Postgame Quotes: Titans at Texans

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**

HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT**

(on injuries during the game) "Zach (Mettenberger) has got a shoulder (injury).  He's being evaluated. Justin (Hunter) was hit in the stomach.  He's being evaluated as well.  They took him to the hospital just to check him out. Chance (Warmack) had an ankle."

(on WR Justin Hunter's injury happening early and if there was discomfort throughout the game) "Yeah, it got worse.  He came back in and played.  We thought he was OK.  He came in, and we checked him out.  It got worse in the second half.  That's why we got him checked out."

(on if WR Justin Hunter pulled up on the play he got injured on)  "I couldn't see it. I was looking to the other side.  I never saw a look on the screen.  You can't tell from the stills.  That was a misread to be honest with you because the safety was on the hash.  Those are some of the things we've just got to get past."

(on what was going on with WR Justin Hunter to be taken to the hospital)  "His stomach.  He wasn't feeling good.  That's the procedures that the doctors are following."

(on if he is concerned about it being something internal) "I don't know.  Like I said, I believe there's a procedure that they're following based on that.  We'll have more information later."

(on if this is the low point of the season so far) "It's not the high point.  I think that's safe to say."

(on issues with the offensive line) "You know, obviously we didn't make plays.  I think that was in the first half.  I mean, I can think of three drops that could have converted drives or kept things going offensively.   We missed opportunities to get off the field against them on that first drive.  So yeah, I would have to say that we didn't start out very well the first half.  We obviously didn't handle the situation very well.  We came out in the second half and at least started with a good drive, and then turned the ball over.  Then our defense responded with a touchdown and cut it to ten.  You know, it was not a great performance by us."

(on what the Texans did in their passing game to allow QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to have such a good day)  "I don't think we got much pressure on him.  He had a lot of time to throw.  When you can do that, you can sit back there and make some throws.  That's the product of a lot of things."

(on what happened with T Michael Oher)  "Well, Michael didn't practice all week. He told us before the game.  Yesterday we talked about it before we left.  We said, 'We've got to know are you going to be able to go.'  He felt better.  He did something Saturday in our practice before we left.  Everything was going fine until before the game.  He said he felt something pop.  So he was out which is not anything like what we had anticipated happening.  So that left us with only six guys which obviously makes it difficult."

(on his decision where to play T Byron Stingily and T Will Svitek) "Well that was something you guys saw at practice.  We flipped them on Wednesday and then flipped them the way they were in the game on Thursday because both felt more comfortable playing those positions.  Based on what we'd seen, as far as how they played it, you knew (DE) J.J. Watt went everywhere, but he lines up most of the time on the right side.  So that was the thinking behind that. We certainly didn't want those guys going into the game feeling like they weren't playing their best positions."

(on if the penalty on the veteran starting lineman following G Chance Warmack's injury is indicative of the season the Titans are having) "Yeah, you know, to top that off even worse, is he's the guy that taps the center to snap the ball.  So he's certainly aware of the count.  That's a good illustration of failings that we've had this year."

(on QB Zach Mettenberger's condition) "He's being further evaluated.  We'll get more progress on it as we go."

(on what QB Jack Locker saw on his first pass in the game) "I think he mistook it for man because he's supposed to work the other side versus zone.  It's probably a little bit of rust."

(on WR Kendall Wright's taunting penalty) "I asked Kendall, and he said he didn't say anything - the guy grabbed him around the shoulder and the neck area.  We talked about that last night because this crew had been one that had called some personal foul penalties.  So we were aware of that and yet we still had a couple called on us today.  Like I said, I immediately went to Kendall and asked him about that, and he told me that wasn't the case.  Like I said, if we see the film, maybe that will show something different, but I don't know that it does."

(on if he had ever seen pass interference called on both teams) "I've never seen that."

(on if the drive that followed CB Jason McCourty's play was their chance to get back in the game) "I thought it was.  At that point, we'd taken the opening drive and gone down and scored a touchdown.  After McCourty got it, then we cut it to ten.  Then they drove down after that, didn't they? If could have gotten out there with the ball down ten in the mode we were in where we were actually moving the football, you thought you had a chance to get back in it.  That was the way it felt on the sideline."

(on if he has a message for Tommy Smith and the players moving forward) "Yeah, we talked about it in the locker room now, and we will continue to talk about what we need to do. We've got to get better.  We've got to play better."

(on if LB Wesley Woodyard should have been able to make a play on J.J. Watt's touchdown catch) "It looked like it was close. He had him covered, he made a good catch."

**

SAFETY MICHAEL GRIFFIN**

(on Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins) "You can't take away from a good receiver.  He came out, did his thing and he has a bright future ahead of him.  Last year he capitalized on us while we were here.  We were winning in the fourth quarter and he managed to bring them back in the lead and caught the game winning touchdown.  We knew what he was about and he just made the plays when the balls came to him."

(on Houston Texans QB Ryan Fitzpatrick) "He's a veteran quarterback.  He lost his job, but he came back as a starter and you have to keep in mind that he won ball games for them, he won ball games for us and he won ball games for the Buffalo Bills, so people try to look at him and even quarterbacks like Colt McCoy as backups.  These guys started in this league.  He did what he needed to do today."

(on J.J. Watt's touchdown and overall play) "As a defensive player you hate that situation, but at the end of the day it's football and the Philadelphia Eagles continuously try to put points on the board and at the end of the day you just have to guard them.  He motioned out, they did a different formation and we got beat to the flat, but at the end of the day do I think if that's another tight end or full back out in the flat, would we be saying something?  No, but it's J.J. Watt, probably the MVP of the league right now."

**

GUARD ANDY LEVITRE**

(on DE J.J. Watt and the Texans' defensive front) "It's always a challenge every week. It's just a matter of where and when are your battles. I don't think we won all of them today."

(on eliminating penalties) "Yeah, we've been talking about eliminating those all season and there are always things to improve on every week."

(on his false start) "That was a lack of concentration on my part. It's supposed to be a different cadence and we changed the call on the line. It slipped my mind and it's unacceptable for me to not be locked in. I have to have greater focus than that."

QB JAKE LOCKER

(on stepping in at quarterback after a few weeks off) "It's an opportunity to get on the field and you just have to make the most of them.  Anytime you get the opportunity to go in, you've got to be ready for it.  That's something that you work all week for, I had the opportunity and it didn't go the way I wanted it to."

(on how he'd evaluate his performance) "I'd like to have a few of them back, that's for sure."

CORNERBACK JASON MCCOURTY(Transcribed by ReShun Gilmore)

(on DeAndre Hopkins) "He made plays. The touchdown pass in the first half, we really had him covered pretty well. It's a fine line in this league with making a play and not making a play. He got his hand on the ball and he was able to pull that one in. When he scored on (DB George Wilson), he was right there. He really went out there and made plays for them. He stepped up big. We have to do a better job when it comes to making plays in general this entire game."

(on QB Ryan Fitzpatrick's career day) "Without a doubt, that's the thing with him. You can't get him rolling, and that's what we allowed him to do. He was comfortable. He was able to make easy reads, make throws. He had the lead the whole game, so there was really no pressure on him. He's a gunslinger. When he can just sit back there and throw the ball, that's what he's good at. We didn't do a good enough job making him uncomfortable and hitting him and making enough plays."

(on the teams' recent play) "It's been embarrassing. To go out and lose this game the way we did to not only a division opponent but a rival game. We all know how big this game is between these two organizations and to go out there and let the team down and the fans. As a team, we have to play better. We have to do a better job on defense. We were horrible in the first half on third downs and those extremely long drives which kept us on the field. We have to sustain drives. When you put this type of effort and this type of production together on a Sunday, that's going to be the result."

QUARTERBACK ZACH METTENBERGER

(on his shoulder) "Just a Grade One AC sprain right now. Getting an MRI tomorrow. But we will see. I'm a pretty tough guy; I think I will be able to come back next week."

(on if he thought the hit was late) "I am not a referee so I have no judgmental aspect of the play. He played through the whistle."

(on if Texans DE J.J. Watt said anything after the hit) "No. J.J. is a great guy. I don't think there was anything malicious about it. He just plays hard and injuries happen. For him to show that respect, it meant a lot."

(on if he felt like he was under pressure due to there being a lot of issues with the offensive line) "No. The one sack was totally my fault. Just kind of brain farted on the play. Had open guys, but held on to the ball and let them get a sack and that is 100% my fault. The guys who played, played really well early on and felt like the protection was good, did a good job of getting the ball out of my hands."

(on the early pick and what happened) "Yeah the safety, they rotated to single high. Usually when they do that they rotate more to the center of the field, and I just kind of saw them rotating and assumed that's what he did and didn't check him. If I did my job right there I'd have seen he'd hugged back on Justin's (Hunter) side and would have gone front side and hit (Chase) Coffman over the middle."

(on if he blames WR Justin Hunter for easing up on the ball) "No. Justin is a heck of a player, he is a tough kid and he obviously got laid out there and that's totally my fault. Put him in that situation."

(on if there was a chance to go back in after he was injured) "No not really. Quarterback and a shoulder is kind of a big deal. As minor as it seems right now, we will get it straightened out tomorrow and hopefully I can put myself in a situation to play next week."

(on why it's important for him to play moving forward) "You don't want a guy leading the team that's soft or not

physically and mentally tough. I know what I am. I think the guys on the team know that I'm a tough guy. For me really, it's just getting out there and get as healthy as I can and put us in a situation to win football games. That's all it is."

(on if he said anything to the o-line before the game once Oher was ruled out) "Next man up mentality. We did a really good job when I was in there. I didn't see most of the second half and what went down. Those guys played their balls off today, and really the one sack was on me."

(on how tough it is to come back from 14-0 on the road) "It's never easy going down 14-0. They came out with a long drive, put it in the end zone. First pass play for us, throw it back to them in their territory. It's really not what you want to do. It's not ideal. As I grow as a player, we have to put ourselves in better situations then what I did today."

(on the difference in the first half and opening drive in the second half) "I don't know. I mean the routes were different in the first half. I think the up-tempo took them by surprise a little bit. In the first half you know, if I make a better read on the first play, if I don't take a sack with a guy open down the field, and we catch a couple of those balls it's a totally different game."

(on containing J.J. Watt) "I mean obviously he is a heck of a player. He's putting a good case for himself to be MVP this year. When you play a guy like that you've got to understand that he's going to make some plays, and just kind of minimize and contain him so nothing is detrimental. We did an ok job of that in the first half, but I think in the second half he kind of let loose and made a couple plays."

(on if he got a chance to talk to Jake) "I talked to him after the game. I really didn't see much of the second half. That's a tough situation for a guy to go in right there. Jake's a heck of a player and a heck of a leader. He did what he could."

(on how tough it will be to regroup for the final four games) "It's not going to be tough for me. I know what type of person I am. Our win/loss is not reflective of how mentally tough we are, how hard we work. We just make dumb mistakes that keep putting us deeper and deeper in a hole. It's all about pride now, and there are a lot of prideful guys in that locker room."

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER DERRICK MORGAN

(on the defensive effort and keeping motivated) "We gave up so many big plays on defense. We didn't do what we needed to do as a defensive unit and we weren't too hot today, but I felt like we can control what we can control and it sucks to say you have to keep on working at it every week. We can't pack it in. We can't give up on the season as far as playing for something. You have to find something to play for right now and as a grown man you have to play for pride among other things. We have the opportunity to finish out the season with four games and we have to keep working."

(on QB Ryan Fitzpatrick) "I mean hats off to him, he had a great day. Five touchdowns and we missed some tackles and we weren't getting him off the target as far as pressure. It was a mixture of him making plays and us not making plays."

(on getting off the field in third down situations) "We just have to make plays. When we are in a position to make plays, we have to make them and get off the field. We can't stay on the field and have fourteen, twelve play drives and keep playing defense, so we have to get off the field on third downs."

**

TE DELANIE WALKER**

(on todays' game) "I didn't play too well. I had one catch and a drop. All the things we talked about that we cannot have, it's like a domino effect. One person makes a mistake and then it carries over to everyone else and those are the things that we have to eliminate, including myself."

(on three new guys on the offensive line trying to gather chemistry together) "That's tough, you are going against guys like J.J. Watt and some pretty good rushers that they have here in Houston. That can be really tough for the new guys to go out there and to face some really good players like that. At the end of the day though we are all in the NFL and we all have to do our job."

WR KENDALL WRIGHT

(on if DE J.J. Watt's hit on QB Zach Mettenberger was late or excessive or just part of the game) "It could have just been football, but considering I was the target that Met (Mettenberger) was throwing to on the screen, I definitely think it was a late hit. The ball was already gone. He was throwing it to me on the screen and the ball was already gone. I guess why hit him anyway? I talked to Met though in the game and he just told me he would be ready for next week. He is a tough kid and he has looked good for us. He continues to get better and he is listening. He takes control of the huddle when he is out there and we will definitely want him out there when he is healthy."

(on if QB Zach Mettenberger was upset about the hit) "The only thing he said to me was that he would be ready next week. That is the only thing he said. I didn't have to ask him any more questions. He said he would be ready next week and I'll be ready to roll with him."

(on the hit on Justin Hunter) "I wasn't over there to see the play. My main focus is to get my little brother (Hunter) healthy though. It was a real bad play and he wasn't able to finish the game, so my main thing now is Justin's health. I hope he is healthy and ready to go for next week."

(on this rivalry between Tennessee and Houston) "I am from Texas so this game always means a lot to me anyways no matter what happens. I think it is a good rivalry and I know that everyone in here wants to beat them (Houston)."

(on if the Texans were trying to embarrass them by sending out DE J.J. Watt on offense to score) "I don't know about that. They could have been trying to do that, but I can't really tell you what they were thinking. They could have just been out there calling their plays. I can't really speak to what is going on for the other side of the ball; it's not really my place."

(on the taunting penalty) "I am not sure what the ref heard there. The only thing I said was that he (Darryl Morris) was trying to break my neck. My helmet was stuck to my shoulder pads and if I would of fell wrong my neck would have probably snapped. That's the only thing I said, which was that, 'You were going to break my neck.' If anyone was watching the game, the same thing happened the next play when the dude (A.J. Bouye) slammed Nate-O (Washington) and no flag was called. I don't know what they get out of that."

(on if he hit CB Darryl Morris or touched him on the penalty) "No, I didn't hit him or touch him. I don't even know what he heard. It was face-to-face with me and whoever that guy was."

(on if this feels like the low moment in the season) "Kind of yes, but we are a positive group of guys and no matter what the record shows we come every day and work hard like we still have a chance of going to the playoffs. We continue to work hard and it's crazy that we haven't been able to find success like we have wanted to."

(on wanting to get off to a good start, but falling down 14 points) "It's tough, but it is football. We got it back to within 10 and we had our chances. We didn't make the plays we needed to make and penalties. Penalties killed us. I had one and we had quite a few other ones. We just need to win on third down and keep our offense on the field to keep the drive alive. That's really the main thing is to keep drives alive and make plays when the ball comes your way."

(on can he take any positives away from todays' game) "There are a lot of things you can take out of today's game as far as the playmaking goes. It is more of a matter of going out there and doing it instead of just talking about what we need to do. We just need to go out there and playing on Sunday and make the plays and have fun."

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