TENNESSEE TITANS VS. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS POSTGAME QUOTES - MONDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2017
HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY
Good evening. Obviously, a good win for us in front of our home fans on Monday night. Division win, which was important, really important. That was the whole objective, to get a division win. No other ultimatum, that was it, get the win. Came out relatively healthy with the exception of (Derrick) Morgan who had a little abdominal strain, don't think it's too serious, so we're pretty healthy after the game.
(on when he knew QB Marcus Mariota was going to play)
Over the weekend we had a good talk. I let him do a little bit more on Saturday night.
(on Marcus Mariota's performance tonight)
I thought it was very good. He did what we asked. He didn't go out in a full-out sprint to make a first down, a couple of them. I thought he did exactly what we wanted, did not have to move around as much, which he's capable of doing. I thought he handled it just like we talked about.
(on staying patient after having to settle for field goals)
You can get frustrated, but there was a lot of football to go. I felt like our offense was moving the ball well, we didn't punt in the first half. Obviously, you have to score. If you lose a game like that, you're going to regret not scoring on some of those early drives. There was a lot of football to go and we talked about it at halftime, that we've got to just finish drives, that was a key. And really, we talked about it at halftime, our defense needed to make some stops early, and they both played out like we talked about.
(on Marcus Mariota showing him the ability to take over a game)
Yeah, I think he did. He's as tough as I've been around and made some throws that were obviously – that one to Taywan (Taylor) was a big throw, a real big throw. He played well, just watching it from the sideline, I thought he played well.
(on Marcus Mariota playing smart and not running)
That was the plan. We were going to take a sack if we had to take a sack instead of exposing him to running. That's just being smart.
(on if sneaking Marcus Mariota in the Titans fourth-and-one play was meant to confuse the Colts defense since he hadn't been used in the run game)
We used that same set last week and ended up not going, we were trying to draw them offsides. It was an identical set. I don't know if they thought it was a no-play like we did last week, but it was the exact same thing. He's never run a quarterback sneak since he's been here, so that was a little bit of a surprise I'm sure for them.
(on Titans LB Wesley Woodyard stopping Colts QB Jacoby Brissett on the Colts fourth-and-one play)
Great play, just a great play. Just keeps going with his season with the way he's playing. I'm trying to think what happened after our fourth-and-one. I know we made ours and they didn't make theirs, and theirs not making was huge for us, get us to the point where we could run the ball at the end there.
(on converting on long first and third downs on RB DeMarco Murray's touchdown drive)
We kind of chipped, we kind of tried to chip back and get as much as we could on the first-and-20. We made some plays on first downs, which we haven't been doing the last couple of games. That was a big factor in moving the ball like we did tonight.
(on defending Colts WR T.Y. Hilton)
I think Coach (Dick) LeBeau had a good plan like every team does, but I think our guys took it to heart. He's a game-wrecker, he can change the game. Whatever we can do to take him out of the game, we're going to do. If it was taking two of our guys to cover him, we were going to do that.
(on the Titans strong second half)
Made some adjustments in the second half, both offensively and defensively.
(on RB Derrick Henry's touchdown run)
I was pretty excited. Winning in this league, if you just watch this weekend, winning in this league is hard to do. When he did that, when he broke for the first, I thought our offensive staff did a great job. They called a play to get him outside, hopefully keep him in bounds, hopefully get a first down. When you can put points up, that pretty much ends it.
(on if he thought Derrick Henry would score on the play where he ultimately ran for a 72-yard touchdown)
No, I wasn't – I didn't think he would. I'm sure that's the last thing on his mind, I really do. You can talk about it after the fact, but at the time there was no way he was going in the endzone.
(on if there was a concerted effort to get Derrick Henry to ball at the start of the game)
No, just the same kind of rotation and just the way our personnel groups were set up. It was purposefully done, but I thought he did a great job when he had the chance.
(on if there was one play that stood out on the drive for the go-ahead touchdown)
Yeah, the slant-35-deuce four times in a row down there in the red zone. That's where we just kept getting four and five, five and six yards. That one play where we kept running it over and over and over.
(on having success in the run game after struggling earlier in the game)
Yeah, it was. It was our guys just, they kept battling, they kept saying 'keep running it.' They came to the sideline, 'keep running it.' At some point we felt like we could hit them on the run game.
(on the disparity in the NFL this year)
Every week somebody can win. It's just a matter of what records, it's every week. It's a challenge to win in this league. It's hard to win, it is. It's hard to win in this league.
(on the Titans now having a winning-record in the AFC South and being tied for first in their division)
That was an important game, I told that to the players last night. These are the games we have to win. We have set a goal, that goal can only be achieved by winning these types of games and that's a fact. They know that, they know how big a game it was.
(on how WR Taywan Taylor's touchdown play developed)
Well, it was good because there were a couple others I wish he would've made earlier that might have made it a little easier. The play was designed to go to Delanie (Walker) and fortunately all four of their guys covered Delanie (Walker) and left Taywan (Taylor) kind of – they just jumped Delanie (Walker) on his out route, and left Taywan open on the deep one. That kind of tells you what people feel about Delanie. He's a target and there's a couple of times, even early in the game when Marcus (Mariota) overthrew him, he was triple-covered. They dropped coverage on Rishard (Matthews) trying to take Delanie (Walker) away. We missed a big play early in the first corner that might have been a score.
(on K Ryan Succop's consistency)
That's what he's here for. He's done a pretty good job of it.
(on if the hamstring injury impacted Marcus Mariota's ability to throw)
No, not that I'm aware of. I asked him a couple of times. I hate asking - guys forget all about it until you ask them and then you're reminding them, 'Hey, I've got something hurt.' So, I try not to ask them as much. There was never a time where he said it was bothered.
(on if being forced to stay inside the pocket helped Marcus Mariota as a passer today)
Well, I think he had a relatively clean pocket for the most part. There were a couple of instances where he had to move and throw it away, but for the most part I thought our line did a good job of protecting him, which was important knowing his mobility was very limited.
(on WR Eric Decker having his best day so far as a Titan)
He made a lot of plays, he made a lot of good plays for us. Marcus (Mariota) got us into some plays, again they were check plays, that he caught some big plays, big first downs for us on those cross routes. But Eric Decker played very well for us, probably his best game for us.
(on WR Rishard Matthews' performance today)
Rishard (Matthews) made some really good plays. I challenged those guys last night too. All we heard was about the Colts receivers, and I challenged our guys to make a difference in this game and I thought they did.
(on Derrick Henry bouncing back after a slow game against the Dolphins)
Derrick (Henry) had been effective. He knows his role and he has done an outstanding job for us. It was fun for him to watch him finish the game of like that for us tonight.
QUARTERBACK MARCUS MARIOTA
(on how good it felt to find a way to get a win)
Huge, huge, (I am) proud of the guys in the locker room. It was one of those where you have to kind of grind it out a little bit, have to trust the process. Coaches did a great job of doing some second half adjustments and we were just able to execute and finish the game.
(on if he had to do convincing that he was good to play)
It was group of people that shared the same interests, wanted what was best for the team and made a collected decision and it worked out.
(on if it was difficult not to run in some instances)
Yeah, it was a little different. That's part of it. It's a long season, you are going to have to play with some kind of nick or ding. I am just really happy for the guys. They did a great job of holding up in protection up front. Our receivers made a bunch of huge plays, just happy we were able to run the football and make some plays.
(on if that was the first quarterback sneak of his career)
No, I sneaked it a couple of times in high school. We were in gun all in college. This is the first one that I have done in the pros.
(on if he thought the quarterback sneak caught Indianapolis off guard)
Yeah, I think so it probably helped that we got that yard. So again that was one of those things the coaches made an adjustment. It was similar look we had run the week before and did a great job of calling it.
(on if he felt any effects of hamstring injury during the game)
No, I felt good throughout.**
(on keys to sustaining 87-yard scoring drive)
Converting on third down, you know I think that was probably the most important. And again, I think the guys did a great job up front of giving time. Receivers made some great catches whenever you are able to get into rhythm on offense and go down and score, you can lean on a defense after that, they get tired and get a little worn out. I think that's what we were able to accomplish.
(on the touchdown pass to Taywan Taylor)
You know, I thought it was a great call. We ended up getting a look that we had wanted in practice and Taywan (Taylor) just did the rest. A guy that is that electric, that fast and can do those types of things, he is a huge weapon for you.
(on the success of running game opening up the big passing play)
Yeah, I think that was a huge part of it. When you are able to run the football the way we do, it opens up a whole lot of things. That's got to be the standard, if we are able to do that run the football and convert third downs, I think we can be pretty good on offense.
(on what went through his mind on Derrick Henry's touchdown run)
Once we got past the first level of defenders, I thought he could score. When he is in the open field, he is tough to tackle. He got a good burst of speed and you saw it there. He's a great player for us, somebody that can make plays and he made a huge one for us there.
(on getting the best out of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry)
When you have the playmakers that we have, whether it's in the running back room, the receivers, tight ends, when you have guys all on the same page and clicking on all cylinders, this offense can be really good. So if we continue to focus on each other, focus on our job and go out there and execute what the coaches have for us, we can be successful.
(on the play of Eric Decker)
He is a special player. He finds ways to get open. He did a great job tonight and feeling some of those soft zones. When you have a guy like that convert third downs, it's huge, that very important for the success of the offense.
(on how much he was chomping at bit to play in the game tonight)
I wanted to be out there last week. It was just unfortunate that I wasn't able to do that. I was happy to get the green light. Again it just comes out that everyone went out there and executed and we were able to make the plays we needed to.
(on if playing on Monday night lived up to his expectations
It was an awesome experience, one that I'll enjoy when you look back on it, it's cool. I think it is quite the spectacle, it's an awesome deal. The atmosphere is great, the fans were awesome and to be out there with the guys and get this win, it's huge.
OLB BRIAN ORAKPO
(on the Titans snapping an 11-game losing streak to Indianapolis)
It's a huge boost for us. We haven't beaten this team in a long, long time. Now we are back in the hunt. Back at 3-3, and that's two straight division wins for us. We haven't done some things in a long time. This is one of them, beating the Colts. And we now go on to the next with Cleveland coming up, but we are definitely going to enjoy this one. Because like I said, this team is tough to play. Any division game is tough to play. Beating this team was a huge boost for our confidence. We can finally move on. It's a whole new era with this Titans team, and that's one thing I'm very proud of.
(onthe improvement of the Titans' defense)**
When we play on all cylinders, we are a tough defense. We've shown it. We had a disappointing effort against Houston, and something that we regret. We know that ever won't happen again, and we've bounced back two weeks in a row. So, like I said, when we are on all cylinders, we communicate, we fly to the ball, and we hit, we are a tough defense.
(on the Titans playing and getting a win on Monday Night Football)
It's pretty fun. It's fun. I hate the Monday night traffic, though. The traffic to the game. That's one thing I do hate. But, besides that, nothing gets better than Monday night. You are the only game on. Everybody gets to watch and see what your team is about, and see what you are all about. It's pretty fun to go out here with a great team win and our defense coming out in the second half and completely shutting them out. Huge, huge, huge team win.
DT JURRELL CASEY
(on Titans defense shutting down the Colts in the second half)
We didn't make any adjustments. We just settled down and started playing our game of football. That was the biggest thing.
(on the Titans playing at night under the lights with a national TV audience)
Definitely special, definitely special. You now it is a privilege to get these types of games and play in front of the crowd of this size. Everybody doesn't get to do it, to get the opportunity to do it was definitely a blessing. Nothing special to it, just go out there and do it. That's it.
ILB WESLEY WOODYARD
(on the Titans victory over the Colts)
That's the most important thing, getting that "W". You've got to make plays. That's something, that when we lose, we don't make enough plays. When we win, we make big plays. So, we've got to keep that going. That's our goal to win the division. We've just got to keep ourselves in the race, play your best football towards the end of the year and just take them one week at a time. And that's what we are doing.
(on making a key fourth down stop late in the game on the Colts' QB Jacoby Brissett)
This 31-year old still got a little wheels. You just have to make a play to get our team (defense) off the field and lucky be for me, I was blessed to be the one to make it.
(on Titans playing on Monday Night Football)
It's huge. As a child this is what you grow up dreaming about, playing on Monday Night Football. Year 10, and I've been searching for a Monday Night, since my first year here. Finally got one and got a win. So hey, Monday Night people, we are coming back next year.
RB DEMARCO MURRAY
(on the run game)
It was great. Obviously, it started with the offensive line. We just kept pounding away, you know taking it one play at a time, one run at a time. You know it was tough early on, but we continued to just stay with it. (Terry) Robiskie kept calling the run game and the offensive line kept doing it. Derrick (Henry) and myself, you know, found a crease here and there and he popped one late. That was huge for us. It sealed the victory, so it was great for us.
(on quarterback Marcus Mariota)
It's gut wrenching you know. He's a guy who didn't have a lot of work last week but he made up in his mind a long time ago that he was going to play this game, and he knew we needed him. That's what our leader is for.
(on winning a division game)
It's great. Obviously, we're aware of the division, and you know it's a division win, which is always amazing. Like I said, we've got to enjoy this one and move on fast, but it's great to get back on track and get the W.
*(on reestablishing an identity with the ground game)
*That's what we pride ourselves on is being physical. It starts with the offensive line like I said. Tight ends blocking well downfield, receivers blocking well, but we want to run the ball as much as we can and us as running backs we want to impose our will on them.
T TAYLOR LEWAN
(on how the line played)
I don't think he had one sack I don't think he even had a hit except for that penalty, so I'm just proud of the way these guys played. Monday Night Football, there's no other game on but us.
(on the return of Marcus Mariota)
The guy's a complete stud. I mean we've been saying it since day one. The guy's a franchise quarterback and he deserves everything he gets. I'm just happy to be his left tackle. I'm happy to be this organization's left tackle, and I'm happy to go out there with number 8 every Sunday and know that we have an opportunity to win no matter what, especially when he's playing.
(on Marcus Mariota's QB sneak for a first down)
I feel like it goes to what I just said. Marcus (Mariota) is a hell of a player and you never hear him complain once. He and I both had injuries this past week and the only reason why I say that is because I text Marcus and say 'hey what time are you going in?' My goal would be to go in before him every single morning and he beat my ass. It was like four to one. I beat him like the first day and after that I was too tired. I was like 'oh this guy is killing it.' Just his work ethic, the kind of pro he is. The kind of guy he is, I can't say enough about Marcus Mariota. He's the bomb dot com.
WR TAYWAN TAYLOR
(on his touchdown catch)
It was a great play call by the coaches. I think he called it at the right time. We had the look we wanted on defense, so everybody did their job executing and I just tried to do a great job of finishing up the play and making the catch.
(on not getting frustrated with settling for field goals)
We are hard on ourselves to make every play, but that's what comes with the game, so we just try to stay locked in and have short-term memory and move on to the next play. I think we did a good job of that, so it was able to help give us momentum going forward the rest of the game.
(on the play of Marcus Mariota)
He's great. Marcus (Mariota) is always great. That's our leader. He's the soul of our offense and you know he's the engine that makes us run, so we just try to feed off him and feed off what he's doing and stay locked in because we know that no play is dead with Marcus and he can always find a way to make a play, get out of the pocket and use his mobility. We just try to keep running and get open for him and make plays.
TE DELANIE WALKER
*(on overcoming adversity early in the game) *We just kept our head down, kept to the grind and played our game. We can't really handle what the referees do. That's their job. Our job is to play football.
(on staying positive when drives ended in field goals)
You know, we've started off slow in previous weeks. We know what type of team we are. Once we get our groove, we get things going so it wasn't really no feeling in the huddle. We knew once we get a play going, we'll get back on track.
(on the play of Marcus Mariota coming back from injury)
That's Marcus Mariota. If he can play, he's gonna play. He's the leader of this team and today it showed by coming out there and playing.
*(on showing the character of the team by scoring the go-ahead touchdown)
*It says a lot. Like I always tell ya'll, we never give up. Every guy in this locker room is going to fight until the last minute on the clock and they did that today.
COLTS HEAD COACH CHUCK PAGANO
One injury is late in the game there, Robert Turbin. He's got an elbow. He'll get an MRI, obviously, tomorrow and be evaluated further. Disappointing to say the least. We've got to play 60 minutes. It's a recurring thing, I know that. Play well in the first half. We missed some opportunities in the red area in the first half and had to settle for some field goals. Credit Tennessee, they came out and did what they had to do to control the second half. We couldn't get anything going in the second half, couldn't get anything going offensively. Three-and-out, three-and-out, three-and-out, and punt, punt, punt and we give up big plays again on the defensive side and you just can't do it. Not going to blame officials, not going to blame this and blame that, credit Tennessee. They did what they had to do to get the win and they deserved it. And we've got to figure out, obviously, a way to finish games, a way to put together a 60-minute ball game. Again, I thought we started well, we played well in the first half and did good things. Missed some opportunities that were there. Third down, we were two-for-nine or something, we couldn't get off the field on third down on defense. Turn the ball over, you can't win. Our margin for error is minute and we just continue to kill ourselves.
(on the thinking behind the fourth down call when they didn't get the spot that they wanted)
Yeah, based on tape and the defense that they had shown – not just this year, going way back – practiced it all week. It's something that we said we were going to run in this situation. We knew exactly what we were going to run. They executed it and stopped it and it wasn't like it was just grabbing straws here.
(on why the fourth quarter has been so lopsided this season)
It was the third quarter, too, today. You're up 13-9 at half, or whatever it was. We can't get a first down, the defense is back out there, they're back out there, they're back out there and when you give up a big play and you just can't do it. And you have a turnover down low, they get a score on that one. I think we actually forced a field goal there, which was a great sudden change. I think after Jack's (Doyle) turnover. But a combination of execution, poor execution, penalties, turnovers and giving up big plays, you can't do it.**
(on whether this team is capable of finishing a game)
We have to figure it out. We're 2-4, we know what our record is, we know the circumstances are, we've got 10 games to go. We have a short week and a home division game coming up. We've got to figure it out in a hurry, and we'll keep working.
(on TE Jack Doyle dropping passes recent games, compared to three dropped passes all last year)
Concentration. You've got to look it in, you know.
(on what the loss of Robert Turbin will mean to the team)
Special teams, offense, you know, what he brings in our locker room as a leader. He's one of our guys, one of our dudes. He's one of our leaders and if it's a significant amount of time, it's going to stink.
(on looking at the replay of the long touchdown run and what he saw)
The big one? That big touchdown pass? Yeah, we had a breakdown.
(on the defense being gassed in the second half)
We were playing great, complimentary football in the first half, find a way to force field goals. Our defense did and our offense was moving the ball. We forced field goals and we had to settle for a few in the first half which halftime could have been a little different. They were probably out there longer but they'll be the first ones to tell you, they've got to play. We've got to stop them.
(on RB Marlon Mack not getting a lot of touches today)
Yeah, we've got to figure out ways to probably get him the ball more.
(on defensive pressure being turned up in the second half)
I thought we did a nice job in the first half. Opened up some holes, we ran the ball well. Our rush average was good and protection was good. Jacoby Brissett was sharp. We were throwing. We were catching. Again, you can't ask to start any better than we did other than, you know, settling for field goals down there in the first half. You've got to score touchdowns in this league, especially on the road against division opponents and they dialed it up in the second half. He got some heat on him but he still did a nice job of getting the ball out so we'll look at it.
COLTS QUARTERBACK JACOBY BRISSETT
(on the difference in the Colts' offensive performance from the first half to the second half)
I just didn't play good enough in the second half.
(on the pressure applied by the Titans defense in the second half)
I mean, we had answers out there and I just have to do a better job of finding them.
(on coming up short on a key fourth down play late in the fourth quarter)
I mean, whatever he called. That's his point of view, so I'm not going to get into that. But, we shouldn't have been in that situation. I thought I had the edge on him. He made a good play and, you know, challenged, and whatever the call was it was.
(on what adjustments the Colts offense has to make)
I just got to play better and I've got to get us in better positions to make more plays, stay ahead of the chains and keep the drives moving.
(on what was working for the Colts offense in the first half)
We were just doing a good job of mixing it up, staying ahead of the chains and converting. We were making plays.
(on whether or not the Titans defense paid extra attention to Colts WR T.Y. Hilton)
I mean, everybody does. It's T.Y. Hilton. They put their best player on him and I have to do a better job of finding him.
(on coming up short on a key fourth down play late in the fourth quarter)
We knew they were going to peel off and chase me. You know, I thought I had the edge. I saw the sticks; that's why I reached the ball. I thought it was past it, but clearly not.
COLTS TIGHT END JACK DOYLE
(on if he felt like he had full control during the fumble he lost in the second half)
Yeah, I bobbled it a little bit. Obviously should have secured it better before I started running. But, I did [have control]. I didn't secure it well enough obviously, and the guy made a good play and knocked it out. I have to do a better job. It can't happen. It leads to points and that's how you lose games.
(on the offense making progress but faltering down the stretch of games)
It is a huge frustration. It has been the story of our second halves. We have to figure it out, and we will.
(on what needs to change offensively to keep momentum going in games)
I just can't really put my finger on what is going wrong. Obviously I wish I would have made the play on the third down, the fumble killed us. A lot of this is on me and I have to be better.
COLTS SAFETY DARIUS BUTLER
(on the Titans offense)
They have good players. Everybody in this league has good players. This is a team that we are very familiar with, we just have to find a way to get out there and stop them. It's 11-on-11. It's a simple game. You just have to find a way to out-execute and make plays.
(on the short week coming up)
It is a short turnaround. We have to get right back at it. We have to defend our home turf with another divisional game, they are all huge. We put ourselves in this hole that we are in, and the games get a little bit bigger.
* (on the message to the young players)*
We just have to keep fighting. We have to hit the reset button. We have a short week. We have another division game at home and they all count a little bit more now. We kind of put ourselves in a hole at 2-4. We're in last place going into Week 7. We have to win and we have to keep winning.
COLTS OLB BARKEVIOUS MINGO
(on not being able to close out games in the second half)
We haven't played 60 minutes yet and it is starting to show in the record. We need to figure it out fast, because until we do so, these games are just going to get tougher.
(on the loss despite a solid first half)
I think that is the story of the season. Guys are playing hard, that's not the problem. We execute very well in the first half, and then half of the third quarter we execute well, and then we kind of fall apart a little. It's something that we need to get fixed fast because the season is getting along now. We need to start putting together some wins.
(on his interception for a touchdown in the second half)
We were in a Tampa coverage and I kind of bit a little bit too much on the run, but it worked in our favor. I kind of caught (Marcus) Mariota off guard a little bit and was able to make a play and put some points on the board. But, it would have been a lot more rewarding if we would have gotten the win today.
COLTS SAFETY MATTHIAS FARLEY
(on Tennessee's second half adjustments)
Nothing crazy. We just got to execute and finish better down the stretch.
(on the explanation for what happened in the second half)
We got out executed. We got to limit big plays and stop the run, all those things, tackle, eliminate penalties. We just got to be more sound overall and execute when we have the opportunity to put a team away.
(on what he can take from tonight's game and build on moving forward)
There are no moral victories. Tennessee out-executed us. We've got to take what we did in the first half and make that work for the second half, and not have a drop off like we did tonight.
(on Tennessee's run game)
We just weren't executing. We've got to make tackles. It's nothing crazy, we've just got to do our job and the rest will take care of itself. It's frustrating but it's not one person. We've just got to play better collectively as a defense. We've got to go out there with the mentality to get off the field on third down and stop the run, make plays.
COLTS WIDE RECEIVER KAMAR AIKEN
(on the second half)
It sucks, that's the only way to put it. We're not good at closing games right now and we've got to change that.
(on having to lean on other teams for help to defeat divisional opponents)
I don't think we have to lean on any teams. I think we just have to take care of what we can take care of and we will be all right. Next week we have another division game and we need to take care of that.
COLTS CENTER RYAN KELLY
(on Tennessee's second half adjustments)
We knew they were going to play a stack defense, and weren't going to let us run the ball and dial up blitzes, and all that kind of stuff. It was one of those games where we got behind the chains and just couldn't really get ahead of it. It sucks, but we just learn from it and get better. There were some bright spots, but overall we just couldn't keep the ball and we kept our defense on the field too long, which is obviously not good for us. In the first half we had some pretty long drives but we've got to keep doing that in the second half.
The Tennessee Titans take on the Indianapolis Colts in Week 6 action on Monday Night Football at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)