TENNESSEE TITANS POSTGAME QUOTES - SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2015
TITANS HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT**
"Obviously a good day for us, we got good news on Delanie [Walker], his hand is not broken, that's what we thought on the field, so we'll get him back. I don't know how long that's going to be, we'll know more as the week progresses. A lot of good things today, but we still have a lot we have to clean up, a lot of things we have to work on. If we didn't learn anything from last year then that's on us, so we just got to get back to work and move on to next week."
(On Marcus Mariota's performance)
"It was good, he did a nice job, he handled himself well, and hopefully we'll clean up some of the things that stopped us from a couple of those things. We had penalties, we shot ourselves in the foot a number of times in the preseason, a little bit of that carried over so we have a lot to work on."
(On what stood out about Mariota's performance)
"He ran the offense, we had a lot of guys make plays though. Kendall [Wright] had a great day, he ran the football effectively at times, Delanie [Walker] made some plays for us; I mean we had a lot of guys make plays and that's what we've been doing in camp. That's what we've done in preseason games. We started fast, which that's one of the things we haven't done on the road in the preseason, so that was our focus coming in here, and it made a big difference for us."
(On getting a fast start)
"Well our fast start obviously, we went down and scored, got points and then our defense picked the ball off and that makes a huge difference, and then we scored again. So we're up three scores before you know it, and that's a huge difference."
(On Mariota's transition so far)
"He was excited to play, once again I've said this about Marcus - you know he's been on the big stage before, he's worked very hard. I think what he did in camp working out of the pocket has helped him prepare, and he threw it accurately and made good decisions so it was good day for him."
(On Mariota being better today than in the preseason)
"No, he's been pretty consistent the whole time, he's a good player, we're excited to have him on our football team.
(On first regular season game)
"It was a good start, I'm not going to lie to you, I got asked this question last week about would it be good to get a win after last season and I said, 'Well we won some in preseason,' and I really was just trying to mask the fact that there's no substitute for winning a regular season game, and for us to go on the road and do that - it was big for us. But we don't want to get too wrapped up in that. We played well today but in this league you got to do that week in and week out I think one of the things that's been a characteristic of our team is the way they work the whole camp. I said that consistently and that's we got to get back to. We got to go back in and work tomorrow and just keep going."
(On the defensive plan)
"I just let [Defensive Coordinator] Dick LeBeau do it, you guys all said he was good against rookie quarterbacks, you guys like the statistics you through that out there on us. Our guys play well, they played disciplined football and our secondary made some plays, obviously Coty [Sensabaugh] that was big getting the pick early, obviously a huge accomplishment, but we were able to get pressure, we didn't do a great job tackling that's one of the things we got to do better. Good [running] back [Tampa Bay's Doug Martin], got to give him credit, he's a really good back. But we played good coordinated defense today."
(On team this year)
"I think we had a pretty confident group anyways, just based off of what I've seen, from the way they work but it always validates the hard work that you put in it's a good feeling when you work this hard, especially with all the negativity that's been going for a while. You work this hard and you see good results from that, so it helps."
(How important are turnovers for your team this year)
"It's something we talked about all preseason, we've done a good job at getting some turnovers and scoring touchdown off those turnovers and that's one of the things I said in preseason that I said was really good and today that worked for us."
(On Bishop Sankey's performance)
"Bishop had a good day I mean he ran tough today and he made some good runs and I liked the way he finished his runs we weren't great blocking, we had a couple of penalties earlier and they even took back some runs and then when we substituted later in the game we had some new guys in there we we're not super coordinated. It hurt us a little bit with Terrance [West] in there because his footwork was off on a couple of those goal line plays, but those are all things that we can continue to work through."
(On Anthony Fasano's touchdown)
"Well Fasano is supposed to get in, so that's how it's supposed to work. It's one of the plays we worked on. You guys have seen him in training camp we didn't show him in preseason and different variations of it. Marcus lets to do it, but let's go back to the first third down, that was an in-the-pocket throw to Delanie [Walker] for a big first down that got us going, and to me that's huge. "
(On challenging a play)
"Well the chains were on our side, I could see where it was marked, and I could see where the ball was spotted and thought it was spotted short of the line. You never know for sure, so in seeing the replay on the screen it looked like he was down short of that line, so we thought it was a good challenge. I confirmed it with the guys upstairs, we went through our normal process and it worked out for us."
(On third-down conversions)
"Those things always make a difference. If you remember last year in the Cleveland [Browns] game ironically we had a fourth down, and we didn't make it and they went down and scored and won the game. So those things are big and for us to get it there and then what we did is, we went in and scored right after that. That was huge, it made a big difference."
(On whether it was challenging to get Mariota to come out in the fourth quarter)
"There was no argument, I mean I think he understood what was going on, and that's the smart thing to do."
(On winning on the road)
"I think we've shown a lot of toughness in camp and that carried over a little bit to the game today, but that doesn't mean anything. It's one game, we got to show toughness over a period of time. If our guys continue to work the way they've worked, I think we're going to be ok."
(On starting new players)
"That was what I planned, but it was tough. I was asked about it early in the week, about new guys coming in and we said it's not ever easy, but unfortunately we didn't have a choice in that situation. But Terrence, I have to give him credit, some of the runs he did he looked pretty good so we can get some of those things cleaned up and hopefully we can be even better."
(On how last season began 1-0 as well and whether he has addressed that with the team)
"I already said something about it, what I said was just keep our heads down and keep working. The big thing for us was we came in here and you always expect to win, we came in here expected to win and we did that, big deal, we got to move on."
(On Mariota making plays with his feet)
"Marcus is going to do those kinds of things because that's the way he's wired, and that's why the guys love him, but you certainly have to be smart. We talk many, many times on the field today about where it was in the game, especially in the third quarter, about being smart. He didn't run with the ball that much today so it really wasn't that big of a factor."
(On how he can use Mariota in the offense)
"I mean obviously some of the things that he does - you always have things like that in your offense and you try to fit them to the skill set that you have so I was asked when we drafted Marcus [Mariota] if there would be some things that we did that he had done and I said, 'Yeah we're going to incorporate some of those things but it's going to be important for him to also play from the pocket and do some of those things,' and he's done that so I feel like we've got a pretty good mix, but, listen, only time's going to tell all that, one game doesn't, we got to continue that."
(On putting pressure on Jameis Winston)
"I have to look at the tape to be sure, I was more looking at our guys, making sure they were in the right spots and playing disciplined football, and it looked to me for the most part we did a pretty good job of that."
(On injured players)
"No, the only one that I know of is Delanie [Walker].
QUARTERBACK MARCUS MARIOTA**
(On how the team felt playing the first regular season game)
"It felt great, I'm proud of the guys in the locker room. We worked hard all week. To be able to execute well, to be successful, is a good thing"
(On his parents being able to come to the game)
"I was very fortune that my parents was in town and it's the same thing we kind of talked through it. It just playing football. Get that first play out of the way and continue to play the same way you always play"
(On if he exceeded his expectations for his first start)
"Yes. The entire offense played well. I'm very fortunate to part of the group I am. The entire group went out and executed and we had some success today."
(On a potential rivalry with Jameis Winston)
"I don't put much thought into that. Jameis is one of those guys – he's a great competitor, even in college. They're never out of it. You know, Jameis is probably going to bounce back from this and I'm sure he will be ready for next week. "
(On what helped him build his confidence throughout the game)
"I think starting fast, setting the tempo, just going out there and having success early kind of gives confidence to everybody and really help us come out with a win. "
(On the Tennessee Titans coaches helping his transition)
"Yeah the coaches done a great job with helping my transition. They have done a great job preparing us all week and I'm very fortunate to be a part of that and I'm thankful for it. "
(On the offense)
"The entire offense was kind of on the same page and if we continue to do that we can be pretty good this year. "
(On the team's performance during the game)
"I think really, honestly it was the preparation all week, the coaches really prepare us for the looks that we saw and we were ready to go. We were able to execute because of our preparation."
(On the first touchdown pass to Kendall Wright)
"They ended up in a two-high shell, I had to read the Mike backer there. Kendall got behind him and found an open door and we were able to execute. "
(On whether Kendall Wright was his first read on the touchdown)
"Yeah, that's basically it."
(On his setting a franchise record for touchdown passes)
"It means we're 1-0. For me, it's taking it one day at a time and exciting to the best of my abilities. It's a good start for us but it's just the first game. We have to continue to get better. I'm not focused on stats or that sort of thing. "
(On some of the concepts the offense ran)
"It was one of those things we practice all week. It's a concept previously from the University of Oregon. It was very comfortable for me to go out there and do that and it's good to see success out of it."
(On the timing with the wide receivers today)
"They have done a great job this entire camp, leading up to this game. To finding open doors and getting open. They did a good job tonight of finding that open space and catching the ball and getting some yards."
(On the play were he threw a block for his running back)
"You know, I was just playing football. I thought he was going to keep coming around and I was just trying to make the block."
(On his blocking skills)
"I just kind of got in the way, I wouldn't call it a block."
(On his read when he threw one of his touchdown passes)
"That's probably a better question for coach."
(On his feelings about being pulled in the third quarter)
"You know what, any time you have an opportunity for those guys to get in there and play is awesome. It's great to see Zach [Mettenberger] get an opportunity to play. He's worked just as hard as anyone else on the team. To see him out on the field and play, for me, it's always good."
(On what he said to Jameis Winston after the game)
"To continue to work hard. I'm sure he is putting himself in position to be successful. He's just got to continue to work hard and it will work out."
(On not celebrating on the field)
"Yeah, a long time ago one of my coaches and my dad reiterated it, you got to act like you been there before. That's how I always been and will continue to be."
(On his outlook for the season)
"I'm just excited for next week. We have an opportunity to continue to put our best foot forward and for me that's exciting."
(On reminiscing about accomplishing his dream)
"Yeah I think the time for reflection is when the season is done. We have to find ways to get better. There are always areas we can improve on and for me I'm just going to do that."
TACKLE TAYLOR LEWAN**
(On how important this win is)
"I think it was very important. I think it's important for these guys to understand though that last year we won our first game against a team that was in the playoffs the year before that and see the way it went last year. We have to start fast, we have to finish fast, but we also have to be consistent. It can't be every other game. It can't be every five games. It's got to be every single week, week to week and prepare the way we did. We had a lot of mistakes and still – just playing through the whistle and guys going really helped us. I think if we continue to keep on improving week to week and have that mentality of 'We need to win each game,' then we're going to be good this year."
(On what it means for rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota to perform well in his first regular season game)
"I think everybody saw it coming. He's a great football player. His mentality is there. I'm just excited to block for him. I know guys are nervous about him running and stuff like that, but to be that guy's left tackle and for him to have the debut that he did I feel partly responsible for that. I know this offensive line does and it's exciting to have that kind of production."
(On Mariota's demeanor)
"He's just relaxing man. He's just hanging out, playing the game. I think every time me and him go out the first series of the game, we kind of look up and we both say the same thing, 'It's a great day to play football.' That's what it is. He has his way of doing things. I have my way of doing things. I'm a little more verbal – talking to the opposing side – but he's a great football player and he has done all the things he needs to do, it's kind of just continuing it week to week."
(On not being surprised about how Mariota played)
"No, I'm really not. I think the way he works week-to-week, even in the preseason, is going to show that that was going to happen this week. I think the thing is now is to keep taking it, keep moving forward and understand he set the bar pretty high for his debut and now we have to keep on keeping on.
WIDE RECEIVER HARRY DOUGLAS**
(On quarterback Marcus Mariota)
"He did a great job of distributing the ball to the tight ends, receivers [and] the [running] backs and controlling the run game also."
(On what most impressed him about Mariota today)
"How prepared he was. I wouldn't say that impressed me because that's the way he has been since he came in, but how prepared he was, how focused he was and it showed in his play today also."
(On the similarities between Mariota and Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan)
"You have some things that are similar but they are two different types of quarterbacks. Matt Ryan is athletic, but Marcus, he's really athletic. He can do a lot of things with his legs also. Within our run game, he keeps defenders honest because they have to account for him in the run game also. That's a big part of our offense and he does a great job, like I said, of controlling the run game for us also."
(On Mariota being poised in his first game)
"Some people are just born like that, honestly. I really believe that Marcus [was] just born like that. He [was] just born with that 'cool, calm and collect' ability. He's just that guy. I don't like when people try to be like, 'Well he's not yelling enough. He's not that.' That's not his demeanor. One thing we want to do on offense is let Marcus be who Marcus is. We don't want him to be [anybody] else. He's fine being that way. We're fine with him being that way. As you see, he came out and had a great performance and he did great things for us today.
(On how comfortable Mariota looked today)
"I [saw] it earlier this week in practice, when we put our game plan in. The way he orchestrated things in the week of practice. He did a great job for us today and I'm happy to be on his side."
(On how important this win was)
"It's big. Whenever the year before you go 2-14 you want to start fast and that's one thing we've been preaching and harping on this offseason and training camp is starting fast, starting fast. Today we got our first win. We are going to enjoy the day, watch the film tomorrow. Then Tuesday we are on to Cleveland. It's on to the next one now. We want to build. Now it's building back-to-back wins now."
WIDE RECEIVER KENDALL WRIGHT**
(On if he thinks he is going to have more chances to make plays this year)
"I felt like a chance every time I go out there. I wouldn't say I have more chances this year than I had the past years, but I feel like I have a chance to make plays every time I go out there, every time I step on the field."
(On how he thinks it's important to get the ball in his hands as soon as the play starts)
"I mean I guess. Me personally, I feel like one of my biggest strengths is when I get the ball in my hands and after the catch. [Mariota] has a quick release and he likes to get the ball out early so I'm just working on being in the right spots because I know once I'm in the right spot, I know he can get the ball to me."
(On if it felt like it was possible for the team to have this level of success this early in the season)
"Yes, us as a group and us as a team, we all thought it was possible, it was just everybody else didn't think we had a chance, [but] that's fine with us we don't really care what everybody else thinks, as long as we know we have chance. We are just keeping our heads down. We're enjoying this one now but we will be ready to play the next game, next week."
(On if he thought quarterback Marcus Mariota played differently than he did in the preseason or college)
"A little bit, but he's been that calm and he's been the same Marcus in preseason, training camp and throughout everything we have been doing. It hasn't changed and I know he can just personally get better week in and week out.
(On why he thinks the team had so much success with the play action and on the play that he scored on)
"I don't think the guys that were guarding me could guard me on that play. Really, not being arrogant or anything but I really – I wouldn't even say guard me because maybe the defense they were running, there [were] a lot of holes in the defense and those plays we worked on all week just for that Cover-Two defense that they were in. Me, all I had to do was just get in the right spot and I knew Marcus would get the ball to me."
(On if he thinks he and Marcus will have success together going forward)
"I think so, but I think most of [it is] me just getting in the right spots and being confident in what I'm doing, that will help me out a lot. Me and Marcus, he threw it to me and I caught it, that's what we have to do as receivers, we have to catch the ball and help him keep his confidence up. That's what we did, we caught the ball well and I think that overall helps his confidence, he will believe in us and he will keep coming to us."
RUNNING BACK BISHOP SANKEY**
(On what he thought he did well)
"Well, the line was blocking really well. There were holes there early on. I was getting up the field, hitting the holes hard and staying true to the tracks. I just have to keep looking at the film and keep building off of it."
(On importance of getting off to a good start)
"I think it's really important not only for me but the rest of the offense as a group have to be able to start. We have to keep working and building off of this."
(On quarterback Marcus Mariota)
"He played really well today, he was really efficient. He's a great quarterback. We all have to keep working. Coach [Ken Whisenhunt] told us to keep our heads down and working for next week."
(On his fumble)
"That is unacceptable as a running back. That is something I have to correct and get it corrected quickly moving on to this next week."
(On his thoughts on Mariota's composure)
"He's a real calm guy, he's really composed. We see it every week in practice, just how he conducts himself and I think today in the game he did really well."
(On Mariota's composure)
"The guy has a lot of confidence, a lot of poise. He doesn't carry himself like a rookie at all. He comes to practice every day trying to get better. He has caught on to the playbook and the schemes really quickly."
(On leaning on the run game in first quarter with having a rookie quarterback)
"Really it's just a balance, everybody has to be doing their job. When we get our opportunity as running backs we want to be productive and help the ease on the rookie quarterback, with the passing game and everything. Everybody did their job well today and everybody was productive."
(On building on this for next game)
"We have to learn from our mistakes and keep building on what we did well. We will keep working. Coach [Ken Whisenhunt] said after the game that we have to keep our heads down and keep working going into the second week. We're going to go back to work tomorrow and be professional about it and just keep trying to improve."
CORNERBACK COTY SENSABAUGH**
(On the quick start by the offense and defense)
"We couldn't [have asked] for a better start. The offense was rolling, No. 8 [Marcus Mariota] is special, I think everyone has seen it today. That kid is special. Everybody was clicking on all cylinders. We could kind of see it building up all week, defense was clicking, offense was clicking, and special teams was on their P's and Q's. It was just a tough weeks practice and it paid off."
(On if the pass rush helped the defensive backs)
"Absolutely. I say it all the time pass, rush and coverage goes hand-in-hand. We can't do it without those guys and they can't do it without us. We have to keep playing together and playing for one another."
(On how he thinks they can progress throughout the rest of the season)
"We've got to get back to work, this is just one game. Last year we beat Kanas City pretty handily first game of the season and then we ended up going 2-14 last year, so we have to get back to work Monday. We've got to approach Cleveland like how we approached Tampa Bay, we've got to study those guys and we have to try to get them down and do our best to come out there and perform like how we did today."
(On his impressions of quarterback Marcus Mariota)
"Special. That kid is going to be special. I mean I don't know how many touchdowns he threw but I told him at one point in the game that he might break a rookie record. I don't know if he did but it seemed like he threw like eight touchdown passes. The kid is special and we have been seeing it since OTA's - he's special.
(On how he thought he played)
"I think I did pretty good. We have to get back to working, we can't get comfortable. This is just one game and we have to get back to work, continuing preparing the way we did. That's why we were able to be successful today is the way we prepared this week and we just have to keep with it."
LINEBACKER DERRICK MORGAN **
(On putting defensive pressure on quarterback Jameis Winston)
"He had some early adversity. Our whole thing was don't let up, don't give them a chance or breath of fresh air to come back into the game. We did a pretty good job of keeping the pressure on him.
(On being tough on third down)
"That was definitely emphasized for us coming into the game- getting off the ball and getting off the field on third down. We had a couple plays, a couple turnovers, and I think we did well overall."
(On better start to season than last)
"It's a great feeling but we have to sustain it. We have to handle success the right way. We can't get too up or too down, we just have to have an even keeled and continue to perform and execute the way we are supposed to. We can't be up and down, we have to be consistent."
(On predictions for next week)
"I know we are going to be working all week, practicing, and come out there and put the best product on the field that we can."