TITANS HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT PRESS CONFERENCE**
(on his thoughts on the Jets)
They've got some talented players. They're a well-coached football team. They present some challenges. We've got to really work on our game plan and be prepared to handle those looks. Obviously, the biggest thing for us is not to shoot ourselves in the foot early, which we seem to have been doing quite a bit of lately. It's easy to sit here and say that on Wednesday we can't give up an opening drive, we can't turn the ball over early in the game. Those are the things that have really hurt us, and that's what our focus has got to be on, being better with those.
(on seeing positivity with the team despite the negativity of the season)
They're working hard. They're upbeat. Whenever you're in a stretch like you're in and we've had some injuries, that's part of this business. You understand that, but I think there's a lot of encouraging things from the standpoint we've got some young guys that are playing pretty good, getting experience, we're finding out about a lot of our guys, and they are working hard at it, so that's going to make us better in the long run.
(if Jake Locker should provide an emotional lift to the team)
I know Jake (Locker) is well liked, and he's well respected. I think they appreciate the way he's handled this whole situation, so yeah, I think they're excited that Jake's getting an opportunity.
(on how the offensive line looks and if Taylor Lewan or Michael Oher might play this week)
Check back with me in a couple of days. I think we'll know more. I don't have much more information for you today. We'll see how it progresses during the week. We'll have somebody out there.
(on if Jake Locker will play better knowing that he is the starter rather than the backup quarterback)
That's probably fair, but I think Jake (Locker's) handled himself well in the role that he's been in. I think certainly it's not a stretch to say getting all the reps helps you prepare better and makes you feel more comfortable.
(on Chris Johnson and if he is an interesting dynamic for this game)
I think in this league, in today's NFL, there's always going to be players that are coming back with their former teams. That happens. You see that in other places during the course of a year. I know C.J. (Chris Johnson) is well liked around here by his teammates. I know he's a good football player. He accomplished some pretty significant things while he was here, and that's part of this business. I'm quite sure he'll be motivated to play well, but that's part of the NFL today. It's not abnormal.
(on the reason why Chris Johnson is no longer with the Titans)
It doesn't do any good to revisit all those things. There's all kinds of reasons that those things come down in the league. I couldn't speak for him, but I certainly can tell you I have a tremendous amount of respect for what he's done in this league as a player. I know from being here only a short time how much the Titans appreciate his contributions to the organization.
(on how well Coty Sensabaugh has done since Blidi Wreh-Wilson is out)
I think Coty (Sensabaugh) can really focus in now on this is his opportunity to show what he can do at that position. He's at a point in his career where this should be important to him, because he gets a chance to show us he can handle that position and play well there. We've had some guys step up, (Marqueston) Huff's getting better, Brandon Harris made some plays for us in last week's game. We're going to have a number of different guys in there, which kind of seems to be the theme for our team right now. Guys should be motivated to step up and play well.
(on Jamon Meredith stepping up as a tackle)
Obviously, with (Byron) Stingily getting his ankle tweaked, it puts us in the next guy, so we needed another person in here. He's a veteran player that's played in the league. He's played this year. He was with Bob (Bostad) in Tampa, so he's familiar with the line calls to a certain degree, so that helps. On a short week, if he has to play, we feel like it gives him a better chance to do just that. That's why he's here.
(on Blidi Wreh-Wilson's shoulder surgery and how much time he will miss)
We'll know more about it after that's done. You'd have to ask the doctor that question.
(on the impact of Blidi Wreh-Wilson missing part of the offseason)
The offseason's are so short now because of the new CBA. If you miss any part of it, that's a good chunk of it. Once again, I think part of it's going to depend on how the surgery goes.
(on if Blidi Wreh-Wilson's surgery has been scheduled)
I honestly don't know. I think that it's scheduled soon, but I don't know how soon. I don't know if it's tomorrow or maybe Friday.
(on how Blidi Wreh-Wilson played this season)
Blidi (Wreh-Wilson) did some good things for us. As with happens with all players, there were some plays he gave up, but he made some good plays for us, and I saw growth out of him as a young player, and you like that.
(on if this season has been the most taxing season with injuries for him)
I would say yes. I don't recall ever being with a team where we've gone through seven tackles. I think we're on our seventh tackle. Certainly with the receiver position and DBs, but that's the way it is. We've got to keep fighting and keep working.
(on if the injuries get lost among the fans when they point fingers at the team's struggles)
Fans are an important part of this business, and that's certainly their right. They have expectations for the team, and they're disappointed when we don't have success. That's part of this business. You understand that. I think when we start winning some games, it'll all be OK. Being healthy will help win games, but unfortunately this has been a tough year in a lot of those aspects.
(on if a team loses its way when the season starts to go bad)
That doesn't, I don't think, carry over. I think what happens is even now, if you look at the offseason, you're so limited in the amount of time that you can spend with these guys that you have to try to build some continuity in that period, then when you get to a point where we are, where we've had three tackles in the last week that haven't even been with us, you're talking about thousands of plays that we've run they're not here for, a lot of that continuity is lost, and it makes it hard to have any type of real consistency. That's part of the problem.