Coach Whisenhunt's Thursday Practice Transcript



(on if the five tight ends and two large receivers on Tampa Bay's roster will be a challenge on Sunday)

Yeah, they are. They're big guys, good players. What's the difference with five tight ends on the roster or two big guys like they got. It's really about who can make plays for you in situations when the size can be an advantage. They definitely have two guys that have been productive.

(on if he will rely on Blidi Wreh-Wilson more heavily when matching up against Tampa Bay, given his size)*

Guys that make plays on the ball, I don't care what size they are. There's a lot of guys that seem like they do that. I guess there have been a couple of guys here that seem like they do that over the years before. So to me it doesn't matter. It doesn't necessarily mean that we are or we're not, we're looking for our guys to play their responsibilities the right way and compete. That's been our theme in camp and we certainly want to carry that over to the regular season.

(on if everything is where he wants it to be right now, three days out from the season opener)

It seems that way. It's been good work. Our guys are excited, you can feel the energy on the field. It's opening week of the NFL season, it's an exciting week for us. We put in a lot of work to get to this point and we're looking forward to the game Sunday.

(on if he has a secret to his 5-2 opening day record)

Am I really? Wow. I don't know. I couldn't say there is or isn't. I mean obviously, it's kind of like I got asked about the red flag challenge. Is there a secret to that? I don't know. I guess maybe that's a good thing. Maybe that trend will continue.

(on his confidence in Dick LeBeau's work with the defense as the regular season begins)

Well, we're optimistic. That's for sure. Even though we didn't have the greatest preseason from a defensive perspective, there were things about it that we liked. We feel like we've got some guys that can win some 1-on-1 matchups. We were certainly better about getting turnovers in the preseason, which is a good thing, but always trying to carry those things over into the regular season. There's no guarantees for that. It's great to have Dick (LeBeau) in here. I think you bring in another experienced coach that has had a lot of success in this league and you can see it with how the players have responded, and hopefully we'll see those results Sunday.

(on if he remembers his first game as a player for the Atlanta Falcons)

I do, I do remember it. Don't talk about it; it was a long time ago. **

(on who the Falcons played in his first game with the team)

Opening game, you know what; I don't remember who it was. So I guess I don't remember it…it was the New Orleans Saints.

(on Jameis Winston's veteran-like throws during the preseason, despite being a rookie)

He's a talented player. That's probably why he went first in the draft. I think both of these guys (Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston) have been impressive from the tape that I've seen. Both teams have reasons to be excited about their quarterbacks, so we'll get a chance to see it in this game. There will be a lot of excitement about that, and we're looking forward to it. **

(on which player he thinks would make the best mayor of Nashville, given the city's mayoral runoff election today)

Who do you think? Your buddy, your best buddy, 77 (Taylor Lewan). He's the one that wants to be the mayor. I don't know that he would get all the votes, but he probably thinks he should.

(on if Taylor Lewan would be a good mayor)

I don't know, is there ethics involved with being a mayor? I got to back off on that, he's good, he's good.

(on if there is extra pressure going into Sunday's game, given the team's winless streak last season)

I think the only people that think about that are you guys. That's not even one thing that's crept in my mind. We did win two preseason games, so in our mind we've won two games at home. We certainly don't think that way, that's behind us. It definitely doesn't have anything to do with us going forward.

(on if he is concerned about the weather for Sunday's game in Tampa Bay)

There's really not much you can do about it. You prepare for it the best you can. We worked hard in camp, we didn't have a lot of hot days, but we certainly had a few. Our guys have worked hard from a conditioning perspective. Hopefully if it is a tough day, the adrenaline will kick in and we really worked on trying to hydrate and be prepared as best as you can.


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