TITANS at COLTS
Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020
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"Just to start off with injuries, obviously (Anthony) Castonzo had the knee and then Khari Willis had the back and the quad. Obviously, tough loss, came in here feeling confident, feeling prepared and was just a very poor effort – got outplayed, got outcoached, really in all three phases, so not good enough. We have to learn from it – a loss is a loss. We talk about not riding the wave, that means whether it's a win or a loss, we have to learn from it and move on. Give the Titans credit, they came in here with something to prove, and they did that."
You've never used personnel and people not being in there for a reason, so what goes into the fact that each side of the ball just really didn't get it done today?
"We did not execute. We just didn't do the little things we talk about. In big games, it's about doing the little things right, and we didn't do that in all three phases. We have to learn from that and get better. We had times that we have done that right in big moments, today we did not do that right in the big moments."
Is it fair to say you did miss Ryan Kelly, DeForest Buckner and Denico Autry?
"It's the NFL. They have injuries too, so both teams are dealing – everyone is dealing with it this time of year."
How weird of a week was it for you guys? You have DeForest Buckner on the COVID-19 reserve list on Wednesday, you're waiting for Denico Autry, you have a lot of guys with the injury bug and then yesterday you rule out Ryan Kelly, Jonathan Taylor – it had to be one of the more challenge weeks you had this season in terms of getting to Sunday.
"I totally get it that that is what it probably feels like from the outside, but inside it doesn't feel strange to me. You're in this game long enough, you go through things like this. You go through injuries. You go through weird situations. Obviously, it's 2020, so it's a little different this year than other years. But the bottom line is circumstances – as a team we talk a lot about, we can't allow circumstances to dictate what we're about. In changing circumstances, that's one I'd like to think that we're going to be at our best and we were not at our best today."
You have to adjust to losing certain personnel. When you lost Anthony Castonzo, how did you feel you guys reacted to that – Le'Raven Clark in there? How did Danny Pinter play in Ryan Kelly's absence?
"Obviously, I have to look at the film hard but in the course of a game, and I know you guys appreciate this, that on the sideline when a guy gets hurt, there is never any, 'Uh oh, what are we going to do now?' I get the training staff come over to me and say, 'Hey, (Anthony) Castonzo is out,' so we're good. We just move on. Le'Raven (Clark) has had reps, our guys have had reps, so you literally don't flinch. You do that for two reasons: number one, first and foremost, you believe in those guys. You believe in the guys that are coming in. We've had winning experiences with those guys. Secondly, that's just who we want to be as a team, but we have to learn to do that. That's not something that's ever given. We can do it one week and there is no guarantee you do it the next week. I literally felt like we came in at half and played about as bad a half as we could play. We're down 21 (points) and I really thought we were going to come back and win the game even though it felt like there was no way. You just play it one play at a time. Our defense came out and really played some good football in the second half and gave us a chance. We just couldn't get it going offensively in the second half, so that was the story."
I'm sure Anthony Castonzo is headed for an MRI, but any word on severity?
"I don't think it's the worse-case scenario. That's all I know for right now. I'm not feeling like that's the case."
What did you see from your run defense, trying to control the line of scrimmage today?
"It was rough in the first half. They obviously – we've talked about it, they have the best rushing attack in the NFL, the best back in the NFL. We knew it would be a challenge. I thought we handled it better in the second half, but we have to play better team defense for 60 minutes."
Obviously, they've been very successful running the ball, but you guys have shut down attacks like that too. Why is it that this team seems to do the best job against your defense running the ball?
"They are good, they are well coached, they have good players. I give them a lot of credit, but one thing we talked about here in the locker room a second ago was – when we play our style of football, when we play the way we know we can play, we've proven that we can stop anybody but just doing it for 30 minutes is not good enough. We have to do it for 60 minutes."
Does Quenton Nelson look like the same guy he has been the last couple of years? He had the holds last week, it looked like he was beat a few times, maybe he's playing through some injuries.
"I'll have to see the tape from today. 11 games now into the season, just as I evaluate how he's played in 2020, you look at his grade week-in and week-out – he's grading out very well, so I think he's playing good football. You play enough snaps, you get into a game like this – they have good defensive tackles, so you're going to get beat every now and then, but still I think Quenton (Nelson) is the best offensive guard in the league."
Having Rodrigo Blankenship kickoff, what is up with that? Is Rigoberto Sanchez dealing with something?
"Yeah, Rigo (Rigoberto Sanchez) is dealing with a physical issue that we have to get further evaluated. Rod (Rodrigo Blankenship) did a nice job stepping up. I give Rigo a lot of credit for the way he punted today and for really coming through for us when we needed him the way that he did. Then Rod, when Rigo wasn't able to kickoff, Rod stepped in there and did a great job."