out of the game after being injured)

Well that doesn't surprise me. He's a tough kid and I know he didn't want to come out. But you've got to make sure the toughness doesn't cloud your thinking and put him in there at risk. I didn't feel like, from talking with the trainers and talking with Marcus (Mariota), that that was the case.

(on if he thought about taking Marcus Mariota out of the game earlier than he did, given that the result did not seem to be in question)

Well at the start of the fourth quarter, before we threw the interception, we felt like we were back into it. At that point I didn't really have a thought about it. When they went up, I did think about it and we did talk about it, but not until that last series when we did take him out did we actually do it.

(on Andy Gallik's performance at center, coming in for the injured Brian Schwenke)

He got better as the game went on. He struggled a little bit early. He got picked on a stunt one time on which the guy came free and got a sack. But he did a little better as the game went on. We'll look at options, what we can possibly help to address that, and see where it is going forward.

(on if Jeremiah Poutasi will continue playing right tackle)

Yeah, he'll go back as a right tackle. He actually had been doing well, up until yesterday. He didn't have a very good day yesterday. That happens. But he's gone against some pretty good players in the previous weeks and he's done OK. He did a nice job last week against Buffalo and this was not his best game, but I didn't want to lose him. That's why I took him out. He'll go back in.

(on possibly having two rookies on the offensive line with Brian Schwenke injured and what they need to do to protect Marcus Mariota)

Yesterday they got us on some four-man rushes, so it was really individual losses in the pass game. We've got to do some things, we've done some things. Whether we turned the line, we chipped yesterday, and we'll have to incorporate a lot of those same things to try to mix it up and protect Marcus (Mariota) a little better than we did yesterday. We did, I felt like against a pretty good rush team in Buffalo. We had a pretty good plan and, I don't know what you consider successful, but it was certainly better than it was yesterday.

(on if Cameron Wake was a different type of player for Jeremiah Poutasi to go up against)

I wish I could tell you. Cameron Wake had a good day yesterday. He played well. You go against some guys in the league, and not every Sunday do you have your best day. Yesterday we didn't have a great day.

(on the reason for the spike on the last drive)

Wanting to score. That's what you're trying to do. We had it to, if we had protected it right. We were going to do just that on the last play.

(on if he got a better look at the Brent Grimes interception in question)

Yeah, I did. I mean, there's a clear shot when he catches the ball, his left arm goes down to brace him, so that means the ball has to be in his right arm. But if you think about it, when he rolled over, the ball was in his left arm, so somewhere in between there, the ball shifted from his right arm to his left arm. To me, when you go the ground and the ball moves, the way I understand it, that's not a catch. That was what my frustration was from the sideline yesterday. From what I saw, it was not a catch, so it was tough.


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