DT Jeffery Simmons


(on improving on third down)

It wasn't that bad today. I think we've just got to have better communication. We've got to contain the quarterback. As we know, we're getting ready to play against a lot of scrambling quarterbacks this season, especially game one. Everybody has to be on the same page. The rush lanes, we've got to communicate better up front. I think that's the main thing for right now. Their quarterback has a lot of scrambles. He made a lot of plays down field just by getting outside of the pocket or up the middle of the pocket and finding guys down field, and that's kind of on the defensive line. You know, either we are not on the same page or we're just not in the right rush lanes.

(on comparing this defense to last year's now that preseason is over)

I think we're taking that next step, especially when guys on the field they're doing their job the best they can do and everybody's on the same page. I feel like just the energy, the flying around, getting all 11 hats to the ball. That's what we talk about. That's just going to set us apart from other teams and other defenses. If we continue to do that, taking the next step – conditioning, knowing exactly what to do to help our defense, there's no telling how far we'll go this season. Of course, we want to take it game by game. Like I said, it's just the little things on defense. The communication, I think, has been better. The energy has been amazing this camp, and like I said it's the last preseason game. We couldn't ask for more. Like when guys were on the sideline, you still see the starters on the sideline helping the young guys out, communicating and keeping the energy up.

(on how quickly the team can flip the switch after roster cuts to get ready for the regular season)

Of course, guys talked about afterwards in the locker room. It's next game mentality. We haven't started yet all the way on the Cardinals but whenever that time comes, I'm sure Coach (Vrabel) is going to have the right gameplan in place. He's going to put us in the right position to get that win for game one.

(on the connection between him and defensive lineman Denico Autry at this point and what he's learned from him so far)

When we are on the field we have to communicate with each other, especially on passing situations. Whoever, like I talked about earlier, just the rush lanes. We have to communicate that, so of course we talk a lot. The relationship has to be good, and just everybody in our room. I didn't know Nico (Denico Autry) personally before he got here. We both went to Mississippi State, true enough. Just the relationship I have gained from him because Nico (Denico Autry)'s a vet in this game. I'm just going into my third year. I've said in interviews before that I'm still trying to learn this game, and I know Nico (Denico Autry) played a lot of snaps in this league. Each and every day, whatever it may be, he's showing me like hands technique or whatever it may be. Just props to him being the older guy in the room willing to give the younger guys his knowledge.

(on how strange it was to be out there tonight without Head Coach Mike Vrabel)

Well like Coach Vrabel says, 'It's next man up.' I don't think we were just focused on him not being here. I think we were more focused on our standards and the standard that he left, and he still has here. He wasn't here tonight true enough, but as he said to us before the game, he wants to see the Titans football. He wants to see our standard, so I think Stretch (John Streicher) did a good job. We didn't get the win, true enough, but I think coaches and the players did a good job handling the situation without Coach (Mike) Vrabel there today.

(on going against guard Rodger Saffold III and center Ben Jones in practice)

I think in this game you have to have that competitive edge. I have that, and that's me. I don't think I'll ever lose this edge. It's been me since I've been playing football. Sometimes I feel it can rub off on other guys. I can bring guys up with me by keeping the energy, by keeping the competitive spirit in me each and every day. From day one of camp, me and Rodger (Saffold) have said, 'Iron sharpens iron.' I feel like from day one of camp all the way up to now, we have gotten each other better. We've been going against each other in one-on-ones, going against each other in team reps, and just the whole line has gotten me better. Just trying to use my technique, especially when they are doubling me. How can I be better on a double because that's something I knew I needed to get better on and get better with. Just things like that they help me with, and they tell me. I'll help them with the way I play and the way I try to be disruptive. Like I said, that's what you call a team. Guys getting each other ready for what we're getting ready for in Week One.

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