HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT**
Well, OK, not the finish that we wanted from the standpoint of score, but I am happy with the way our guys fought and battled today. Even when things weren't going great for us they hung in there and they battled and they fought, scrapped and obviously there are a lot of areas that we got to improve in and we are going to work to do that. One thing that has been consistent with our guys is their effort and you know that's a big thing.
(on getting through the season without having confidence shaken)
Well, I mean right now it's tough. I mean it's a long season. You know you have had a lot of tough games, but you stick with what you believe in. That's one of the things that I have learned from some of the good coaches I have been around. You got a foundation for what you believe and how you do it and you stick with that. We understand a lot of what happened to us this year as far as the number of injuries and different personnel, it hurts from a continuity perspective. But you believe in what you're doing and that's why you do it. We have had success with it. It's just a lot of things we have to do in the offseason to get it accomplished.
(on the team not playing well even before injuries and losing to Cleveland with fewer injured players)
I couldn't tell you for sure with that, but we were still in it at that point (Cleveland game). We were still playing, we had a chance at Washington the week after that. I don't know if I necessarily agree with that. Do I think we were playing as good as we need to be? No, that's what happens when you're in your first year together. In counter to what you are asking me, a lot of those guys that you think would get and we would be able to turn it and play better they weren't there in the second half of the season.
(on convincing Titans followers things will be better)
We are going to have to show them. Obviously, at this point after a tough season, it's hard to say that. But, we are going to get a good pick. We are going to have a chance to get some good young players in here. I think if you look at some of our draft picks from this year, they did pretty well. So that's part of it.
(on if he is glad the season is concluded and if he's ready to start over)
You know, I don't know if I can address that right now. When you get to the end of a season as tough as this one, you need to take a little time and go back through it. You know, it was tough. It was tough for our fans. I think one of the things you have to understand is that we are working pretty hard. We are working hard every week, trying to get a win. It hurts. That's the worst part of this. It hurts when you don't do that.
(on if he thought in training camp and preseason that the regular season would turn out as it did)
You know, there were a lot of things that would probably go into that. You don't ever know. You don't actually know a team until you get into a season and that's a part of it. Your offseason is just so short now. You have a lot of information and you're trying to get everyone on the same page. You know, it's tough.
(on what needs to change for a better season next year)
We got to have continuity, that's for sure. I mean if you go through seven tackles, five tight ends, and three different quarterbacks, that's very difficult. So, hopefully we will do better from that perspective that will allow us to be better. Second year in the system, obviously there's going to be changes. You know this roster will have changes. That's what happens when you have a record like this.
(on any dramatic changes he has in mind for the team)
The way we have it set up right now, there's plenty of time to assess that. There's nothing really you can do until March, so we'll get a chance to go back and look at it. That's what you have to do, you can't make an emotional decision now, you have to go back through it and look at all of the things you have to do better and why they didn't work and where you can get better.
(on how Nate Washington was shut out in the final game)
That's typical of what's going on. We had two (bad) snaps down there in the red zone today, which I don't know where that comes from. We don't have them in practice, we don't have them in other areas of the field, and we get down to the red zone and two (bad) snaps on plays is inexplicable. Those are things you can't have happen. We had a couple of plays we were trying to get to Nate, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for Nate and how he's handled himself this year. I feel awful we didn't have an opportunity to do that today, but he's been very good.
(on whether or not he's disappointed in the team for the number of timeouts required while subbing players)
The one situation down there in the red zone where I thought the ball was spotted at the three and we had a specific play for that area of the field, and then we reported Karl (Klug) in there (as eligible) so he couldn't come out, so we had to call a timeout to change that play. That was unfortunate, but that hasn't been indicative of us this year, consistently having problems, so yes, I was disappointed that we had those issues today. Maybe the extra day off this week hurt us a little bit from that standpoint.
(on when the final team meeting will take place)
We'll meet tomorrow. They'll have to come in to get their physicals and we'll have a team meeting.
(on his first year in Nashville compared to his first year in Arizona)
It's hard to compare. It's two different teams and different players, and it was a different time too. There were different offseasons, it was a different CBA, so there were things you could do in the offseason that helped a little bit. From the standpoint of trying to get everybody on the same page, it's a little bit more difficult in today's era with the way it is with the offseason program, but I'm excited to be here. Every time I've been out in public, I've gotten positive reinforcement from our fans. This is a good area to be in when you win, and obviously that's what we want to do. I appreciate the support that we've gotten from our fans and fully believe that we'll get it right.
(on how critical the number two pick will be to the team's future success)
It can certainly help you, that's one of the things to be excited about. We're going to get a good player, and we'll have a chance to get a good player with the second-round pick, because that will be like getting another first-round pick. Whatever opportunities are available at that point, I think that we're going to look at free agency to help some things too. It's important, it's always important when you have a pick that high.
(on whether there's consideration for a new quarterback)
That's a process that we need to go through. I don't have to answer that question today.
QB CHARLIE WHITEHURST**
(on Coach Whisenhunt's system and its fit with personnel of the Titans)
I think it's pretty consistent. I think Whiz (Ken Whisenhunt) has proven he's a winning football coach. When I look back on this season, first and foremost, I think of some of things I could have done in these ball games to win the games for us. Just from the opposite side of the ball, I think we could have executed better, for sure. I think some plays were there to be made. I know as players, we believe in what we're doing. It's kind of on us to get it right and move forward.
(on if it was frustrating that timing issues were still happening in the last game of the season)
We had one I think where we got it flipped or something but the other one down there on the goal line was, we reported an ineligible number there and in the spot, it looked like we were closer than we were; we ended up on the five-yard line. We didn't want to go with our goal line personnel. I don't know what happened there. We thought we were closer. I thought we were on the two but we ended up on the five, so you can't come back out. (Karl) Klug can't come back out there so we take a timeout or take the substitution penalty.
(on being glad the season is over)
You know, it's been a tough year. Last few practices we had during the week, we knew they were the last few this year. As hard as it's been and I know it's only my first year here but you make some bonds in the locker room for sure. It's tough it's over. You almost want to keep going but it has been tough, no doubt about it.
(on getting the ball to Nate Washington in the end zone and what it's like to play with him)
Nate's one of the emotional leaders of the team; a guy that's played a long time, had a long road to get into the NFL. I've got a lot of respect for what he's done. It would have been nice. I hope he's back. It would have been nice, for sure.
(on if the season has been draining mentally and physically for him)
The game's hard sometimes, for sure. It's been tough for us this year but when it's good, it's real good and that's why we all do it.
(on if he's confident he'll be back next year)
I'd love to be part of putting this thing in the right direction. You go out, play as hard as you can and hopefully that happens but it's not my decision.
(on if he expected to play this much when he joined the team)
I didn't know what would happen. I thought it'd be a good change for me. It didn't go great, you know and I wasn't a part of a bunch of wins, you know, really only one. Personally it was fun. It was as much fun as I'd had in a long time, even though we've lost a bunch of games.
(on if there is a sense of disbelief now that the season is officially over)
It's like that every year. You know, all of sudden it's over. Only one team goes out on a good note but it is amazing how it went. I don't think we're a 2-14 team. Obviously, we are but I feel like we're better than that. We work harder than that. We've got better leadership. We've got better players. We've got better coaches. It just didn't go our way this year. Are we a playoff team? I don't know about that, but it's tough that it went down this way.
TE DELANIE WALKER**
(on the future for the Titans)
I see hope in the future. I think we've got some young guys that played this year that did some great things. I'm pretty sure our coaches are going to be sitting down and see what guys we need to bring in. What free agents we need to help us and what we can pick up in the draft. So it's always a building thing. It's the NFL, you know. You have bad years and you have good years. And this year, it wasn't so good.
(on if the Titans' season record was embarrassing for him)
Of course, if you're not embarrassed, I don't know what you're doing in this sport. For us to go and lose the way we did, consecutively, it's embarrassing. But like I told you, it's the NFL and you've got good teams all around this league. But you don't want to lose the way we did. We just have to find out what we can do to get better.
(on if he's glad the Titans' season is over)
You know, football is my life. I love football. I'm really about to be bored. I really don't have anything else to do, but play football. So I think I'm going to be a little sad that I'm not playing on Sundays, or that I'm not in the playoffs, or having that chance to go to the Super Bowl. I feel like I played pretty hard this year and my body got some injuries that I think I need to take care of, so this is a good time for me to take care of them.
DT JURRELL CASEY**
(on future changes to the Titans' roster)
That's part of the business. Every year you face changes, so you have to learn how to deal with it, put everything to the side and get ready for another season.
(on his assessment of the Titans' season this year)
A lot of penalties, a lot of mistakes. And that's what tilted this season, and that's been the whole downfall to this season, is us killing ourselves in games. And we have to figure out ways for us to clean up our mistakes and make better plays.
(on the season coming to an end)
At the end of the day, it's a tough pill to swallow going into the off season, knowing you've got to come back with something like this hanging over your head. And try to hope that everything gets better for the next season. But it's a chip on your shoulder and you've got to know how to use it. And take advantage of that. And that's coming out every day and try to work. Push yourself to eliminate the mistakes that we have. And if we can get that done, I think we'll be a better team in 2015.
(on if he's relieved to get away from football for a while)
It's good, especially with a nasty taste like this. I think it's time for a fresh start. Clear our minds from this bad season, and just hope our guys know how to prepare. That's going to be the biggest thing. Learn how to prepare during this off season, and get back for another season.
LB AVERY WILLIAMSON**
(on his rookie season with the Titans now completed)
It's pretty sad, you know, because it went by so fast. I get time to let my body heal, and let my mind relax. It's been a long season, but definitely there's sadness that it's over with so fast. I have a good feeling about this season. It wasn't perfect, but as a rookie, I feel like I did pretty good. I made some huge strides, so it gives me some confidence going into the next season, and I can build off that and keep on improving.
(on his confidence heading into offseason and next year)
I feel like it gives me a whole lot of confidence. I've got to look at it that I'm not going to be starting. I've got to compete for a start, again. I've really got to work hard this offseason and get in the playbook. Know the ends and outs of it, and get bigger, stronger, faster. The whole nine yards. I've got to come back an even a better player next year.
(on how the Titans' played hard until the end)
I give credit to the veterans we've got on this team. They didn't give up. It made the young guys really step up, as well. Nobody ever gave up. We continued to go out there and fight each game, like we were going to the playoffs. I really admire our team for that.
S MICHAEL GRIFFIN**
(on if there is a sense of relief with the season ending)
I enjoy playing football, you know. It's over now. You have to wait for six or seven more months before you actually get the opportunity to go back out there and put the pads on and stuff. But there are no guarantees that I will be able to do that. When they start making decisions, that's what is going to happen. And if you're not here, you're hoping that somebody else will give you a chance. And even if they give you a chance, there are no guarantees. So again, I'm just blessed to do what I've been doing for so long. And again, it's a blessing. I just wish this organization the best. And that's not saying I won't be here or not.
HEAD COACH CHUCK PAGANO
Good to see everybody. From an injury standpoint Reggie (Wayne) went out – I thought he just ran out of gas, but he actually did have a groin, down there at the end, but went out with a groin. A.Q. (Shipley) had an ankle, didn't come back. Sergio (Brown) got a hand, didn't come back and Hugh Thornton got a shoulder, didn't come back. They'll all be evaluated obviously tomorrow and we'll know more in the coming days. I'm extremely proud of the guys, extremely proud of their effort, what they've accomplished in a three-year period, three 11-win seasons, playoffs three years in a row, all that stuff. We knew we were already in, but I'm really proud of the players and coaches in that locker room and the guys that have sacrificed a lot to get us to this point. Great effort today, gritty win, all of that stuff, proud of the guys, proud of the effort, there's some guys that stepped up and made some good plays and things like that, it's onward to whoever. We understand we won't know until late tonight who we're playing and what day we're playing, we know we're playing at home. That's about all we know. We'll figure out who it is and whether it's Saturday or whether it's Sunday, so we'll get back, we'll be in the building tomorrow with the guys, we'll bring them in and have treatment and have meetings starting at 12:15 and go to work and get ready for the playoffs.
(on today's effort)
Yeah, I wanted to see guys come out and compete and the effort, we're always going to have effort. We pulled some guys out in the second half and were able to get a few guys out of there and were efficient defensively, they played well all day. We gave up the one return and they had great field position and they broke a run on us and end up scoring the touchdown on us, but other than that, I was proud of the defense, really consistent play throughout the day and got a turnover and offensively able to generate almost 400 yards. So, I feel a heck of a lot better, obviously today, than we did a week ago this time. I like where we're at, obviously if we played better this week then we did today.
(on whether locker room speech was focused on today or next week)
No, we spent a lot of time actually talking about what's transpired since we got together in 2012 and what this group has been able to do, this group of coaches and players. There are guys that were here in 2012 with some additions along the way, but extremely proud of what everybody in that room has been able to accomplish. We're not satisfied, by no means. We understand that we have a huge game coming up this weekend, again we don't know…we've got it whittled down to two teams, but we just talked about how proud we are and I am of the coaches and players and everybody that's involved in this process and really proud of what went down today. Again, we're not satisfied, we understand that in order to reach our ultimate goal, there are steps that we got to take and we're going to take it one step at a time and one game at a time and that'll start Saturday or Sunday against…we'll find out late tonight.
(on OLB Jonathan Newsome)
Impressive. You could start to see him take off like a lot of our young guys. We credit the coaches for developing these guys and credit Jon for sticking to the process. A lot of these guys come in and they hit the rookie wall and it's a long, long season and it's great to see guys like him and a guy like Tip (Zurlon Tipton) to come in and do some nice things on offense for us. We need that production and we're going to need that production into the playoffs and so, proud of Jon and what he's been able to do.
(on being on a small list of coaches to win 11 games in first three seasons)
I am proud of the guys and I am proud of the coaches and the players. That's who deserves the credit.
(on what it takes to make it through the playoffs)
It's one and done. We all know the stakes get higher and it's single elimination so whatever we have to do to win a game that's what we are going to do, whatever it takes. Hopefully the injuries aren't too bad and we get some guys back. Hopefully we get Dwayne (Allen) back, and Gos (Gosder Cherilus) back and so forth. We have got to get healthy and do whatever we have to do to win a game. If we have to throw it 50 times then we throw it 50 times but hopefully we will be able to have some balance.
(on the performance of the offensive line with the changes)
They did an admirable job, more than admirable. For Jack Mewhort to go over and start at right tackle from a bird's eye view from the sideline it's tough to see but I didn't see a whole lot of pressure from that side. You know, A. Q. (Shipley) starting at right guard, Khaled (Holmes) at center and Lance (Louis) being the third starter at right guard. Give credit to Joe Gilbert, Hal Hunter and Frankie Giufre and those players for sticking to the process and preparing and practicing like pros and stepping up when their numbers were called. I am proud of them.
(on Andrew Luck breaking a single season passing record with pass to Reggie Wayne)
I didn't realize that was the play the record was broken on. We gave Andrew (Luck) a game ball and obviously credited everyone around him like we typically figured Andrew would do. Great milestone, great record for Andrew but very fitting it 87 was on the other end of that. What a great play, what a great catch. In traffic, over the shoulder, all that stuff. Right when you get ready to write somebody off, just be careful.
(on what Adam Vinatieri adds to the team)
He's incredible. For a guy that turns 42 today and for him play at the level and kick at the level he has kicked at this year. Unfortunately, he did have his first miss of the season. There were tough conditions out there, weather wise and things like that, I am using it but he will never use that as an excuse. He has been remarkable. It has been an honor and very humbling to watch him from the sideline. I am a fan and feel lucky along with everyone else that has had a front row seat watching him this year. It has been pretty remarkable.
QB ANDREW LUCK
(on what they wanted out of the game today)
Win most importantly. That was our goal. It was a good win and I thought we did some good stuff offensively. Obviously, it wasn't perfect. It's always tough to get a win on the road but we did some decent things.
(on if they were trying to work on things to get ready for the playoffs)
Yes, I think so. We still need this week of practice though. I think we are in the right spot.
(on if they are already focused on next week)
We will enjoy this win for a couple of hours. When this night game kicks off I imagine that everyone's mind will be tuned in.
(on Matt Hasselbeck )
He is doing awesome and has done awesome. He is a great teammate and I feel very fortunate to be in the meeting room with him every day and to be on the field and so to see him go out there and throw touchdowns and make plays, it's fun to watch. You are not going to hear a bad word about him from anyone in our locker room. He has done so much to help this team that has gone under the radar so when he gets to step on the field I think it's neat and special.
(on having a good game as a team today after the loss last week)
Yes, we needed to come out and win. Chuck (Pagano) talked about it and I think we all knew it. To get a victory was huge. It really was.
(on the Reggie Wayne long catch)
It was a great catch, it was awesome. He contorted his body between two guys and then to keep his feet in bounds and keep on running, he is remarkable. For him to preform like that, it's special.
K ADAM VINATIERI
(on if he was thinking about the record on that kick)
No. I hit it alright. I hit it hard, I just left it inside that left post a little bit and it was tailing on me and it got away from me.
*(on if he knew what was on the line)
For sure, you never want to miss. Every time you step on the filed you have an opportunity to help your team win games and put points on the board. That's the frustrating part that I didn't help my team on that play. You can't make them all and all good things come to an end I guess at some point. I would sure like to have that one.
QB MATT HASSELBECK
(on making adjustments during the game)
It wasn't what we had gameplanned for so we had to get creative on the sidelines and find ways to run the ball. Typically when people call out blitz you just throw the ball, but having a lead and wanting to run the clock, run the ball and run it effectively. We had injuries to the offensive line, so I think it was just a really great job of communication on the sidelines with our coaching staff. At halftime our coaches were kind of later coming to us so you could tell that they had a lot to talk about. I thought everyone communicated well. Andrew (Luck) and his group did a nice job of spotting us a lead which always helps. It was a good effort by everybody.
DE CORY REDDING
(on how you can tell that a team is ready going into the playoffs)
Preparation, mental focus, everything you put in and the sacrifice. All of those things add up to us being successful.
(on continuing to have success within the AFC South)
It is just the mindset of the guys in this locker room. Chuck [Pagano] set the bar high for us and we know the fastest way to get into the playoffs is to beat our division. Everybody that we play in our division we have to take care of business home and away.
(on how ready the team is for the playoffs)
We'll see on Saturday.
DE RICKY JEAN FRANCOIS
(on facing a pocket passer next weekend and how the defense can prepare)
I wouldn't consider Big Ben [Ben Roethlisberger] a pocket passer because he makes plays last longer than they are supposed to. Andy [Dalton], if he needs to get out of there he is going to do it. It doesn't matter if they are a pocket passer or a scrambler, we have to treat them like they are one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Whether he is running or standing in the pocket, we still have to attack him like we attack any other quarterback to make him uncomfortable.
(on if he saw what he wanted to see in today's game)
The return game was one thing, and then to see a lot of the young guys play today because what we are trying to get them used to now, once you get in the playoffs, everything changes. The atmospheres changes, the speed changes, the will to make a tackle, a catch, a block and to make a sack. People are going to put one more inch and more energy to go out there and get it. In this game we wanted them to see that, even though Tennessee had their own thing. Going into this week practice is going to be fast, hard and we are trying to do everything mistake-free. We cannot make any mistakes.
TE JACK DOYLE
(on today's game and his touchdown catch)
It is good offensively and defensively to get some momentum going into the playoffs, obviously. I'm just excited to get this week rolling and see who we get and hopefully we can get a little momentum and carry this momentum into that game.
(on getting things accomplished in the final regular season game of the year)
Offensively we just wanted to get a fast start, which we were kind of a little slow. But just get a little bit of momentum and get positive plays and I feel like we did that. We are just excited to hopefully carry a little bit of that into next week.
OLB JONATHAN NEWSOME
(on going into the playoffs)
I'm feeling good. It is on to the next one. We will await our destiny tonight and get back to work tomorrow.
(on the defensive line being on a mission in the final regular season game)
Most definitely. But that is every game for me. I just go out there and am relentless and try to make the most of my opportunities and do whatever I have to do to help this team win.
(on the pass rush getting accomplished what it needed to accomplish)
Definitely there was improvement. I wanted to get four sacks individually, but I missed a couple. I am never satisfied. That was a good showing, but we have to turn it up some more for the playoffs.
CB WILLIAM GAY
(on having to pull out a close win down the stretch)
Basically what we got out of this game is that we got to seven wins. Our goal was to try to get to seven and that's all we can do this week is get to seven wins.
(on the 80-yard touchdown to end the first half)
Great execution by Tennessee. They made the play and we didn't.
(on if he likes where the team is going into the bye week)
Yes, our goal was to get to seven wins. That is all you can do is try to win a game and we just tried to get to 7-4 before the bye.
LB JASON WORILDS
(on getting the win before the bye)
It was absolutely the most important thing. Much respect to the Tennessee Titans. They came out and played a hard fought game. I'm just happy for the guys in the locker room. We stuck together.
(on the Titans offense finding success at times)
They did a good job executing plays, but we also felt like we gave up some things schematically that we didn't hone in on the details of our assignment. We just have to come out and be more consistent with that and kind of weather the storm.
(on if he likes where the team is going into the bye week)
Yes, our goal was to get to seven wins. That is all you can do is try to win a game and we just tried to get to 7-4 before the bye.