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Head Coach Mike Vrabel


How do you evaluate a win like that?

"I don't think there's much to evaluate right now. I think it's just enjoy the victory, enjoy the heart, that football team, the compassion that they play with for each other and the loyalty they have to this football team. It's a grind. There are guys that are banged and beat up, but they find a way. I appreciate it, and again, I tell you this all the time, I'm so humbled and honored to be their coach."

How did you encourage the team to come back from losing 14-0?

"It's still early, you know what I mean? Still early and, again, you don't have to look too hard to see why you're in that position, next play, had a turnover. So, things that we've talked about all week and most of the year, but there's no secret pep talk. I would love to say that there was some special pep talk that we gave. It was - we can only take a couple of punches. Let's settle down and try to make a couple of plays and see if we can get this thing back in the right direction, find a way to get a score."

How big was the fourth-down stop for momentum?

"It was huge and again, (Colts Head Coach) Frank (Reich) - it wasn't like we went into the game thinking that they wouldn't go for it on fourth down. So, give them credit for the ones that they converted, but obviously give our defense credit for coming up with that huge stop."

How much did the choke penalties bother you in today's game?

"I think when they're not called correctly it bothers me. It also bothers me when we don't play with correct technique. So, you know, those are things that hurt you. We talk every week. It's like you guys could come up here and talk. It's turnovers, it's 'X' plays - the first play of the game, we just wait to see if (Colts RB Jonathan) Taylor releases and if we don't go out there with him if they're going to throw him the ball. Yeah, he's fast. We know he's fast. So, those are the things. Then with some of the penalties, we just got to continue to focus on that and understand how much of an impact that they could have on the game."

What did you think about your huge defensive plays, the one by Elijah Molden and the one by Kevin Byard?

"Fantastic. Elijah (Molden) probably could have been better on the first play of the game, but to his credit he just goes in there and keeps playing, keeps plugging and keeps helping us. Great pressure forcing them into a mistake and Elijah was there to capitalize. Then, you know, Kevin (Byard) was frustrated. Kevin could have been better there at the end of regulation. He made a great check and alerted David (Long Jr.) to what was going on, you saw David kind of run with him, and Kevin was able to come out of the post, make a good call and, you know, just a huge play." 

This is the third game going into overtime, what does that say about the team?

"I just think that's this whole thing about not being a front runner. You know what I mean? You've probably been a part of some teams where you go down 14-0 and guys are bitching and complaining trying to start fights on the sidelines. I never worry about that stuff. These guys are confident in their abilities to make plays and come back. You don't want to be in that position, but if you find yourself in that position there's only one. If we put ourselves in that position, we're the ones that have to get ourselves out."

What are your thoughts on currently having a lead in winning the division?

"I think that there's a way to have a lead in the football game and a lead in anything in life, and still be aggressive, still come to work and still improve. We're a long way off and I hope that doesn't get written about. We're going to concentrate on coming back here and going on a road trip and getting some rest. That's the biggest thing, we have to get some recovery."

Can you walk us through the 57-yard play by A.J. Brown after the interception and fumble-recovery?

"I mean, we weren't fortunate enough to cause the fumble, but you know, he stumbled, and it was a correct call. It wasn't like he gave himself up, so he stumbled, and the ball came out. When you run to the football good things happen. We were able to recover it and then capitalize the very next play."

How is Derrick Henry doing?

"We'll see where he's at and evaluate. He's excited for our football team, he'll tell you that, I'm sure, if given the opportunity to talk to him, but again, there's a lot of us that have to get some recovery and some rest."

How is Bud Dupree continuing to be an impact player?

"He continues to work, continues to help us and it looked like he showed up a little bit today. I have to go back and look at the film, but I was excited, and I think he started to feel better. So, that can't do anything but help us."

How important was it to be aggressive on the fourth downs in the second half?

"I mean, it's hard. These guys- they're a good football team coming in. So, I just felt like trying to be somewhat calculated and figure out when we could take chances, and again, a lot of that has to do with field position. If it's fourth-and-six, it's a little different story than fourth-and-one. I felt good about the call and obviously, the guys that executed."

Does it frustrate you for players to make careless mistakes?

"Which ones are you referring to? We'll talk about them." 

Can we review the play where Jeffery Simmons hit a Colts player in the back?

"Just blow the whistle, you know what I mean? There's four guys on him. Jeff's (Simmons) going to go at a full tilt to the tackle. I felt like it was a late whistle. I'm not saying it wasn't a penalty, I felt like it was a late whistle. We've been down this road before and you either blow the whistle or it's a player safety issue, but Jeff has been coached, trained and taught to run the football until the whistle. There were far too many guys on that tackle not to blow the whistle sooner, so we'll have to keep coaching Jeff, but just so you know, the league said that in Jacksonville, when he was running to the ball, that shouldn't have been a penalty, so he's going to keep running to the football."

Did you think Amani Hooker turned to the ball in the defensive pass interference call?

"Let's take a look at it and review. Let's take a look at it and see how much contact there was."

Then Kevin Byard when he grabbed a guy by the neck?

"He was saving a touchdown."

Were late flags and whistles a trend for today's game?

"I mean, they flag whenever they're confident. I just think it's mind boggling that I have to challenge a catch A.J. Brown makes in the middle of the field. Mind you, there's seven officials, and there's a replay official and how many countless of other people, and I have to challenge? Like I had to pull the flag out and throw it at that point in time. So, again, we're going to have to get better. The penalties will hurt you. The block in the back, the hold there when we're in field goal range, that bothers me much more. That has to get fixed much more than an aggressive penalty there on third down or deeply in the back part of the field. Like, hey, we're trying to win the football game. We were just trying to get a couple of yards, kick it and we had a penalty.

What did you see on Kevin Byard's defensive pass interference?

"I just know that there was somebody behind him and he was doing whatever he could do to keep him out of the end zone."

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