HEAD COACH BRAD CHILDRESS, SEPT. 24, 2008**
(On the decision to go with Gus Frerotte over Tavaris Jackson at quarterback)
I think the main reason was that the aggressiveness that I saw from Tavaris through the OTAs, training camp [and] really the first two preseason games. He threw the ball very well, was very aggressive up until he got injured. I just didn't see it come back. I'm not going to say that the two coincided, I'm not professing to say that the injury caused that but you just didn't see that after the first two games of the football season. So, just took a step back and wanted somebody that had a downfield mentality and I felt like Gus [Frerotte] would do that for us.
(On if the decision to go with Frerotte reflects a "win now" philosophy with the team)
I mean that's the society we're in, instant gratification, right? But we understand as coaches that that's what it's all about. In fairness to the other 53 guys, whether it's replacing a right tackle or replacing a nickelback or free safety, you want to put the guy in there that you believe gives you the best chance to win. At the beginning of the year and as we went to training camp, that's what I believed about Tavaris [Jackson]. You're always looking, as a head coach, and evaluating those things and making those decisions.
(On if he thinks starting Frerotte sends a positive message to the rest of the team)
Obviously, if you come in and get a win with that guy as the quarterback against a pretty good football team. I think our team knows what I get charged with or what we get charged with as an organization and we've gone on and gotten good football players. There's no downside to adding good football players. Good football players like to have good football players join us. That's what we're in this business for, to win.
(On when he worked with Donovan McNabb and if the third year is the year quarterbacks need to take a step up)
[Donovan McNabb] made some jump but he was in a situation where he played eight [games] his rookie year and then started his second year and we made it to the playoffs. Then in the third year, we were in the NFC Championship for three years in a row. The big thing is people have to play around the quarterback. Andy [Reid] was always fond of saying, "it's about a five-year process" and Don[ovan McNabb] was hurt with a broken ankle there for about six games. It's different for different guys. There is no shelf life on quarterbacks. You can do it the Peyton Manning way and start right there from the get. You can traverse the NFL like Rich Gannon and show up in your seventh year. You can be like Tony Romo and sit behind [Drew] Bledsoe for three or four years or Trent Dilfer, who went to a bunch of different teams and won at Baltimore. Or Kurt Warner, who started late in life really, was on NFL Europe, Jake Delhomme, I mean the list goes on and on. There's just no exact, I know we like to quantify and measure, there's no exact shelf life for those guys.
(On Tennessee's offensive line and how it has set the tone for them on offense)
Without a doubt. First of all, Mike Munchak is an excellent offensive line coach. When you got a guy like a [Kevin] Mawae in there who's got that veteran experience and savvy, that never hurts you because that's the guy that's directing the show. I've always seen great fundamental offensive lines, great, tough, hard-nosed, physical offensive lines and that's a credit to the players and Mike [Munchak] and I know that's how Jeff [Fisher] wants to play football.
(On trying to mask an offensive game plan built heavily on the run)
That's always the battle, with the eight-man forcing units and the nine-man forcing units, to be able to make some plays in the pass game and make them pick their poison. Still, you know that there's not a defensive coordinator in this league that you've ever heard, or I've ever heard say, "Hey, let's do this. Let's take away the pass from them and make then one-dimensional. We'll make them run it." Ever. But that's what people are going to try to do and sometimes it's a battle of wills. Dick Vermeil used to say, "It's about the quantity of the run, not the quality of the run. It's about the quality of the pass, not the quantity of the pass."
(On when he saw opposing defenses start to change the way they played after Adrian Peterson took off)
We do see that but that's with anybody that's going to get in an I-backfield in the National Football League. It's Tennessee, it's the Philadelphia Eagles, it's the Dallas Cowboys. You just have to decide how many you're going to commit to being in there. Are they going to try to have one more than you and hold up on the outside? It's different on different plays but I would say first of all, they're going to be mindful of our number one playmaker, who is Adrian [Peterson].
(On if he has a better idea of using Adrian Peterson compared to when he first came into the league)
Well, the best way to use him is to handle the football. There's no air in between it, it goes from the quarterback's hand to him, you know. [It's] much different than a wide receiver that's a great player, there's a lot of things that have to happen. But the best way to do it is to hand it to him.
(On why rookie running backs are able to have more success initially than other positions)
What I just mentioned to you. There's no lead time. You can hand it to them and let them go. Now does he have to be able to run with his eyes, it's not like you hand it to them and say, "make something happen." But, you know, with a rookie wide receiver or tight end or skill guy, there's air in between. Does he convert the route right? Does he get re-routed? Is he covered and you had to go somewhere else? There's just some variables in there.
(On his initial impressions of Chris Johnson)
I liked Chris Johnson coming out. He's just an explosive, explosive player. You better account for him, they're using him in a lot of different ways and you hold your breath when he gets in air now because he can ske-dattle.
(On if Houston exposed any chinks in the Titans defensive armor)
You know what, they did some good things schematically. Generally, when things like that happen you see guys that maybe jump out of a gap or maybe overplay something. I thought a couple of those were pretty good runs and great blocks by wide receivers down the field.
(On adding Jared Allen to the team)
Like I said to you, I got the question back when he came, "Well, what are the other guys going to say about him being paid this much money?" You know, guys don't look at that. They're all for adding good football players. Jared's a high-energy guy, he's accepted in our locker room. Our other two Pro Bowl defensive tackles went out and picked him up at the airport when he came in here after he had signed and spent time with him before he signed. But they all get along great. They all have great personalities and feed off each other.
(On if Jared Allen's style of play reminds him of Kyle Vanden Bosch)
Absolutely, I mean Vanden Bosch is probably in a league of his own in terms of being a Tasmanian devil [with] the twists and turns. It almost looks like you'd have to kill him to stop him.
(On if Bobby Wade has been steady for the Vikings)
He has been steady. He's a great influence in our wide receiver room with some of those younger wide outs. He has ability, sees the big picture. I just like what he brings to our locker room, what he brings to our football team.
(On facing the Titans, a team he's never faced)
As long as none of the fans come out of the stands, it'll be okay. I've been there before, I kind of have an idea of what the temperature will be down there and how they like their football down there. You're really attacking the scheme. We're playing that division so you see them cross over a few times and you do your homework in the offseason and see what they can potentially give you. But you don't know personnel maybe as well as you should.
(On if Adrian Peterson will benefit from facing a team that's never played against him before)
That could be. I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about that [Peterson's gaudy numbers against AFC teams] but I suppose that could be. It's not like they get to see him twice a year.