Coach Whisenhunt's Thursday Practice Transcript



(on Marcus Mariota's injury progress)

He did better today. He's getting better, that's a good thing. We'll see how that progresses tomorrow. Hopefully he'll do a little more tomorrow, but we'll find out and we'll see then. So I don't have much more to say other than that at this point.

(on what Marcus Mariota did in practice)*

He did some other things, but I'm not going to get into the details of what he did.

(on if Marcus Mariota would play if there was a game tomorrow)

Wow. There's not a game tomorrow, so I'm going to bag out on that point.

(on if it will be a game-time decision as to whether or not Marcus Mariota will play Sunday)

Well like I said, we're going day-to-day right now. Hopefully he can do a little more tomorrow and we'll see from that standpoint. But there is no question he is getting better.

(on the statuses of the other injured players on the team)

Each one of them is a little bit different, but we're hopeful, we feel good about all of them. The only one that's in question is Perrish (Cox). He didn't practice today. Hopefully he'll be able to do something by this weekend, but I can't really tell you right now. That's a tricky, that's a funny thing.

(on the bee sting he got at practice today)

Flu and a bee sting, those two things, yeah. I'll be fine. I got time.

(on not taking the Texans lightly even though they are a struggling team)

Yeah, Miami jumps to mind. That was one of those situations. I don't think we're taking anything for granted with this football team. We didn't play well against them last year. They certainly have some very good football players on both side of the ball. On the road, we haven't done that in a while either, so we've got to prepare. It's been a tough stretch for us and we've got to go in there in a tough situation and play well. I think we certainly expect them to play well against us.

(on if he thinks there is still an importance of the Tennessee/Houston matchup to the team ownership)

Yeah, I do. When you come in your first year last year, you don't know about that. But you can definitely feel it. I think because part of the organization is still in Houston that that's part of it. I understand that.

(on the AFC South still being up for grabs)

I think, obviously, if they're talking about it, it's something that we talk about. But before we can get into any kind of discussion like that, we've got to get a win. That's the number one thing, that's what our focus has got to be. It's kind of absurd for us to sit here and bang that drum when we're where our record is. If we can win a game or two, then maybe that's a discussion that you can have. But human nature is you're aware of it, of course. But I think we're just focused on trying to close one of these games out and trying to get a win.

(on if third down looms larger this week given the success that Houston has had and the players they can bring after the quarterback)

Yeah, you're right about that. They can bring guys after the quarterback. They've got some good rushers. But regardless of where they are ranked and how they're rated, and they're a good third-down team, you're correct on that point, we've got to do better than that. The number one thing for us to do is not to be in third-and-13-plus. That was over half of our third down snaps last week and that's a product of penalties, of mistakes on first and second downs. So we've got to get better with that. Earlier in the season, we were able to overcome some of those things, and that's something that we've got to do better with.

(on if the key to third downs is better first and second downs)

You know, you have that approach always. You never know what can happen on first and second down. Sometimes there's calls that aren't necessarily accurate that get you behind the sticks, and you have to try to overcome that. But some of these self-inflicted things that we've been doing, we've got to eliminate those.

(on how Zach Mettenberger will have benefitted from starting last week if he starts again on Sunday)

You can't simulate game speed in practice, and the timing, and having to step up in the pocket, move around, and make throws. All of those things, he got experience with in last week's game and I think that helps put you back in the right mentality for playing a game. Look, there's no substitute for playing, and when you haven't played in a game for a number of weeks, it is getting acclimated to that again. So certainly he's better prepared for that this week if he has to take the snaps.


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