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Head Coach Mike Vrabel


How does that happen on the punt protection?

Just execution on one. I think they made a really good play and timed up the motion and was able to get in there on the second one. The first one: four guys overloaded and we've got to get some depth. Again, from the picture, I would say that Stoney's (Ryan Stonehouse) got to be able to take it and help us out. I don't know that to be sure. I know that we're angled off into the overload. You can't have punts blocked and think that you're going to win games and all the other things. Punt and give credit to the defense, going out there and playing, and getting stops. I asked the guys to fight at the beginning of the week, and that's exactly what they did. It was unfortunate that they just made one more play than we did.

It looked like Josh Whyle didn't pick up the motion man on the second one. What needs to happen there?

We just need to make sure that we protect our punter, protect our quarterback, and affect their quarterback, and affect their punter. That's what needs to happen. We got guys that we're responsible for, and making sure that we get those guys blocked, and that the operation is clean.

Anything you can tell on the extra point as far as Ryan Tannehill being the holder or was is it just a miss?

He just missed, it was on the left hash. Clearly Ryan (Tannehill) did a nice job on the second one. Appreciate his ability to come in there. We're going to talk a lot about mistakes, and those happen. I'm going to try to find a way to continue to get this team to fight like they did today. Because that was, until we obviously lost, it was, I would say a pretty impressive effort to be able to compete in that back-and-forth. Give them credit as well. But proud of the way that we fought, and we lost.

Was that kind of your message to them in the locker room afterwards?

I asked them to fight at the beginning of the week, and they fought. They didn't give in. Took a bunch of punches, gave some. Unfortunately, there at the end, those add up and they made a play.

Despite the ending, the team seems to play better here. What can you say about that?

We didn't play well enough to win. But they compete and I'm proud to coach them. When they compete like that, there's some good football in there. I'm going to try to find it and eliminate the stuff that gets you beat, which is certainly missed opportunities, giving up X-plays, letting the quarterback get hit and fumble, and then having punts blocked. But there's also a lot of really good stuff in there as well.

What do you know about Derrick Henry and what can you say about his game prior to getting hurt?

I thought we executed the ability to run the football there most of the time, most of the day. Derrick (Henry) ran hard. It was fun to watch. Won't know much other than he wasn't able to return.

What do you make of the play on offense? You had some good moments but had a long stretch without being able to kind of get some drives together.

So did they.

What happened with the last X-play to Alec Pierce? Was that just a one-on-one matchup?

Yeah, they just got behind us, well thrown ball, and made a play.

You didn't seem enthusiastic about the penalty that set that up.

I thought that was a little quick, you know what I mean? I don't know. It's two guys released on the sidelines. Obviously, who would be enthusiastic about that? Asked if it was a two-step process, if he saw the illegal contact. 90 minutes into the game or 80 minutes into the game, good time to call the first illegal contact of the day.

Obviously, it wasn't illegal contact on DeAndre Hopkins in the end zone, but are you getting frustrated with the lack of consistency in the officiating?

I think Hop's (DeAndre Hopkins) got to do a little bit more. I think, again, what we're coaching there, and I think he'll tell you, is trying to come back and create that contact and get two arms on the other side of the guy. Because if not, then I think you make it a judgment. And if you're able to come back, create contact, get two arms across the guy, then that pretty much eliminates most of the doubt.

You've got a rookie quarterback leading that drive late in the game. What can you say about Will Levis at this point?

That he competes his ass off, just like most everybody else. But you see him finishing and going to cause a fumble, and all the things that you preach, and you talk about finishing longer than the guy with the ball, and somebody made a mistake, and Will (Levis) went and made up for it where they had a positive play. We got a lot of guys like that. Something to rally around and build around.

Specifically low red zone defense, what was going right for you being one-for-four?

And their success that they've had in the red zone lately and they've done a nice job. Our guys were ready to defend as long as they needed to. And I love that about them. I love that attitude and that approach. They're communicating the different combo plays, and stopping the run and not letting them run it in, and then being good on third down. They tried a screen, probably what they thought maybe four-down territory or slip a screen against pressure, made a play there. Unfortunately, they were able to find him in the end zone there at the end. A little combination beater.

Craig Aukerman wasn't ready in London when Kyle Philips fielded that punt right before the half, and his unit today wasn't ready for either of those two situations. What's his culpability in those plays?

I don't know what culpability means, but we have to be better. It starts with me, making sure that everything that we do is sound, and there's a level of execution. And then obviously be able to identify whether we've got scheme issues, or we have to move some guys around, or make some minor adjustments. And that's the case in all three phases.

After you, what goes to the coordinator?

It all is on me. It all, it starts with me. Again, when we lose, you can put it on me. Obviously, that's not good enough. We know we have to be able to protect our punters, our kickers, our quarterbacks. You lose games by having those things happen.

What was the thought process going into this game as Kyle Phillips was a healthy scratch and you played Colton Dowell over him?

Didn't play Colton Dowell over him.

You lost Jeffery Simmons and you lose Derrick Henry. Arguably the two leaders on both sides of the ball and yet both those units found ways to push forward without those guys. Is that the biggest thing you saw?

I thought they, again, we competed. Tyjae (Spears) competed and guys, they made some plays, we came back, and I'm proud of the football team. We lost. We lost a tough game, hurt for the players because there were opportunities for us to give in, circumstances, situations. Guys were into it on the sidelines. Just unfortunate we didn't win.

On that first Colts drive, their touchdown, K'Von Wallace had the unsportsmanlike conduct, you took him out and then the next play, there was a touchdown. Was that a miscommunication?

Probably just an execution, they threw the ball over our head. It wasn't a miscommunication of the taunting. Wanted to make sure that K'Von (Wallace) was able to calm down and explain. Both those safeties play and both of those guys are going to be expected to execute and help us. Wanted to explain that to K'Von and make sure that the message was clear, that I want you to play physical, and be emotional, and celebrate with your teammates, not point at the other team.

What can be done to keep these receivers from getting behind the DBs so much, because it happened twice today?

I guess we'll have to back up more, play some Cover 2 more than what we do.

What have you seen from Will Levis as far as his demeanor during games and taking accountability?

I think his demeanor has been great. I think that there's a fine line about accountability. I think, at this point in time, you're trying to fix problems or give him things to look for. 'Hey, we hit this,' 'Be alert for this,' or pressure adjustments and all those things that come with playing a rookie quarterback in just his sixth start or whatever it is, that they come up. I think his demeanor has been great on the sidelines. The ability to be upset and then be able to quickly—upset about the drive—and then get back and talk with Charles (London), talk with Tim (Kelly), talk to receivers, talk to the O-line. So, that's all a process and I think that he's handling it well. Showing emotion is all part of it.

Do you like the competitiveness of him trying to hurdle a guy to get the first down or would you rather your quarterback not put himself in that type of situation?

You've got to have something else, right? We all think that's probably not what you'd want. Again, if you love it and then those aren't going to end well. The next time, the ball comes out, or the next time, there's an injury. I think that there's ways to gain extra yards, and try to use the rules to your advantage and making sure that you're protecting yourself, sliding, giving yourself up going forward. Yes, you appreciate the competitiveness. I think we all knew that for that. But, it's also hard. Again, you just don't rep it in practice. So he probably made a reaction and just you have to be careful. I think the more of those that occur, I don't think the odds are in your favor that it ends well.

Was Tyjae Spears maybe a silver lining, the way he kind of stepped up when Derrick Henry went down?

I don't know about a silver lining. We know that Tyjae (Spears) has the ability to make people miss, the ability to catch the ball, and seen him protect. So, again, a lot of confidence in Tyjae and what he can do and how he can help us.

For Treylon Burks, I think it was like around ten snaps. Was that like a predetermined pitch count for him?

Yeah, just had been out three weeks. We talked about it pretty much all week and I wanted him to try to get back into it. But there is also a level of volume in the game plan that we felt like was reasonable for him to be able to execute and have confidence in. Player hadn't been in any meetings for three weeks. Was in a few meetings here leading up to this week and practiced. So I think it's a good place to start. Hopefully we'll be able to ramp that up and get him more as he's comfortable. That was what we tried to do.

Any word on Jeffery Simmons?

Wasn't able to finish the game, so that's all I got for you. And it was—Colton Dowell's made a big impact on special teams. That wasn't a decision. Colton Dowell is going to be active as long as he continues to have an impact on special teams as a wide receiver. We only have 48 guys that we can take to the game and have to look at what their role is potentially going to be in the game.

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