Can you just start with what this victory means for you guys in terms of staying alive in the race and your thoughts on how Trevor Lawrence played today?
As far as the victory, obviously on the road against a great football team here in Nashville, where we obviously haven't done well means a lot. Means a lot to myself, the organization, to the Khans to be able to do that, and then for the players to really play well. Listen, they bounced back from last week. You know we've talked a lot about that and how we all felt from last week and knew this was going to be a four-quarter football game. And then Trevor (Lawrence). I thought Trevor, for the limited amount of practices he played, played tough, played physical, played smart, made a heckuva – some great throws actually in this football game. And defense. The four takeaways. We were able to capitalize on three of those, I believe, in this game, and the sacks, getting pressure. All the things we keep talking about kind of showed up in this football game and I'm proud of the guys.
And what'd you see defensively with the four takeaways, what led to that?
I think pressure on the quarterback. You put pressure on a quarterback and balls tend to have to either miss the targets a little bit. And then so I think the pressure and then the guys were in the right spots and made some really critical, or key, I should say, takeaways in this football game. But hats off to the defense. It's a little bit of a rough start with them running the football, which we knew coming in that that's what they do and they do it well. But, kind of settled in the football game and handled our business much better.
The level of pride you've got in the guys?
It means a lot, the pride factor with everybody. Again, they understood last week was an embarrassment and we don't ever want to coach and play that way. Victories like this start in practice. And the way the players handled themselves this week, I thought was really, really good. We've got to do it again this week.
What about Evan Engram today? Was he going to be a big part of the gameplan anyway?
He's always part of the gameplan. You just never know who's going to have the hot hand at times and he knew he had it there and played tough and made some outstanding catches, made some outstanding plays, and played well today.
Coach, I think Derrick Henry looked like he was going to have a day, in the first quarter at least. Was there anything that you guys did to adjust to fix that?
We talked all week about it's going to take 11 on defense to stop this running game, and it's a really good run game. And we were able to do that. Penetration, getting some guys in the backfield on the early downs to trip him up. I'll say this too, offensively when you get a lead, and I've been on the other side where we're behind and then next thing you know, you got to put the ball in the air and it kind of takes a guy like Derrick Henry out, not out of the game, but, you know, minimizes his opportunities. So just a great job. Our defense, after that first quarter and a half or so of doing that.
Trevor (Lawrence)'s I guess kind of shown he can put this team on his shoulders and carry them when needed. Against the Ravens and certainly today when the run game is not working. Is there any question you have left about him that he hasn't answered yet?
Other than winning a Super Bowl? I'll tell you this. He's been able to handle everything. And now he's battling the injury this week and put the team sort of on his back like he did again today just shows the type of player and person that he is and how tough he is. He's the right leader for us. And, we're excited to have him as our quarterback. And he can only get better, you know, and that's the, I think, that's the one thing that I'm most encouraged about is just how much more we can pour into him as he leads this team.
You mentioned that this game started in practice last week. What did you see from the guys that gave you a good feeling heading into today?
You know, I think the energy level, sort of the sense of urgency to, you know, the way we practice, you know, and guys were dialed in during the week. And that's just something I think we learned through the course of the year. Then in our business, too, it's a repetitive business right now. And now we've got to do it again and you got to do it even better against another really, really good football team next weekend. So I just think the attention to detail, understanding their jobs, their roles, leadership, stepping up, all of that was a factor in victories like this.
And then Travon (Walker) started the day with the forced fumble. How much do you think that really got the ball rolling for the rest of the defense?
Yeah, any time you create turnovers early and it just sets tone. Offense was able to capitalize off of that and put points on the board. It's huge and that's something we talk about every week, try to create takeaways and defense did a nice job of that today.
What did Travon (Walker) show you on that play in terms of how he was able to strip-sack (Ryan) Tannehill?
I mean, just all day, you see his athleticism. He came out of a three-point stance a little bit today, where he gets some explosion and length and there's physicality and that just, plays like that is kind of what it takes with him and that's the type of athlete he is. And I thought that not only him but Arden Key and just go right down the line. (Dawuane) Smoot, Roy (Robertson-Harris), these guys were all around the quarterback a lot. So, it was really good bounce-back week for them too.
What did Trevor (Lawrence) show you on the one-yard touchdown run?
Hold on… the one-yard touchdown run. I'll let him explain that play. Ask him. That's all I'm going to say. Ask him.
Shaq Quarterman comes in, I think, only for a couple of plays but, you know, one of the plays was huge. It forced a fumble. What does it say about a guy that could come off the bench like that and make a play for your team?
It's great for him. He has a ton of snaps, obviously with the defense. He's a special teams guy but he's one of those players that you love to have on your team. He's a core special teams player. He's a hard worker. And then he gets an opportunity, he makes a play. I'm excited for him and how he made that play. It was a great hit on a lot of big, big back. And yeah, I'm excited to see that from him.
Doug, when you don't have your quarterback on the Wednesday and Thursday of a practice week, how challenging is that for people who really don't understand and how much pressure did that maybe put on Trevor (Lawrence)'s need for like mental preparation and staying locked in despite not being out there with his guys?
It's kind of one of the things that people don't understand, too. We're very fortunate to have C.J. Beathard as our backup. We went into this week not missing a beat in practice. Meaning, you know, we didn't have to change anything gameplan-wise because C.J. was taking the reps during the week, especially early on. So really when Trevor (Lawrence) comes back, we just kind of plug and play and that's the thing about it. You don't have to go in, redo a whole gameplan, right? And then Trevor (Lawrence)'s study and his preparation mentally on Wednesday and Thursday, you know, just really kept everybody sort of locked in. We didn't have to change route combinations or plays or scheme or anything like that during the week just because Trevor didn't take snaps. And that's a credit to C.J. as backup quarterback, coming in and doing that during the week.
Talk about guys like Travon (Walker) and Josh (Allen), who have really kind of struggled to get anything going recently that they both come up being in a game like this today, how do you get them to continue that momentum going forward?
I mean, obviously, you got to show them on the tape. You got to just keep encouraging them and, you know, finding new and challenging ways each week in practice to put them in situations to benefit us on gameday. And the more, I think, the more success that they have and see themselves doing that, it kind of fuels their emotion right as they play games. And, you know, in these two guys, I mean, they're good pass rushers, great pass rushers, really and they work well together. They're complementary together of some of the games we did today. But those are all things we've got to keep working in practice. And, you know, this game is already over and we're moving on to next week so that's the way the players have to handle it too.