DT Jeffery Simmons


Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020

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(on if he's played in a game before that had a first half like today's)

Man, it's obvious. They got a couple passes downfield. We've got to do a better job just by affecting the quarterback, especially on the deals when their first thing is to run the ball and you're stopping the run. But at the same time, you can still have a quarterback that can throw the ball as well, down the field to their receivers. So, we've just got to do a better job as a whole defense, you know? Especially early on in the game. We've got to be able to start fast, especially get off the field, get the ball back to our offense so they can get the field advantage and score points.

(on if he was surprised by how the game went and how uncharacteristic it was for the team)

We talk about a playoff style of football, especially on defense. Let's fly around and have fun, create turnovers and things like that of that nature. You know, they came out, the Browns, you know, give props to them. They were making more plays than we made so it wasn't more surprising. It was just like, let's get back, let's settle down. Especially with me, you know, when they got a first down and just a dumb penalty after the play. I've just got to be smarter with that and stuff like that. We can't hurt ourselves. When it comes down to playing football, especially on defense, one little thing, one little mess up could mess up a whole play. So, everybody is doing their job – up front, linebackers and in the secondary. Like I said, we've done it before. We just play our style of football and we'll be just fine.

(on the frustration level and how the team overcomes a loss like this after two big road wins)

It's always frustrating losing. I never like losing no matter what it is, and I know this team doesn't like losing. It's always frustrating losing, but at the same time, this league don't stop because we lose. We have to watch film, get corrections, especially how can we – the way we played that second half – how can we translate that to the first half to make sure we don't get behind so we can play the game ahead and make sure we aren't trying to fight back at the end of the game, just to try to get a stop and get a score. I mean, time ran out and like I said, that's not the way we play football and that's not our style of playing football, especially on the defensive side. We like to stay ahead. We like to get off the field, give the ball back to our offense. That's pretty much what it is. We've just got to figure out how can we that second half of football translated to that first half football. That's basically what it is. We played our style of defense and offense. Everything came together that second half. But like I said, it was just too late. We can't do that playing this game of football, especially against a team like that, the Browns.

(on if the continued third-down issues are a fixable problem or just something to make do with)

We're just trusting the gameplan. We're doing our best trying to get in the quarterback's face. We've got to do a better job for sure, but if we're trusting this gameplan – of course you want to get off the field on third down, but at the same time it's not all sacks. It's not all about just interceptions. It's how can you affect the quarterback to cause bad throws, just get them to lob it over and you maybe get an interception. It's not all about sacks. True enough, we want sacks, but we're going to keep trusting this gameplan. I mean, of course we struggled probably today but we're not a bad team on third down. Earlier in the season, we were like, 'Dang, we've got to get off the field,' but we didn't have great games where we got off the field on third down. We have been up and gave the ball back to our offense. So, it's just not one thing where we suck on third down. We've just got to play all solid defense on third down and first and second down and everything will fall into place.

(on if there's danger in putting credence into a second-half turnaround)

I think when we say, 'We've got to do what we did in the second half,' that's playing to our identity and that's getting off the field, scoring and stuff like that. It's not anyhing the Browns were doing. We were just doing a better job on defense, and offense and special teams. We got back to playing our style of football as the Titans on defense, offense and special teams that second half. That's what we're talking about. Let's translate the second half to the first half.

(on if he was surprised the Browns went as pass-heavy as they did today)

They tried to run the ball. They came out trying to run the ball. We were shutting it down but that's just like I said earlier. We have to be able to. Especially up front. We have to be able to affect the quarterback. That's why I'm like, it's not all on third down because they were throwing the ball on first and second down and getting big gains. So, we still have to find a way to affect the quarterback, translating our rushes faster and stuff like that. I mean, a team's going to do that. Especially playing with the defensive line we have and the linebackers as a whole defense. We came in this game, 'Let's stop the run,' but also 'We don't want to give up the big plays.' We're going to be better. We've got to put this game behind us. We're going to do the corrections and get the corrections. I mean, it's the NFL. People, or just football itself, if you can't run the ball, you're going to throw the ball. If you can't throw the ball, just keep trying to run the ball. We've just got to be better on defense as a whole.