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Head Coach Shane Steichen


Just an injury update Braden (Smith) left the game with a knee.

With Alec (Pierce), he's been open down the field and haven't gotten chances. Good to see him finally get to have some of those?

Yeah, no question. Obviously, I think he had three for 100. And then obviously the big one there was huge at the end to get us down there at the 40-yard line. But he keeps working, he keeps grinding. It might take some time every once in a while, but today was his opportunity and he made the most of it.

What does it say about Michael Pittman Jr. just the intention he gives to keep delivering so steadily?

It's unbelievable. He's consistent every time he goes out there. I don't know what he had today, 11-for-100-and-something, I think. Just came up back-to-back games with 100-yards receiving. Just the consistency that he plays with week in, week out, his preparation he puts into it, his toughness and his physicality, it's special.

You've known Gardner Minshew II for years. What did you think of that last drive he put together for you all to get the win?

It's huge. I mean, shoot, I know it wasn't pretty the whole time. I'm saying, the whole game, right? It was back-and-forth with all that stuff. But to have that game winning drive right there, that says a lot about him, his preparation that he puts into it, his character, and the way he goes out competes. To get that game-winning drive was big by Gardner (Minshew).

It feels like you've had a lot of these kind of games, just in terms of fortitude. What have you learned about this team this year?

Just the mental toughness, you know what I mean? There's so much back-and-forth and there's so much mental swings in all these games. And just, obviously, if they get a big play, it's like, how do you bounce back from that? Same thing with us, keeping the momentum. But it's awesome to see our guys fight every single week and just keep finding ways to win.

Two blocked punts. Testament to execution and game planning?

There's no question. Big time blocks right there. Obviously, that's a huge momentum change right there for us. But testament to Brian Mason and Joe Hastings, our special teams coordinators, for getting those things wired up and obviously getting the blocks. They were big.

Did you think coming in there was opportunity for that? Did you see something?

Yeah, yeah. 

Shane, you spoke about the mental toughness. How do you think you guys built that?

You know what? I think it's just guys believing. You hear that word a lot, but it is true. You believe every time you go out, you're going to win the football game, no matter what the circumstances are, no matter what the situation is. You keep fighting and you keep going and you find ways at the end. If you believe you're going to win, you're go and win the game.

What do you think was going on in the red zone?

Yeah, credit to Tennessee. They're really good in the red zone coming into the game but we got to be better. It starts with myself down there. Obviously one-for-five, obviously we got the one at the end, but we got to be better there. Instead of kicking field goals, we've got to score touchdowns.

Was there anything to do with the how tough it was to run the ball all day?

Yeah, we knew they had a good front going into the game. We ran it good last time we played them. Today, they played good up front, credit to them, again. But again, found a way to win the game. 

Was the deep ball a specific focus this week or was it just the way things played out?

I think it just plays out. We always have shots up and if they give us the look, we obviously take them. If they're not there, obviously we check the ball down. 

Defensively they were running it pretty good in the first half. But to be able to come out in the second half and slow that down, especially in the third quarter to get back in this game...

It was huge. It was huge by our defense going out the second half and holding them to what they did. You can see the shift there, obviously, from our defense. They played tough obviously for the second half and into that overtime, holding them to the field goal there. Then obviously, gives us a chance offensively to go down and score, so it was good to see that.

What do you what do you think the defense did to adjust after those first two drives?

I think they just got it together. You know what I mean? To have the perfect answer for you. Everyone says 'Oh, the halftime adjustments, what are those?' Well, I mean you go out and execute in the second half and you go play good, and that's what our guys did. And credit to those guys in the locker room.  

What does it say about Gardner Minshew's ability to forget plays?

He does. He has that next play mentality. You know what I mean? No matter what. Obviously, he has good plays. Playing quarterback in this league ain't easy. You're going to have good plays. You're going to have bad plays. But when you do have bad plays, you come to the sideline and keep marching on. Obviously, for him to go and lead us to a touchdown winning drive, that was huge.  

Tyquan Lewis came up in the fourth quarter and overtime, what have you seen from him this year?

Gosh, just his growth, his mentality that he brings. He's been through a lot in his career with injuries and to see him out there competing on Sundays, he practices hard. Again, it always goes back to the preparation. He prepares the right way and then that stuff shows up on Sundays.

What did you tell those guys when you came off the field?

I just said I'm excited about the way they played. I'm excited for the guys in that locker room, the way they kept fighting, kept believing in each other, and finding ways to win.

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