TITANS HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT
(On coaching the Senior Bowl)
"It was a great experience. I think you get an opportunity to spend a lot of time with these players outside of just a 15-minute meeting in Indianapolis. Plus you get to see them do things on the field so it's a great experience."
(On Zach Mettenberger)
"We've already talked about going back through the season and evaluating it start to finish. We're going to compare where he ended the season with these young guys in the draft. Zach did a lot of good things for us last year. With the way the year went and where we are in the draft, you have to put the time in on the guys that are coming out."
(On evaluating college players)**
"It's hard because when you get into your season, you're so wrapped up in your season and you don't have a lot of time as a coach to spend on college players. From guys we saw at the Senior Bowl to what I've seen on a little tape, there are a lot of explosive athletes that can make some plays. That's what you saw in last year's draft class, guys making plays. That's exciting because a lot of this league is about throwing the football. You need a quarterback but having some of those guys outside that can win and make those plays is important to."
(On receivers being more "pro ready" out of college)
"I don't know if you can say they're more ready, but there are more receivers getting more reps in college football now because more teams are running the spread offense."
(On why it's so hard to find a good quarterback)
"If you look through the course of history at that position, all the guys that have been drafted, the success rate has probably been pretty consistent. Whether you're playing a conventional offense or playing a spread offense, that transition to the NFL is a jump. There's a lot more that you have to handle as a quarterback in the NFL. Some guys can do it and some guys can't."
(On Matthew Stafford)
"It's hard for me to talk about players that are on other teams. From what I saw of him as an opponent and a guy through the league I know he's a good football player and does a lot of good things."
(On watching Lions success after choosing to coach Titans)
"It wasn't difficult. I'm a huge fan of Martin Mayhew and a lot of guys in that organization. There's a lot of guys on that staff, coach Caldwell I'm a big fan of his. I was excited for them and their organization."
(On the importance of finding a quarterback to stabilize the offense)
"That's the thing in the NFL now, having one of those guys. Trying to get one of those quarterbacks that can make a difference like that. Everybody is working to do that. We're in a position this year where we have an opportunity to get that position settled for us."
(On his discussions with Zach Mettenberger)
"I think Zach is aware of what's in front of him. I think he knows what he needs to do in terms of working and preparing. He also has to understand what this process is all about. Zach is very motivated because of where he was drafted based off of what he thinks of himself and I like that. If you think about where he was when we got him from an injury perspective, from his ACL and how he battled and some of the things he did, you have to give him credit for that. He did a nice job. This whole process going forward we're open about what we're trying to get done. I think communication is an important thing."
Titans brass continues the evaluation process at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. (Photos: Gary Glenn, AP)
(On what he wants to see in the interviews with Winston and Mariota)**
"That 15 minutes is just a part of the process. When you're talking about the number two pick, whether it's a quarterback or another position, the process the next couple of months is about spending time with them and finding out a lot about them. This is just the first opportunity to do that. The chance to see them on the field making some of the throws you want to see is an important part of it, but it's not a decision maker the first time we get it. You've got to spend a lot of time with these guys to understand how they process things, how they handle different situations, what they're thinking about when they get to the line of scrimmage. When you get to this level, there are so many things going on from that position that you have to handle."
(On if he is pushing for a quarterback at #2)
"It's a conundrum because if you don't have the left tackle to protect the guy, or have the pass rusher to get your defense off the field, or have a lot of those things, sometimes it doesn't matter what your quarterback can do. But it's an important position. It's one for us, that the Tennessee Titans make the right decision going forward. We have to do what we feel like is the best for us at the quarterback position. You weigh that against potentially what else is available. If there's somebody that you think is a guy like a J.J. Watt that's there and make that kind of impact on the game, you have to take all those things into consideration."
(On different journeys for different quarterbacks)
"You never know. Look at Kurt's (Warner) journey to the NFL, and what he had to go through to get to where he is now, in my mind a Hall of Fame player in this league. You don't know. There're so many things out there, which is why it's such a tough position to get guys who can do it. Sometimes it's the intangible things that these guys can do. As far as the ceiling, you just don't know. Through the years, it's been problematic."
(On calling plays as a head coach)
"You can make cases for both sides of it. I know there's some discussion about that now. A lot of it is if you're going to call plays, who you have on your staff and trusting them to help you with situations throughout the course of a game. If you have to step away from calling plays, who would take over that during the course of a game. You have a comfort level with your staff. There's a lot that goes into those decisions. We have a lot of confidence in our staff on game day and making adjustments."
(On evaluating mobile quarterbacks)
"It's a piece of it. I don't know that it's the overriding factor in deciding who can play. Some of the best quarterbacks today aren't what you'd call mobile quarterbacks. Some of the other guys are. I think you adjust what you do to fit the skill set of the guys that you have. It comes down to how they process. As a quarterback you look at so many different looks each week. You have to be able to see everything, process it, get everyone on the same page and then execute your assignment."
(On bringing in Dick LeBeau)
"Knowing Dick hand having worked with Dick before, the most important part was him feeling comfortable with us. He had a lot of opportunities and we feel very fortunate to be able to get him. Ray (Horton) was one of his protégés for lack of a better term. It was important to Dick that Ray was there and was involved in it. Ultimately, Dick has the say over the defense and we're going to work through all that this spring. Part of the reason we were able to get coach LeBeau is that he's comfortable with the guys on our staff. That chemistry is important. We feel like having a coach like him makes us better. We're fortunate it worked out the way it did."
(On the process of getting LeBeau)
"I started on it early. It was a process to go through but I felt like my relationship with coach after all these years, we've had success together and we're looking forward to doing the same thing going forward."