TITANS VS TEXANS
Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020
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(on what he learned after two emotional wins after the team's COVID-19 outbreak)
We are a team, just that word right there – team. Adversity strikes and it's all about how you respond.
This team, we fight to the end no matter what we go through. A lot of our games have been close and we came out with a win. There's so much passion in these games, I can see it in the guys. Speaking for myself, I play this game with so much passion and that's because I love this game and I love what I do. Every time I step on the field I want to give it my all. If I can give that energy to the next guy and they give it to the next, I just think that's how our team is. We respond to each other in situations like this. Getting to 5-0 is not easy, especially the last two weeks. It hasn't been easy for us coming off a quick turnaround. We have a great team. We're playing team defense and team offense. We're just playing as a team.
(on what's clicking for him right now)
Every time I step on the field, I'm going to make my presence felt. I know the coaches are going to put me in a situation to help this team the best I can. So far, it's been a great year whether first or second down or third down. When I step on the field, I'm going to give it my all no matter what it is. If it's tiredness, limping, cramping, no matter what I'm not making any excuses. You never know when that play is going to come that you can make and change the game. My mindset is to attack every game and play with passion. That's gotten me this far and I'm not going to change anything. Just head down, full steam ahead.
(on being back on the field after having time away due to COVID)
I felt good. Everyone knows about COVID. It takes away your condition that you've been working on all season. It was kind of hard as the game went along for me, but I'm not making any excuses. Just keep fighting. We are built on mental toughness and I just had to fight through a lot of tiredness. I just have to get back this week and get some extra conditioning in. We've got another tough game next week. I felt great out there though.
(on what Houston did to really turn the game around in the third quarter)
Nothing they did. We have to communicate a little better on defense and affect the quarterback more. We talk about on defense, not giving up the big plays. Take away their big plays and they couldn't really do anything. We just have to play better on defense. I trust this defense. I know we are going to fix it and it will all come together. At the end of the day we came up big and got a win. That's what next week is for, to come back and play better team defense. Everything will take care of itself.
(on uncharacteristic plays that Head Coach Mike Vrabel said the defense has made to overshadow their play)
I don't know, I'm sure that's something Coach Vrabel sees as the head coach. He knows when something needs to be fixed. I'll leave that up to him to answer. All I know is we need to get back to work and work on not giving up big plays and playing more team defense. I don't know about the negative things. We are just trying to be a whole defense that stops the guys on first and second down and gets off the field on third down.
(on what the sense was on the field when Houston elected to go for a two-point conversion)
It's just a mindset, you know? In a situation like that it's all about who's going to make a play. You don't ever know when that time will come that you can change the game, and of course I think that play right there changed the game. When they go for two, me, I'm hype. Apparently they don't trust that we can stop it on defense, so you just put your hand in the ground and play football. My mindset is get penetration. I know it's a quick pass, and from last year, I know he's going to throw the ball low. His release is low and tries to get the ball out quick. I know that if we get our hands up we can bat a ball and that's what I did. I saw him take his non-throwing hand off the ball and I knew it would be low. I got my hand up and batted the ball.
(on how big winning the coin flip was in overtime with Houston's defense appearing to be gassed)
It was big. I see this offense every day in practice and see how much they work. Especially with the offensive line, I see how tired they are at the end of practice because they are working so hard. Everything is going to pay off. I think we had 600-something yards on offense. Credit to those guys. We are built for this. Props to them, especially Derrick (Henry) and all the other guys coming in when guys needed a breather. We played team ball today and I'm excited for what our future may be.
(on how much fun is it to win a game like this and what the excitement level was)
(Mike) Vrabel asked how many guys on this team have ever been 5-0 in this league, and there's not many. I know me personally I haven't been 5-0 since freshman year of high school. Winning is fun. You win Monday through Saturday. The way we prepare as a team, I think that's going to keep helping us get wins. You hear it all the time, winning in this league is not easy. Just to see our offense, our defense and special teams come together today and get a win, there is no better feeling getting a W and going 5-0. It wasn't easy, but at the same time we are built for it. When we go to overtime and the offense goes on the field, I had no doubt that we would score.
(on Derrick Henry's 94-yard touchdown run)
I saw it live. I saw it the whole time. I was like, uh-oh touchdown. Me personally, I didn't think he was that fast and today he showed me he's going. Props to Derrick (Henry) man, he's a workhorse. Personally, I don't think anyone works harder than Derrick and it pays off whenever we play. Props to him. That guy, he's the king.
(on his mentality this season and how much he wanted to be a force inside)
There's always room to get better, but at the same time I came into the season with the mindset that I wanted to be dominate. I wanted to help this team the best way I can. Playing defensive line is not easy, but my mindset coming into this season and into this game of football is that I'm going to give it my all. Every time I step on the field, I want to play with passion. I want to bring the energy to this defense and this team. I have a lot of room to get better. The coaches on this team are going to keep putting me in situations to keep making plays for this team. I came into the season wanting to be dominant. It's been working so far so good, but it doesn't stop here.
(on if the jersey he was wearing was his game jersey in high school or if he had it made)
I got it made. You think back to where you came from – we didn't have a big school, but at the same time, that's what it's all about – giving back and showing respect to my high school. I want to show them I haven't forgotten where I came from. I want to show the kids that it can be them on this level. It's just me wanting to give back and showing them to keep working hard. Take care of the books and everything will pan out right. I just want to show respect to my high school.