TITANS HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - September 9, 2015
(on what is special about the season opener)
It's good, after you go through all of the OTA's in the spring, and then training camp and the grind of that, it's good to get to the season. You just get fired up for these games and it's a chance to go out and play. It's a chance to really put last year behind us and we can show we're a better team.
(on if there is a different energy during regular season game weeks than during training camp as you go through game prep for a specific opponent)*
At times the energy is like that in camp, at times it gets to be a grind and guys wear down. But definitely Monday and today you could really feel the energy and guys were excited about it. I think you really see it when we get to Friday and Saturday and it gets on us. So Sunday I think they'll be fired up.
(on if Lovie Smith has changed or if he has been consistent in the way he's coached his defense)
I just don't know how much you can tell by looking at preseason tape, to be honest with you. I've gone against Lovie (Smith) a couple times. He's a good coach. They're a well-coached football team. I'm sure they'll have a plan for us, and a lot of that we can only speculate on what we see.
(on what Lovie Smith has done in Tampa Bay, compared to what he did in Chicago, and if he has changed as a coach or stayed consistent)
There's some things that are similar, some things that are different. I couldn't tell you exactly the differences because like I said, you're seeing so many different people in preseason. They've done a few things a little different than they did last season, but that could be experimentation in training camp.
(on if he is anxious to see how the number one draft pick vs. number two draft pick matchup plays out)
It's the start of the game. We're excited about Marcus (Mariota) and what he's done, and I'm looking forward to seeing how we play.
(on why the matchup isn't intriguing to him)
I thought Marcus (Mariota) summed it up pretty good. He doesn't play defense, so he's not going against Jameis (Winston), so I'm good with that.
(on what problems he thinks Jameis Winston will present to the Titans' defense, based on what he has seen)
Well are we talking about before the draft or after the draft? Because we watched a lot before the draft. He's a good football player. He's shown from all the work that we did with him, we liked him, thought that he could make some plays. He's certainly done that in the preseason action that I've seen. I don't know what his practices have been like, but he's made some accurate throws. He's run out of the pocket a couple times and scored, so he's an athletic quarterback that can make some accurate throws.
(on if he's applied anything he saw from the team's pre-draft work with Jameis Winston to the preparation for Sunday's game)
Well that's all college, so I don't know if that relates.
(on what the team can take from last year's road opener at Kansas City and carry into this year's road start)
Well we're a different team now than we were, we've had a lot of changes. I think we felt like we know how we're going to prepare, we know what to expect, and we felt like if we do it the right way, we have a chance to be successful. So maybe that can help, but every game you go to a different place, you're going against a different opponent, and it's different. Hopefully we'll have a similar start as we did to last year, but a heck of a lot better finish.
(on if starting on the road makes a season opener a crazy atmosphere to play in)
Yeah, I would say so. We have two (road) home openers, that's unusual. I don't think I've ever had that in all the years I've been in the NFL where we've had to face two teams on their home openers. The NFL made it a little tough on us this year, but it's OK. I think the way the team has worked, the mentality, you've got to develop a toughness when you go into a situation like that and we've got to prepare as best as we can for it.
(on if he thinks a rookie quarterback will do better against blitzes or a more crowded coverage)
I think from what I've seen there's different skill sets, different comfort levels with different guys. So it's really dependent upon them and it's dependent upon their team. You probably ask a defensive coach that's attacking one of those guys and he'd probably have a little better insight to that. Even though as an offensive coach, I sit in on the defense and talk about it, and maybe talk about what gives them problems, different guys have different skill sets and you really don't know until you face them or you've seen games with them.
(on which defensive tactic, blitzes or crowded coverage, he would prefer for Marcus Mariota)
Well I think Marcus (Mariota) has shown that he can do a little bit of both. So hopefully, we'll see. I mean, a regular season game, I'm excited to see him play just based off of what he's done in the preseason. It definitely excites you.
(on acclimating Terrence West into the system and if they will start with the basics or throw everything at him at once)
Yeah, well now we're dealing a little bit more with game plans than we are the whole kitchen sink, per se. Obviously, you focus on that game plan because that's the language that you're going to be talking that day in meetings. Some of the schematic things that you do, you'll have to get him up to speed on, but really you try to catch him up with what you're doing right now, because after all these reps that we've gotten, that's kind of what it's narrowed down to.
(on if you can throw a new running back into the game like you could a receiver)
Yeah, you can. Just like we have different packages with Dexter (McCluster) or with other guys. But with a new guy you have to limit maybe some of the things that would require him to do more, but you could.
(on Terrance West's hunger level coming to a second team)
I can't speak to his hunger level, he's been good. He's worked hard, he's been in here a lot of hours meeting, trying to get up to speed on everything. From what little I've seen out of him out here on the field, he looks good. He looks the part, so I'm excited to see him continue to progress and see if we can get him in.
(on if he envisions Terrance West playing a lot on Sunday)
I don't know. We'll have to see how the week progresses and where we are. Those factors are things you talk about on Friday.