HEAD COACH JACK DEL RIO
(on General Manager Gene Smith's first draft class)
I really haven't taken the time to compare it, contrast it with the league. I know, we're playing a bunch of young guys. I think Gene Smith and the scouting staff and the coaches that work on it as well, I think we all put in a lot of good effort and came out of it with a productive rookie class. Their paying dividends now because a lot of them have been forced into action or have earned their way into action and have done a pretty solid job of getting better each week.
(on DT Terrance Knighton)
He's been a nice wide-bodied, athletic guy that's come in and more than held his own. As we've started this year, I think he's a tough guy to move. He's got good balance, he stays on his feet and he likes to play. He likes to play and from the day he got here he's been kind of quiet. He doesn't say a whole lot, just kind of goes about his business. He's certainly helped our run-front.
(on the Titans' quarterback situation)
Whichever opponent we prepare for, we understand that there's a backup that could enter the game if anything could or should happen during the course of the game. We're always prepared. This week won't be a whole lot different. We've played against Vince (Young) in the past and obviously we've seen Kerry (Collins). They're both capable quarterbacks and we know they like certain things out of each, but we're not going to get carried away with it. We're just going to do our normal preparation.
(on the Titans being desperate for a win)
We're never a team that's going to sit around and chase ghosts. I think for us, our preparation, we pride ourselves on good, solid preparation. We have a checklist we work through. We're going to dutifully go about our work and understand that we had time to prepare as well. Both teams are coming off the same situation, coming off a bye. Both teams, I'm sure, are looking to be sharper this week than they were last time out.
(on the offense becoming more balanced and not as much run-oriented)
Certainly, having Maurice (Jones-Drew) and Fred (Taylor) was a luxury. I mean, we had one of the better combo's in the league. Two super players back there. I think right now offensively, Maurice obviously continues to be a great player for us. I think we've had some receivers emerge and be productive guys that are also trustworthy guys for David (Garrard). I think that's the biggest thing that we're feeling as an offense is that we have more than just a weapon in the backfield and feel like those guys are improving. In some cases it's with youth like Mike Thomas, a younger guy. He's improving every day on the practice field and giving us a chance.
(on if Rashean Mathis' cast will hinder his performance)
He's got good hands. He's found a way to show up when he needs to on Sunday's. I'm going to know more about that thing Friday when he visits with the doctor. I think we'll have to hold off right now on any speculation or discussion until I learn more. Rashean over the years has played through some things when he's had a bump here or there, he's made it in the game. He's been a guy that's really been dependable in terms of preparing himself and getting himself mentally ready even though he may not take some of the practice snaps. We'll just continue to go through the work this week and see where we are on Friday.
(on Tyron Brackenridge and Scott Starks playing more in the nickel package if Rashean Mathis can't play)
We think they're both capable. We'll just work through it the best we can.
(on preparing for Kerry Collins and Vince Young)
Without sitting here and getting into game planning things, I think obviously they're a little bit different. One's a little more mobile, one's a little more accurate. Kerry's more of a pure pocket passer. They both have led that team there to many, many wins over the years and we know they're both capable.
(on how long it took the team to adjust to not having Fred Taylor and just Maurice Jones-Drew in the backfield)
I don't know that that's really been anything that anybody's adjusted to. I think for the most part we're just operating as a football team, looking to move the chains and score points. I really don't think that that's a conscious thought for anybody.
(on the best way to handle a quarterback controversy)
I think each situation has to be handled on a case-by-case basis. I think each organization, each team, each head coach needs to work with his staff and make the determination he thinks is best for the football team. I don't know that I've ever seen it handled successfully any other way.
(on the growth curves for OT Eugene Monroe and OT Eben Britton)
They've done a nice job. They played early. Eben got banged up and missed a little bit of time, but he's back at full strength. I know Eugene had the flu and he missed a little time. They're both back and are both continuing to improve. Like we were talking about with Terrance Knighton, Derek Cox, Mike Thomas, some of these young guys that are playing, they're getting better. Every day in practice they're working hard and getting a little bit better. As a football team we need to do the same.
(on the excitement of having guys with room to improve)
It's definitely refreshing, I think in some cases to have guys with that youthful exuberance around. I think there are other times when it can be frustrating because a veteran guy has more things figured out and is less prone to make rookie mistakes. That's why they call them rookies. It's always a blend. I think right now we're enjoying the fact that we've got an eager group that's worked hard, that's been very committed and we are seeing signs of improvement. I think we recognize that we've got so far to go. We're just going to keep our heads down and keep grinding.
(on Texans TE Owen Daniels and Colts TE Dallas Clark)
I think the Titans have some tight ends that are weapons as well and we like to think we do as well. This is a division that has good tight end play in it and certainly they can present problems for your defense. We're seeking to build that with the development of Zach Miller, Ernest Wilford and Marcedes Lewis on our team. I know Tennessee is doing the same with their group. You know, I think one thing that Indy has done a great job of is playing to the strengths of Dallas. I think Owen Daniels in Houston is really the same situation where they've really played to some of the strengths of those guys and done a nice job with them.