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Postgame Quotes: Titans vs. Browns



Titans Head Coach Mike Mularkey:**

Opening statement:

"How are we doing? I'm doing better now. It was a good win on the road – a very good win on the road. It was not pretty, but I like the way our guys, especially defensively, kept fighting all the way until the end. That's the one thing about this team – I'll say 'resilient' is a pretty good description of them. I knew it was going to be that kind of game. Obviously we have a lot of work to do, especially in the red zone.  You can ask questions about it – we have a lot of work to do there. We'll work on that. We'll study this bye week, but it's a good win on the road for this team."

On why today's win qualifies as 'good':

"When you win in the NFL, it's good. I'll leave it at that." 

On whether there was a doubt that Titans K Ryan Succop would make the kick:


On the mentality when getting the ball back the second time during overtime:

"Stick with the plan and try to hit it up more inside. We were getting stuffed outside, so just trying to see if we could get a run here or there."

On Titans S Kevin Byard:

"It was a great game by him. He was around the ball. It's one thing to be where you're supposed to be, but the second thing is making the play. He's been doing that. His time was coming. I didn't know he was going to get three; I don't think anybody believed he could do three, but he's always around the ball. He's having a good year."

On whether Titans TE Delanie Walker's injury will cost him some time:

"We'll see. Again, we'll see. Fortunately, with the bye, that will help us get him another week, but we'll see."

On the nature of Walker's injury:

"Sprained right ankle. There were a couple bumps and bruises – (Titans G Quinton) Spain with a big toe, and (Titans RB) DeMarco (Murray) had a shoulder, but I don't think either one of them will be a factor." 

On DeMarco Murray's performance:

"I think he was being smart with it. We tried to be smart with his play, and I think it was the right thing to do. Now, give him another two weeks and he should be back totally."

On fighting through early frustrations in order to win late:

"Offensively, again, disappointing on the goal line – very disappointing. I'll say it again – 4th and 1. If we have four downs on the one, we're going to go for it. With our offense, our backs, our tight ends, our full back – that's disappointing. With the opportunities in the red zone, we've got to do a better job. We've got to clean it up. We have to figure out what we're doing wrong. It starts with the coaching and the scheme, and then we look at the players doing it. We'll look at all of it, just like we do in the offseason. We'll look at all of it in this bye week."

On Titans K Ryan Succup's performance:

"Yeah. I would have liked to see the 53 [-yard kick] go through too; maybe it would have saved a little bit there at the end. I've seen him hit those consistently in practice, and so there's a big trust factor there. That would have helped us not have to go through what we did there at the end, but he came through when it counted. That was big."

On sitting at 4-3 at the bye week:

"I wish we were better, like everybody does. We needed that win after the Indianapolis Monday night game. I know it's one day, but it's a short week. I told (Browns HC) Hue (Jackson) again, we played him at the same time last year and basically said the same thing afterward, that he has the right formula of what he's trying to do there, and just to hang in there. They're losing a lot of close games, but he's got the right idea. We knew it was going to be that type of game."

On whether it's a matter of overpowering the line in the backfield:

"On some of them, yes it is. And then it's missing a throw there to Delanie (Walker) for a pretty easy 6. That was pretty disappointing when we missed that throw."

On taking more shots considering the Browns were missing two starters in the secondary:

"We did, and we took a number of them. If you watch, we didn't make very many plays. There were a lot of contested throws that we did not catch. Regardless of who it's against, we didn't make the plays and we needed some plays made."

On being disappointed in today's performance after coming off a week of no mental errors:

"Yeah, I mean, we need to have those plays made consistently for us to win, and for us to maybe not be in such a close game as it was. We need those guys to make those plays."

On whether the Browns showed anything unexpected on defense:


On Browns QB Cody Kessler's effect on the game:

"Well, he got them off the 1 [-yard line] and put a really good drive together for them, which, if it you don't get off it or backed up, it's typically a score for the opponent. He changed the momentum of the game by getting them off the 1-yard line to start."

On difficulty with mobile quarterbacks:

"There were times when we were unblocked and didn't even touch him. I know it's frustrating for the defender, and it's frustrating watching that happen. Again, I love the effort, but we've got to make those plays."

On how Byard is able to force turnovers:

"It's being where he is supposed to be. It's simple; it's not real complicated. He's where he's supposed to be."

On seeing Browns OL Joe Thomas go down:

"I didn't like that. I know the streak. He's a great player. I did not like that at all. I did not like to see that have to happen today. You don't want anybody to get injured, especially when he's a warrior that he is. He's a great player."

On whether Titans QB Marcus Mariota was using a hard count to pull the defense off-sides:

"No. Just a normal cadence."

On the offensive adjustments that were made today:

"Well, we didn't make some plays. We had plenty of plays down the field to make, and we didn't make them. To me, that was the difference. It wasn't about having to make some adjustments; we have to make more plays."

On the team's performance to this point in the season, setting the record aside:

"I'll say this. We've won four games. We've won two in a row, with the last one on the road. Right now, we're in a good place going into the bye. We get healthy; hopefully we get two starters back ourselves because we were down two starters as well. Hopefully we get them back and hopefully get a good study of ourselves and what we're doing offensively in the red zone where we've struggled. I think it's a good time to be where we're at."


Titans QB Marcus Mariota:**

On the road win:

"It's great. Every time you have the opportunity to get one on the road, it's always a good feeling. I think the guys in the locker room worked hard and we were able to finish it out.  Sometimes you have to grind these wins out."

On the offensive struggles:

"I think it comes down to the red zone. We're moving the ball fairly well. I thought third down was okay. It wasn't where we wanted it to be, but when we get down in the red zone we can't keep kicking field goals. We have to score touchdowns and make the most of every drive. We'll have a week to correct those things and make sure we're going in the right direction."

On the goal line problems:

"A couple of the things were negative plays and missed opportunities. I have to make the throw to (TE) Delanie (Walker) on a corner route. It is things like that and obviously those things are going to happen. The defense did a great job keeping us in the game and ultimately winning us the game. We'll go back to the drawing board, get better at those things and we'll find ways to score points."

On the overtime win:

"It's tough to win in this league. It doesn't matter who you're playing or what the opponent is. It's nice to enjoy this win and we'll have an opportunity to get better from it. We came out with the win and that's all that matters."

On FS Kevin Byard's forced turnovers:

"He did a great job. The defense overall was unbelievable. For them to keep us in the game and create turnovers was huge. They were a big reason why we stayed in the game." 

On recovering during the bye week:

"It's an opportunity to relax and reflect on everything that's happened in the first seven weeks, and get ready to go for the long haul."

On the first seven weeks of the season:

"I think offensively we've done fairly well. We've had big plays. We've done well on third down. If we get in the red zone, that's our biggest thing. We've got to be efficient and we've got to score points. As the season rolls on, we start playing playoff teams and we have to find ways to score points. I'm glad we have a week to figure it out."

On the red zone scoring fall out from last season:

"I think it comes down to us. We aren't executing to the best of our abilities. I think there are times where, including myself, we make mental errors. We have too many negative plays where we're 3rd and goal from the nine or 10 yard line, which is not where you want to be. When it comes down to it, we're doing a good job moving the ball, but just need to find ways to finish."

On the keys to scoring from the one or two yard line:

"It's communication. Everyone being on the same page. When we're able to run the football, everyone is running the same direction and we're doing a good job of it. The same goes for the pass game. We have to trust each other and make sure everyone is going to be in the right and make the most of it. When it comes down to it, we hurt ourselves when we get down there.  When that happens, it's tough to score touchdowns."

On scrambling and his health:

"I was told to play my game. It felt good throughout. Day-by-day I'll get healthier and I'll be ready to go in a couple weeks."

On Titans K Ryan Succop's day:

"That guy is money. We're very fortunate to have him. In these situations, he's done it time and time again when we call upon him to score points for us. When you have a guy like that who is consistent, it's a big weapon for us."

S Kevin Byard

On three interception performance:

"It was unbelievable. I mean I'm not going to sit here and say I came here to the game expecting to get three picks. I definitely wanted to come into the game and make the best impact that I can on this team. We tried to get a win here in Cleveland.  It was a big win going into the bye week so that was big for us.

On how it feels to make an impact:

"It feels great. One of my all-time legends is Ed Reed and I don't remember a game when he had three picks. Definitely feels good to get three but it is still a long season. We got two wins and we got to keep it going after the bye week."

On what he was thinking after his second interception:

"Yeah, I was on the sideline and they kept saying "hat trick". That third pick definitely put us in a position to get a field goal so that was big for us."

On winning the game:

"I feel good. A lot of guys want to say that the offense didn't play good today but it's a team game. When the offense is not playing well, the defense has to pick them up. I think that was great for us today. Showing that we can get a team win when the offense is not playing good. So when we're not playing well, the offense can pick us up."

On the Titans performance through seven games:

"It definitely feels good. We are on a two game winning streak. That's the best thing that we can have going into the bye week. We are definitely in a better position than we were last year. We just want to keep it going. We want to take this bye week and get our bodies right. Get focused and play Baltimore after the bye week."

On what led up to his three interceptions:

"It was a lot of film work. A lot of just sticking to my technique and a lot of work in practice. I kind of knew it today that the quarterbacks were looking down the pipe on a lot of receivers, so they weren't going to both sides of the field. I was kind of locked in on him a little bit. It paid off today."

On frustration seeing offense not taking advantage on turnovers:

"It's not frustrating. I think as a defensive player these are the kind of games that we strive for. I think that was a statement game for us. I kept saying on the sideline if our offense isn't doing well we have to keep making statements. I think that was our best game as a defense for sure."

On the win:

"A win is a win, no matter if you win by 50 or one. If you go on the road in this league and get a win, you can mark it down as a win. Our defense played lights out today. They got turnovers right there at the end and KB (S Kevin Byard) played lights out. If we have a team like that and we don't turn the ball over, we are going to win games."

On scoring points off turnovers:

"You want to score points every time you get a turnover in the red zone like that. We won the game and that's all that matters."

On Browns run defense:

"They have a good scheme. You've got to tip your hat to them. They put a lot of guys in the box and we have to make things go. We were getting two or three yards, and a couple of penalties hurt us during the four-minute drive. We know when our number is called, we have to make those guys miss. It's on us and we have to clean it up and be better next game."

On K Ryan Succop's game winner:

"We know he's going to make it. We see him every day in practice. We have the utmost respect for what he does. I know that's not an easy job to do with all of the pressure and everyone looking at you. We know he's going to make it. He does it every week, week in and week out, so when he's out there we have all of the confidence in him."

LT Taylor Lewan:

On his performance in the win:

"I've had plenty of gut-checks in four years. I just try to go out there and be the best possible left tackle that I can be and I think that's all that I can focus on. I can figure out things that I've done well and things that I can be better at and try to play as consistent as ball as possible. By doing that, I'm helping the team."

On running the ball:

"On the goal line, that's your bread and butter. I think our offensive line has been so consistent all year of making those 4th and 1's or the 3rd and 1's, and getting in the end zone. For that not to happen, there's a lot of frustration on the offensive line. We just need to do a better job run blocking. That goes for everybody. The offensive line is a huge part of it. You've got to get tight ends, receivers, everybody has to block. We just have to hold up our end of the bargain, especially when you want to run it up the middle."

On Browns DL Myles Garrett:

"The kid's going to be a good football player. I think he had three sacks in two games and my goal was to keep it to three sacks in three games.  I think I did that. It was a solid day at the office for sure, but I told him after the game that he was going to be a hell of a player."

WR Rishard Matthews

On the offensive performance:

"A win is a win.  When you can come into another opponent's house and get the W, it doesn't matter who the opponent is, that's a good thing."

On the feeling going into the bye week:

"We feel straight. We wanted to come here and get a W. It doesn't matter how we got it. We get to go into the bye week with a W and we are fresh a little bit. We'll come back and build off of this momentum."

On if the Titans have played their best football yet:

"I mean, it's a hit or miss. I feel like we have at certain times. Today, obviously, we didn't and I think we all feel that way.  When you get a W, that's what it's all about."

On struggles in the red zone:

"Missing plays, assignments, but we'll get it together. We'll move forward we'll be better."

OLB Derrick Morgan

On the win:

"It was just one of those games where it came down to the defense. Inevitably, it came down to the defense and finishing out the game. A close game like that where we are trading field goals, there is a very small margin for error. We got to play smart football and we did a good job of finishing the game."

On S Kevin Byard's three interception performance:

"He came up really big for us when we needed him. I mean, I have never been a part of a game where somebody had three picks. I am just proud of him."

On mentality of the defense:

"We just had to finish that game. We knew it was going to be on us to close out that game. We did a good job giving the offense good field position and they were able to come down. (Titans K Ryan) Succop kicked the game winner. It was the same mentality of closing out the game and finishing how we started."

The Tennessee Titans take on the Cleveland Browns in Week 7 at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

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