Postgame Quotes: Titans vs. Colts

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HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT
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Opening Statement:

"There's not a lot I can say that will put a positive spin on what we did today. I'm very disappointed. We all have to do a better job in representing ourselves better than we did today. It's unfortunate that we don't value the ball better than we do on offense. We had two turnovers in the first half, which killed us and then the onside kick was obviously something that really hurt us, so we've got to look at everything we're doing, and we've got to get it fixed quick."

Do you think Charlie Whitehurst played well but the other parts of the game fell apart?

"It's hard to say. I'd have to look at the tape. There were a lot of things. We didn't do a very good job in the offensive line picking up their pressures. Lack of communication, just not good enough, so Charlie got banged around in there. He made some good throws early and the one to Justin Hunter early that would have gotten us down inside the 20-yard line and it ends up being a turnover, those are things you can't do against a good football team."

Does the fact that he's a backup contribute to the fact that the receivers aren't clicking with him?

"At this level those guys are supposed to catch a football. Their guys did. We all got on the Justin Hunter bandwagon in the preseason and one of the things I said or cautioned you about was that there are a lot of little details that he's got to get better at. Justin still has a chance at becoming a good player and he will be a good player for us but in a game like this against a team like that at their place, two of our better players, Kendall Wright and Justin are directly responsible for two turnovers that really hurt us. And that can't happen."

What can you do when you have underperforming players in the lineup?

"I think you really have to look at where they are and what you can do. Some of them you can continue to work with and know they can get better and others you are going to have to consider making some changes. It depends on which category they fall into and that's one thing we're going to have to  look at."

Is Nate Washington a problem too?

"We were not productive enough. Delanie Walker right now is playing at a very high level doing a good job for us, and I think made a great catch right before the end of the half. Those are the kinds of things we expect. It's not extraordinary to do that. It's what we expect."

Did you overestimate this team when you first got this job?

"I guess that's the problem with saying those kinds of things. When you go on a stretch when you're playing a couple of games and you don't play well, those are the kinds of things that I still believe that we have a team that's better than what we're playing right now. We have to look at what we're doing, how we're doing it. We have to look at everything."

Defensively has the phase-in problem been more than you expected?

"Yeah, well, at times we play pretty well defensively. Other times we don't tackle. We don't make plays. We haven't gotten a lot of turnovers. Now I'll say this, that quarterback is a pretty good player, and we had him wrapped up a lot of times and he's throwing the ball well. He's got people on him and he's completing them, so he's a talented player. I recognize that. We did a good job against their run game. We had some penalties come up in the pass game where we've got to continue to work. I did see a couple of times today when we made better plays without having penalties down the field, which is something we've got to continue to work on, but I know it's hard for me to stand up here and say we're going to get better after what we've done the past two weeks, but we are, and I think that we've got the guys to do it."

On the onside kick, do you give the Colts credit for the play or was it the Titans' fault?

"He was sitting there waiting on the ball, and he got blocked, which is their scheme. It was a really good kick. I've got to give him credit for that, but the only thing I can tell you is that Marqueston Huff was right there, and he's a young player. I don't know until I see the time if there's anything he could have done differently or if we could have done anything differently, but you've got to give them credit for executing that."

What happened at halftime that the momentum didn't carry through to the second half?

"We got to midfield with the ball, and then I don't remember what happened from that point, but we punted, got them down there, and then I think they went back and scored. That's what you can't do."

When can we expect to see Bishop Sankey getting some catches earlier in the game?

"We'll look at what we're doing and with who we're doing it. It's hard to judge it because of where it was in the game, too, and the way they were playing, so we'll continue to look at those things."

How would you characterize Charlie Whitehurst's game overall?

"It's really hard to say right now. I haven't seen it. I mean Charlie did some good things. He missed a couple of throws, too, but that happens, so I would be remissive if I didn't say I wanted to look at the tape. I don't think Charlie got a lot of help, so that's one of the things I do know."

Is this season salvageable?

"Well, we feel like it is. There's not a whole lot I can say that can convince other people of that, until we play better football that's going to be the only thing, but we knew coming in that it was going to be a tough stretch opening up three on the road against playoff teams, but that's not an excuse for where we are. Now we know we have to stretch games at home. We have to play better football and work to flip it, that's the important thing."

The time of possession, 42 minutes to 17 minutes, is that more of a function of the defense not being able to get off the field or the offense not being able to put anything together?

"Probably both, you can put the blame on both sides. They control the ball and made plays. We had opportunities for plays and we didn't make them all. We turned the ball over, it's not good enough for third down, you can't just pick one thing because there were a lot of things we weren't good at today."

George Wilson played inside linebacker, what did you see?

"I'd have to look on the tape and see. He's been part of our package that we've used in our other games, so it's not a thing that's been a problem before, I don't know why it's a problem today."

Do you think you could trade size for speed?

"Well its part of our plan, it's a match up thing that we do. It's just like a nickel package or dime or quarter package, one of the packages that we have."

What are your emotions?

"Frustration more than anything. I'm angry, of course I'm angry. I'm embarrassed because we can represent ourselves better than this, but I'm just telling you that we are going to do a better job of that. I was brought here to do a job with this organization and I am going to get that done. It just doesn't feel real good right now."

Are your emotions shared in the locker room?

"I feel like they are, but at some point that has to translate to playing better football."

Did you have any injuries coming out of today?

"I don't have any that I am aware of right now. I know Blidi Wreh-Wilson got shaken up there at the end, but I don't know the progress of the status."

What was the talk at halftime?

"Felt like we had a good talk at halftime, about coming out and doing something with the ball offensively and defense had made a play. It was more about going and executing our playing and getting back in it. It felt like we could have scored there to start the third quarter, then we've come back from a 17-point deficit and gotten back into the game and that's something that you have to do in the NFL. That was our message to going in, but we obviously did not execute that."

Where is Jake Locker physically and how will you play that when he is able to play again?

"I'm not even going to get into that right now. I'm more worried about what happened today and the way we played was not good enough."

Will he be your quarterback once he is healthy and ready to go?

"Like I said, we can talk about that tomorrow. We can talk about it later, there's no reason to talk about that right now. My emotions are not great from this game so just nothing really to say there."

Is Jake Locker physically close enough to playing again?

"Yeah, he got better during the week. It was just a thing, I didn't know for sure if he had to play in the game, if it was one shot that would put him out. So, with where we were, from a standpoint of Ropati (Pitoitua) being out, we had to have the extra defensive lineman up so I couldn't carry three quarterbacks."

I know you had to let off some steam with us and maybe on your team in the past and it felt like they had gotten the message. What did you say after the game today? Do you think that message came across as it should have?

"Well, I guess we'll see. I mean, we'll see going forward. Obviously none of us are happy. You know, I still believe that we have a number of great football players in that room that are going to be a part of getting us to play better football and play more like we did the first week instead of the last three. You know it's in there. We just got to get it out."

Are they underachieving?

"Well, in my expectations they are, we are, not them, we are. We are underachieving. I believe that we are a better football team than what we've shown. You know, that's a hard thing to say because there's not a lot of evidence to back that up."

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WR JUSTIN HUNTER
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Did that have you shell shocked? I bet you guys didn't expect anything that one sided?

"Yeah, it was a tough game, we tried to put some points on the board but we just couldn't pull it out."

I am sure you would like to have that one attempt back, what kind of happened on that?

"I just lost the ball, I ran a good route. I just feel if I made that catch we could have kept the drive going and changed the game."

Did it just slip out of your fingers?

"Yeah."

Did they talk to you about it, a concentration thing?

"No, they said just go to the next play. If you keep thinking about it, you'll be down from there. Just forget about the play and go to the next."

First game for Charlie Whitehurst in there. What did you think? The offense did not get off to the best start.

"We didn't get off to a good start. Charlie came in and did his role and did a good job for us and I still believe in Charlie. I still believe in everything." 

What can you guys as a group, wide receivers can do better?

"Go back to the drawing board, we have to work a little bit harder starting off."

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WR NATE WASHINGTON
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What do you do with a one-sided game like that?

"Just got to go back in the lab and finish strong, got to correct the things we made mistakes on."

You talked about going back to basics for the receivers but were you satisfied with what you guys did as a group out there?

"It's not just the receivers we got to clean up."

The ball comes near you on the goal line, did you not get a good look at it?

"I was not expecting it to be quite honest. It's a different look, different type of communication we just got to get better at it."

Were you not supposed to be involved in the play?

"That is something we will assess tomorrow after we watch the film."

How can you get off to a better start?

"Just have to do a better job carrying out our assignments."

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QB CHARLIE WHITEHURST
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Evaluate your own performance.

"We struggled a little bit offensively. We had a couple of early turnovers. I don't think I played well enough to win the game. We shot ourselves in the foot a little bit. They are a good football team and we got behind and just couldn't chip away and get back. We just didn't get enough plays."

How frustrating were the turnovers?

"It's just the stuff, we got to make the plays. You know, receivers, quarterback, everything. We just have to get better and when the plays are there to be made, we got to make them and eliminate the stuff that is hurting us. If we do that, it's easy to say, but if we do that, we were kind of right in the thick of it before halftime."

Did you feel a sense of optimism at halftime?

"Yeah, absolutely. The defense did a great job there getting that turnover before the half, but in the end, it's 20-10 at halftime and we get the ball, we feel pretty good. We stalled out there on that first drive, but yeah, we scored there and were right in striking distance and felt good. It was so close but so far type of thing."

You took a couple of big shots, what did that feel like?

"I mean, it's football. It's like riding a bike. You get hit a little bit when you play quarterback. It's a part of the position."

Did you feel rusty?

"I feel like I could've played better for sure. I obviously didn't play well enough for us to win the game. I think there were some plays we made and made some of them and it just wasn't enough."

How deflating was it with the tough break with Kendall Wright?

"We are just at the point right now we've got to make the plays. Like I said before we shot ourselves in the foot. The last couple of games we've done that and going against a team like Indianapolis you're not going to win the game if you do that type of stuff. It's on all of us. I can only speak for the offense but it's on everybody offensively to make the plays when they are there and to not do that to ourselves."

What was the feeling in the locker room at halftime?

"We left like we had left some stuff on the table there in the first half but we felt pretty good about it. You know we are getting the football and shoot if we go down the field and score a touchdown, there we are 20-17 and we are right in the thick of it. We felt like yeah, we had to pick it up for sure and we didn't do that in the second half."

On the Justin Hunter interception, how did you see that play unfold and what kind of throw do you think you made on that?

"It's a play that we've got to make, myself and him, so I feel like we both take responsibility for that one."

When did you learn you'd be starting?

"I had a pretty good idea early in the week but nothing set in stone. But I prepared like I was going to start from early in the week."

Were the turnovers a lack of concentration, execution or a combination of both?

"I don't know. Whatever it is, we've got to fix it. We don't have the liberty of turning the ball over right now and putting points on the board so we've got to somehow figure out the answer to that and stop doing it." 

How hard is it for any team to win when they rarely score in the first half?

"We're not scoring enough points. That's the bottom line."

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WR KENDALL WRIGHT**

What can you do better in the first half to get a spark going you think?

"Hold onto the ball, I had a fumble that I didn't really think was a fumble but it's a drive killer and I take full blame for that. We just got to stay on the field and make plays."

What were your thoughts on that play? You were down by contact and the fumble was caused by the ground?

"I was already tripping and I was diving forward, the last time I checked the ground can't cause a fumble. I ain't got no excuse, hold onto the ball and make the next play. That's really it."

You had that, Justin Hunter had one go off his hands and turned into an interception, Nate Washington had a drop at the goal line. You three were going to be the foundation of this offense and hasn't panned out that way.

"We are still going to be the foundation, it's not we were, we are still going to be the foundation. We still have a bunch of games left and we have a bunch of plays to make. We are not getting down off this game. Justin and Nate know they can catch the ball. We just got to look it all the way in. I know I can hold the ball, that's not really the problem. We still have a chance to be the foundation and we still have a chance to be Nate, Justin, and Kendall. Still have a chance to make a lot of plays, it's not over with after this game, we are not hanging our heads. We know we can make plays, we just have to go out there and do it."

What's your biggest frustration right now for these last three games?

"I don't even know, I can't even put my finger on that. I am just going out there grinding every day. We as a team are going out there grinding. We are obviously frustrated but we can't, I don't know, we are not winning, we are losing. That is the frustration. We got to put some wins up and we got to stop all the little things that are killing us and we have to stay on the details."

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