Coach Whisenhunt's Monday Press Conference Transcript



(opening statement in regards to Kendall Wright)

I'm guessing the first question will be about Kendall (Wright). Obviously, we all saw the shot that he took to the knee yesterday, and we're still evaluating it. I know it's sore today, but I don't know as far as time or if he'll miss or anything. We're still in the process of looking at it.

(on if Kendall Wright's injury was to his MCL)*

He said he thought it was? Well they speculated on that, so I don't know to what degree or how serious it is.

(on if Kendall Wright has had an MRI)

I believe he has had an MRI, yes, later this morning. I have not talked to (Director of Sports Medicine) Todd (Toriscelli) about the results yet though.

(on Marcus Mariota's injury status)

I expect him to go Wednesday in practice. Obviously, we'll be able to see how much he can do in practice, but I don't think there's going to be an issue there.

(on if they will test Marcus Mariota tomorrow like they did last week)

I don't think so. No, he's better this week. I felt like, where he was at the end of last week, he was close enough that I didn't think it was going to be necessary. I'm expecting him to practice Wednesday.

(on if Marcus Mariota will be full go in Wednesday's practice or if he will be limited)

I mean, that's what we're anticipating until we get out there and he actually goes through practice.

(on if Marcus Mariota's return will provide a spark on Sunday)

Sure it will help. He's a good player. He brings a different element to the position and that can help.

(on if Marcus Mariota's return will also provide an emotional spark for the team)

Yeah, I mean anytime you get your starter back, that's always an emotional spark I think.

(on what the game plan was for stopping J.J. Watt)

Well there are probably a couple of different ways to do it. You can turn on to him so you get two linemen on him, you can bring your back in there to chip so you get extra help there, or you can put two tight ends on him like we did a couple times during the game. So you have to vary the approach in different plays. Some other times, you'll get some five-across manned-up situations where you get the ball out quick where you expect to get rid of the ball. There are all kinds of different ways to try to do that.

(on if he was surprised J.J. Watt was in as many 1-on-1 situations)

Well I mean, we doubled him. We doubled him quite a bit. In fact, I don't think there was that many plays where he was 1-on-1 where it was - he was 1-on-1 in some of the run plays. But as far as some of the pass plays, there weren't that many.

(on the lack of double-teaming being a result of miscommunication)

That happened a couple of times, yes. Guys not going the right way.

(on why players can't communicate correctly at this stage)

First of all, (J.J. Watt) lines up all over the place. He doesn't just line up in one spot, so when you talk about trying to take care of those things, you have to do it with a systematic approach. So it just so happened that on the one mistake, the times that we made the mistake, Watt was there. I mean, you set up so that your tendency to try to do that, but he lined up over the center, he lined up on the left side, he lined up outside right yesterday, a number of different spots. When you talk about turning a line to it, that's what you're handling, when a guy goes the wrong way, he made a mistake.

(on creating 1-on-1s and the dictation between him and the defense)

Well I mean, it's a little bit of a chess match. If they want to create 1-on-1s, which means, let's say for instance that they've got five offensive linemen and they want to line up 5-on-5, then they're going to have to matchup in other areas 1-on-1. So your counter to that is to either turn the line, bring your back to the edge, or to have a specific guy that he's going to help double on if he's a problem, or you get an extra guy out into the pattern where you make a quick throw and counter it that way. So that's what it's all about. It's always a chess match trying to counter the things that they do.

(on if Zach Mettenberger came out of the game healthy)


(on Zach Mettenberger getting rid of the ball more quickly)

Well once again, when you talk about keeping extra guys in to help on those situations, then you're also putting your outlet throws, the ones that you can get it to, they're not getting out some of those times. But were there a couple times when, yeah, you've just got to throw it away? Yeah, those are the things that in a couple of situations we could have done better.

(on Zach Mettenberger getting sacked five of the seven times in the third quarter)

I think that's right, because I think through the third quarter, we were OK. I think that was where the game got a little bit one-sided, too. They were playing a lot of coverage and there were four guys rushing, so we lost some 1-on-1 matchups.

(on the team's wide receivers if Kendall Wright has to miss time)

I mean, we'll see. I think Harry (Douglas) is back to practice this week, so that certainly helps.

(on if they would use Dorial Green-Beckham more in Kendall Wright's absence)

Well, DGB (Dorial Green-Beckham) got a lot of plays yesterday. He's increased his number of plays over the last couple of games, so that's not something that would be out of the norm.

(on if Dorial Green-Beckham is still learning as the production is still not there)

Some of it is. Some of it is mistakes. The one time yesterday where we hit him on the back shoulder, we moved, the left tackle moved, and those were the things we were trying to scheme to. We had a couple things in there for him yesterday, the one pass we threw behind him that was intercepted, that was going to him. We had a couple other things that were options to go to him, but the way they played the defense, they took it away, they had an extra guy over there. So we're trying to incorporate him in there and sometimes he does make some mistakes.


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