TITANS HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - October 21, 2015
(on how Marcus Mariota is recovering from his injury)
He's doing well, it's a day-to-day thing. He's making progress, but we'll obviously monitor it as the days go. He wants to play, he's tough, but we'll continue to see how he progresses.
(on if Marcus Mariota's MCL sprain is a Grade 2 as stated in a report)*
I don't know about the report. I don't get into talking about the degrees of them. When he can go, he'll go.
(on where the line is for pushing Marcus Mariota and what he can do)
I think you've got to feel good about his ability to move and that there's no issues with his knee. He's had something like this before. He has a good feeling for what's normal for him. I think you've just got to walk the line of, he's a tough guy and he wants to play, and we've got to make sure that he's OK to play.
(on what it will do for the team if Marcus Mariota shows toughness and plays despite his injury)
I think that's already evident to our guys. I don't think that matters because of what he's shown up to this point. Like I said, he's a very tough young man and he really wants to play. The team loves him.
(on his confidence in Zach Mettenberger if he starts on Sunday)
I think there is a good confidence level in Zach (Mettenberger). He had a really good preseason. He's been around the guys, there's a good energy in that room with the quarterbacks. It's a good feeling with those guys. So they all support each other, and we feel good. We're confident in Zach and he's worked really hard physically. You can see it. He moves around better, he's throwing it well. He did a nice job in that last part of the game last week, so if Zach goes, we certainly feel good about it.
(on if he can tell Zach Mettenberger is itching to play)
Yeah, he's been itching for a while. He's been excited about just getting a chance to play. It's been that way through the preseason and even getting reps in practice. So that's one of the things you like about Zach (Mettenberger).
(on if getting the run game going in a new way will help the pass protection)
That makes it hard. They're good against the run. We've got to try to work that in there. You still have to be able to throw it in this league, and we're going to have to do that at some point, which means we have to protect. Obviously, they do a nice job with their fronts and how they attack defensively, and we've got to try to work our plan to get some yardage in the run game.
(on Atlanta's Devonta Freeman and what has made him successful)
He's done a nice job of staying patient in the holes, finding his way through the line. He's an explosive player. He's compact, but he runs strong. To his credit and to their credit, he's had a good season.
(on Atlanta's Julio Jones as a player)
He's pretty good. A big guy that's all over the place and obviously he's got some chemistry with the quarterback. They've been together for a couple of years and you can see it.
(on if Marcus Mariota practiced at all today)
No, he didn't do anything.
(on how Andy Gallik is coming along as he is in line to start in place of the injured Brian Schwenke)
Well today is just the first day and I don't know from practice today. It's hard to tell as much from the field. But in the game, it was nice to see him, he's played a little bit before this game, but it was not at center, so getting into the game at center was new for him. Like I said after the game, he struggled a little bit at first, but he got better as the game went on. The one thing about him, he's a rookie but he's a little bit older of a rookie, and he played a lot in college. So hopefully, I know this is a different level, the NFL, but he's gotten a lot of reps and he's a battler.
(on if he envisions even more of a shuffle on the offensive line)
I hope not. I mean, you try to minimize those as much as possible. Losing Brian (Schwenke) was tough, because it always is when you lose your center, but Andy (Gallik) has been working hard behind him and hopefully if we can get all those other guys there that will help.
(on if there is a specific time or date he will decide on whether or not Marcus Mariota will play on Sunday)
I think that obviously Zach (Mettenberger) is preparing to play, to be the starter. I think that's the mentality that you've got to have. I don't really think there's a deadline. I mean obviously game day you have to make that decision. But we'll have a better sense as we progress throughout the week. Once again, I'm not trying to play around with it, I'm just telling you like it is. He's getting better, he's trying to work through some things, so we'll see.
(on if Marcus Mariota's injury has progressed better than he thought)
Yeah, I said that the other day. He's been walking around, and to me that's a good sign. I know that there are other factors that you consider with it, but we'll see.