TITANS HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - September 1, 2015
(on if he has a better feel for whether or not Marcus Mariota will play on Thursday, or if that will be a game-time decision)
We're going to discuss it this afternoon as a staff. It's one of those things; there are a lot of factors, like I said yesterday. Whenever we come to that decision, we'll let the guys know.
(on Al Woods and how much he can do at the front of the line)*
That's one of the things you noticed. You guys asked me yesterday about people that stood out, and Al (Woods) stood out in camp. He's taken advantage of his opportunity to get in there. The depth of the D-line is an important piece of your team. We feel really good about that with the way those guys have played and Al has performed well.
(on Blidi Wreh-Wilson's progress today)
Yeah, Blidi (Wreh-Wilson)'s doing fine. He's doing a nice job. It's good to see him out there.
(on how playing in Thursday's game will help Blidi Wreh-Wilson get ready for the regular season opener)
Well I think it's good to get some game-speed reps. Practice is what practice is, but to get him in the game is an important piece of it, so we feel good about Blidi (Wreh-Wilson) training towards playing. We expect him to play, I don't see a setback towards that, so that will be good.
(on the process of this week and what goes into the decision on whether or not to play Marcus Mariota on Thursday)
It's just like it is in the other weeks of the preseason. I think everybody's got this conception of what the fourth week is, but I've never said that that's the case. It's just like every week we've done. If you recall the other three games you asked me, I said we're going to meet on it later in the week and that's been the case. Like I said yesterday, I think there is great value for our players to prepare like they're playing. I think you defeat the purpose of what you're trying to accomplish if you tell somebody he's not playing in the game. So it's a decision that we make and it's been a consistent decision as far as that goes, and we're not at that point this week. It doesn't matter to me what game it is, we're looking at what we're trying to accomplish with our football team.
(on if players who do not play this week will be ready for Week 1)
That's a good question, who knows. Just because you take "x" number of snaps, or you play in so many games, doesn't mean you're ready for the regular season. I don't know that there's any criteria for judging that. I hope we are. That's our goal, and that's what we've been working on since back in the spring. We've had a lot of practices, we've had a lot of reps, we've had some game action, so it's all about getting geared towards being ready to go and getting the best 53. That's what we're trying to do.
* (on if any areas need improvement)*
Yeah, at times during camp we've had a number of those things pop up. That's not abnormal.
(on if there were any areas specifically that need improvement)
(on if he is ready to start the regular season)
I think you're always excited for the season. We've had a lot of reps, and it's been a fun process with these guys. They've worked hard; I've enjoyed that. I'm looking forward to the game Thursday, because it's going to be an opportunity for some players to have a final push to make the roster or determine their status on the team. That's the competitive part of it that you really like. We're still moving forward, trying to get better, as a football team. There's a lot of work we have to do in order to show we're a better football team. You know it started back whenever our first practice was, back in May, and we're still working towards that. Hopefully we'll have a great start in Tampa and we'll finish up the preseason with a good game Thursday.
* (on if he roots for certain players in the fourth preseason game)*
Well, I mean, I root for all the guys. There are some guys you get attached to, just because of what they've gone through, where they are, or whatever their station is in the NFL. I think that's human nature. I root for all of our players to have success. They've worked hard. One thing I'll say about this group, they have worked hard from start to finish, and I respect that.
* (on Justin Hunter's absence this week)*
Yeah, he'll be back tomorrow, and I expect him to play.
* (on if Justin Hunter will play this week)*
Sure, yeah. He'll get a chance to make some catches this week.