Postgame Quotes: Titans vs. Dolphins



(opening statement)

Obviously very disappointing effort today. (Brain) Schwenke's ankle was dislocated on the field, so obviously he's finished. Other than that beside Marcus' (Mariota) knee, we'll get more information on that as we go. I think everybody else, we'll get more information as we go. Those are the only ones that I know that were big deals. But we didn't get the job done, not even close today. They were more physical than us. Certainly that's disappointing.

(on if the team was ready today) *

We answered their first drive. We drove it back down this field, we didn't get a touchdown, but we got a field goal. So, to me, that showed that we were ready. At least I thought we were. Obviously, there were some things that happened early in the game that got us out a little bit of what we could do and we didn't get it done. We didn't stop the run early, which put us behind the sticks defensively. That's not something that we have done this year. We have done a better job of that and we didn't do a good job on third down offensively. You know a lot of that had to do with protection, so that was the most disappointing thing about it.

(on if Brian Schwenke broke his ankle)

I don't believe he did. I think he dislocated his ankle, but if I get more information on it, I will let you know.

(on thinking the Dolphins might want to send an early message with their physical play)

Well, I think we deferred to give it to our defense, kicked off, obviously they went down the field and scored a touchdown, and that was tough. And, but once again we came back and drove it down the field ourselves, but we didn't get a touchdown. We still were in it. Even into the fourth quarter being down, we fought back and had a chance there when we threw the interception. But that doesn't matter, we didn't get the job done. We weren't physical enough today, that's not something that we have been, and it was certainly disappointing.

(on what could be the extent of Marcus Mariota's injury)

Well I mean surely there is going to be some soreness there, so we'll see how he is physically as we go forward.

(on throwing the challenge flag on the play that resulted in a Miami interception)

Well, all turnovers are reviewed, so you can't challenge, but I got no confirmation that it was a play that had … I didn't get from them that it had been confirmed. So, I saw them run to the line to run a play. If they run a play, then that play is gone forever. So I knew the look that I had. It certainly looked like he wasn't touched down and the ball came up and we got the ball, and that's a big play. I knew the rule, but I wanted an explanation and that was the only way I could do it without losing the play.

(on the failed challenge coming at a critical stretch of the game)

Yeah, that was obviously because we had a little momentum going from that standpoint and we had a play where we felt like it was going to be a good play to get us down there close. If we had executed the play, it could have made a big difference in the game.

(on if Marcus Mariota's performance was due to a bad knee, the  pressure he was under or having a bad day)

Maybe a little bit of all three. I don't know. He's a battler. I love the kid. He's going to be a really good quarterback in the league. It starts with us being able to protect him better.

(on if today's game was a setback)

Well it hurts. No question it hurts. We've got to look at the film and correct it. There's no defense of what happened today. The only thing we can do is work hard and get better.

(on if the problem with protection was scheme-related)

From what I saw on the field, it was more one-on-one situations where we weren't holding up.

(on if the change to Jamon Meredith was due to injury)

No, it wasn't injury. It just felt like, from what I saw, Jeremiah (Poutasi) had lost a little bit of confidence and he is a young player, a very young player. In that kind of situation, I decided to make the change to go to a veteran who had been in those situations, who had a little bit more craftiness that could stand up. We chipped, we tried to do a couple of things to compensate for us. Obviously, we didn't do a good enough job there.

(on if he feels like this team should be further along by now)

Yeah, sure. I think that we feel like we've been making strides, trying to get better there. We didn't do that today.

(on losing four games in a row)

There's no defense for today. I mean, we didn't get the job done. I acknowledge that. We certainly felt like we've made progress. We're working. We've got some issues that we are continuing to get better at. We are working through some things. We have a rookie quarterback. We've got a rookie right tackle. We've got a lot of young guys. I mean, that's where we are as a football team. We've done some good things but we haven't been able to win games at the end, excluding today's game. We feel like we've made progress. We're a better football team than we were last year. That didn't show up today.

(on if the hit on Marcus Mariota's knee was questionable)

It was (BS). I think it should be taken out of the game. It's not the way you play football. I think it was done with the idea of trying to hurt our quarterback, and that's (BS) football.



(on how he is feeling)

I'm alright. It's frustrating, we just didn't play well today. It's tough, but we've got to bounce back. We have another tough one coming in next week.

(on if the knee brace limited his mobility)

It is what it is. I just tried my best to play.

(on if the Dolphin's pass rush surprised him)

They did a good job of just coming off the ball. I tried my best to change up some of the cadences, but that front is a veteran group and they did a good job. Hats off to them, give them credit.

(on if he thinks Olivier Vernon tried to hurt him intentionally)

I haven't looked at the play. I don't have an opinion about it. He came up to me after the game and apologized so I don't think it was malicious at all.

(on if the knee brace inhibited his throwing motion)

I don't think so. For the most part I didn't even think about it. That's how you have to play, you can't really think about what's going on in terms of your health.  You've just got to play, and that's what I did.

(on if there was talk that he would come out of the game)

Coach asked me how I was doing, I told him I was good and we moved on from there.

(on if he had to convince Coach Whisenhunt to keep him in the game)

No, not at all. He just asked if I was ok and that was about it.

(on the interception deep into Dolphins territory)

That one is going to get at me a little bit. Anthony Fasano was open, I tried to kind of stick it on him, make sure I completed it and Brent Grimes made a good play on it. He's a veteran cornerback, and he's made plays like that before. In that situation I can't be too safe with the ball, I've just got to let it go.

(on the team keeping its composure after the hit he took and Brian Schwenke's injury)

Emotions are high, and for the most part I thought after a couple drives we settled down a little bit. It's tough, it's a part of the game, you know. You never want to see one of your brothers go down. We wish for a speedy recovery for him, but it is tough.

(on his confidence with Andy Gallik moving forward)

I thought he did a great job coming in. He stepped up and for the most part played well. We're going to need that out of him for weeks to come.

(on why the team was not more ready for the game)

They came out and played hard. They had an agenda; give them credit. We fought for most of the game, you know, you can't doubt that, we just have to continue to fight and grind. It's not going to be easy, we just have to continue find ways to improve and put this one in the past and get ready for next week.

(on what the Titans' agenda was today)

We had an agenda to come out there and play ball. Sometimes it doesn't happen. Sometimes the other team comes out, has a good game plan, and executes it. For the most part, we moved the ball as an offense. I thought the defense played well and gave us turnovers, gave us a chance. I just have to do a better job protecting the football and moving the chains once you get them to their side of the field.

*(on if this game left the team shocked)                                                                                *

Not really, you want to come out there and play well. Again, it's hats off to Miami, they did a good job of executing their game plan, played hard throughout the game. As an offense we just weren't able to finish drives; we weren't able to score points and that's what happened.

(on if he believes the team can still win)

For sure, there shouldn't be any waver and we'll come back tomorrow and get ready for next week.

(on why he struggled)

Just missed throws. I was inaccurate at times and that happens. I've got to shake that off and get ready for next week.

(on if he will practice on Wednesday)


(on how he deals with this adversity)

I think every athlete has their story and they've dealt with adversity in different ways. For myself and for this team I think we have handled it very well. We've kept a positive attitude and that's what you've got to do. You have to put your nose down to the grindstone, keep fighting and slugging it out and we'll end up on the other side of it.

(on what he can do to prevent losing the ball on a pass rush)

I could definitely do a better job of just swinging the ball around and not allowing the defenders to swipe at it. I have to improve in that area.


(on the loss today to the Dolphins)

They beat us.  They came to play, and they did that.  …  You know what?  I'm not going to point fingers.  Again, it's a team loss and we lost the game.  They came in here ready to play, and they played great.


(on the loss today to the Dolphins)

It's a tough league.  It's tough to get a win.  It's tough when you put yourself in a hole like we did, and fight yourself out of.  We tried, but we couldn't sustain it at the end.  It's frustrating, but we have to move on. We can't lie down. We have 11 games left, can't expect to have the same performance the next game.  We have to learn from our mistakes, see what went wrong, and try and get better.

(on preparing for the Dolphins with their coaching changes)

All week long we've had great practices and we prepared ourselves, but with them going through a coaching change with the new guy coming in, we didn't really know too much on what they wanted to do.  I guess they wanted to establish the run, and you know, they did a good job doing so today. This wasn't the best performance by our defense, but we have 11 games to fix it, starting with the next one.  And this is a game, definitely we are going to forget about.  Try to learn from our mistakes and move on.  Because we are a good defense.  We are a very good defense and they just caught us slipping this one time.

(on the Titans moving forward)

We have 11 games.  I've been in this situation before.  Worse.  3 and 6.  And we came back, and won seven straight.  So, I mean, it can happen.  We just have to believe and stick together.  We lost a lot of soldiers today as far as injuries, so we have to get our guys back healthy, and we can hit these 11 games with flying colors.


(on the rush of the Dolphins' defense)

They've got one of the top ones in the league, especially at that (rushing QB), on that left side with (Ndamukong) Suh and (Cameron) Wake.  I mean they made good plays.  We just have to do a better job, starting with myself.  We have to come out ready to go.  Guys like that are going to get their numbers, but I thought we were doing a really good job up to this game, offensively and offensive line-wise.  We just have to continue to fight and get those things corrected.

(on looking ahead to the rest of the season)

I've played in enough, and I know, ball games to know that if you continue to fight and give yourself a chance, instead of doing enough to get by - just win. We just have to have the 'want to'.  I think guys in this locker room and coaches and everybody in the building have the 'want to', we just have to do it.  We can sit up here and talk and put stuff in the media that we have to do this and we have to do that.  But instead of just talking, just do it. I know it's a cliché that talk is cheap, but we just have to win ball games. And that's just period. We have to have the hunger and fire and count on one another, because the guy next to me is helping me feed my family and I'm helping him.  And that's coaches included, because we are all in this together.  But I'm telling you who isn't quitting, and that's (jersey number) 76.  Period.


(on the frustration of Titans losing another game )

I really don't think it carries over.  I think once we get one win, we'll be OK, and I think we can keep it rolling.  I don't know how frustrating it is.  I think we just have to put it together for four quarters and get a win.  I think the whole atmosphere around here will change, and it can change.  I think once we get that next win, I think everybody will keep it rolling.  I just think we need to go out there and make the plays when they count.  Like I said, we had a chance to get back in the game, in the fourth quarter.  We just didn't make the plays.

(on how Titans' QB Marcus Mariota handled the Dolphins' defense today)

Marcus (Mariota) handled it like a pro should handle it.  He's banged up and he's out here playing his heart out.  I mean, hurt or not, I don't think it affected him.  I think he just wanted to be out there and make the plays when it counted.  I think that shows a lot about Marcus.


(opening statement)

This team came out and they were ready to play. They worked extremely hard all week as we talked about. They practiced fast, they competed against one another, and that showed up today. Just like I told the team, that's the model. You know what it is now, you do have to go after each other during the week and make it competitive, otherwise you will not get any better; you'll just stay the same. Those guys bought in, they believed, and I'll tell you what; they played their hearts out. They played for one another, which is the most important thing. They looked like a football team. I don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves; that just one; that's one. We'll worry about the Houston Texans on Wednesday.

(on how he felt on the sidelines of his first game as a head coach)

I was pretty nervous. There was a lot of high energy, I was nervous. I guess it's just a new experience, I don't know if I've had that feeling since I was a player, which is probably the last time I had this bubbling up feeling. But I knew we were ready, I knew the coordinators had a good plan in place and you could see it in the eyes of those guys. You go around and around, you could see it in their eyes, they were ready to go.

(on whether the team was able to establish a running game as planned)

What we wanted to do this game and what we talked about doing is exactly what we did. That's also why we were able to get off to a fast start. We were able to stay ahead of the chase, get some chunks on first down, able to run it, then just like you said, play action, that makes life so much easier on our offensive line, keeps Ryan (Tannehill) clean, and then he makes the throws.

(on how he felt about the challenge on Marcus Mariota's fumble in the first half)

That was a heck of a job by Marwan (Maalouf) in the booth. He's up in the booth for us and he saw it. Right when they replayed it he said to me, 'Hey, that's clearly a fumble and it is a clean recovery.' It was a heck of a job by him.

(on how he reinforced his message to stay loose to the team)

Because of everything that's transpired over- I guess it's been about two weeks now- when you change it up, and I become interim head coach, and I change the system and the model of what we've been doing, they were willing to hope. They felt like it was a change in the right direction. They bought in for the week, they practiced hard, and so now when you come out and play the way that they played today, it just reinforces that, that's all. Now they know moving forward, you built the trust, right, because that's what it is.  Now they're going to trust me a little bit more. Then you win another one, they trust you a little bit more. Pretty soon that it's what you say, they believe in.

(on wondering where the team would have been if coaching earlier in the season)


(on two big turnarounds after penalties in the second half)

There again, that's a credit to those guys. Those guys were willing to come out and fight on the play and what is most impressive, and this is what you're looking for is…we knew, we felt pretty good about going in this week, but one of your fears is, hey, they think they're just going to…not think, but because the vibe was so good you're going to go out there and bam. You'll be on them so fast they won't even know what happened. All of a sudden you're up 21-nothing. Well, bad things can still happen. You get up there and all of a sudden they hit something on us or we go three-and-out, so you want to make sure they'll be able to respond. Just because something bad possibly could happen, that they would understand, guys, you put in the work, just trust yourself. Go to the next play. Don't let it eat you up and that's what they did.

(on cutting your players lose this game)

No, I mean, I talked to all these guys…I've talked to everybody this week one-on-one at some point or another. Those guys know how I feel and it's funny, you tell somebody they're going to cut it loose and they say, yeah, of course I'm going to cut it loose. That's easier said than done. They still have to win their one-one-ones, but that's what practice has been about. It's about winning your one-on-ones. You've got to do it in front of your teammates with everybody watching. The beauty of that is when you do those things, and I don't want to make too much of it, but when you do those things and all of a sudden, you come into a game like this and you look across the sideline and that's the enemy. Those guys look and say, you know what, I was going against you all week. We were going at each other's throats and all of a sudden, I know what you're like, I had to go against you, man, and now I got you on my side. Thank goodness that I have you here and you're going against that opponent over there. So those guys, I think, not only do those guys when they're trying to win their one-on-one matchup, when they know that their teammates are in it for them and they feel them and they're watching them. That's the other thing, if you watch our sideline, our sideline was in it. When the defense was out there, we've got offensive players yelling. We haven't had that and vice versa. Guys are into the game. They're rooting for their teammates and don't think for one second that those guys don't feel it. They feel it on the field.

(on what the Gatorade bath felt like)

Cold. I said this, Mike Pouncey and Branden Albert were kind of near me and Branden put his arm around me and said, hey coach, I really appreciate it, but I knew, because I know those guys and I know what's genuine and what's not genuine, like we really appreciate it. I was like, OK, wait a minute. There's something a little odd, but it was too late and I got doused. It was a good feeling. It makes you feel good. Like I say, I told them when you watch the way they practice and watch the way they played, it makes me want to do anything I could for them. I'd give them anything I could because I know the sacrifice it takes and I saw the work that they put out and it's a really good feeling.

(on mood in the locker room with the players)

It was great. Steve (Ross) was in there. He's loving it. I mean, it's great. It's a good environment, OK, it's a great environment. Those guys were dying for something like that. It gives you momentum. It gives validity to everything that's being done and those are the fun ones, right, because know you're up and everybody's having fun and they're playing hard and it's back to like it was when you were a kid.

(on where this win ranks in life accomplishments)

It's high. I don't know how high it is. It's obviously very high. It's a brand new experience and it's with a bunch of men that want it and work hard and, you know, some of the greatest athletes in the world. It's a good feeling, but there again, that's one. That's one game, that's it. We've got Houston next week, so I don't want to go too far with it.

(on any sleep last night)

A little bit. I woke up at about 3 (a.m.) for an hour and then went back to sleep. So, I got enough though. I did not (puke on my shoes). My wife told me to put my finger down my throat. I did not do it though. I did not.


(on establishing the run)

I think both lines kind of set the tone for the game. We kind of talked about it for the last week and a half. That's what we wanted to do, that's how we want to play, is to set the tone up front. Move guys off the ball, get the ground game going and that really opens up our entire game book.  It was great to see those guys moving the double teams up front and the backs were hitting the holes hard. Lamar (Miller) was getting tough yardage whether it was big yards or three or four yard runs. He was hitting the hole hard and getting everything that he could*.

(on the difference in the team since week one)

I think Dan (Campbell) energizes. He does a great job of motivating and setting the tone on what we want to do both offensively and defensively, just how we want to be, the mindset we want to have and it's contagious.  We felt it last week as soon as he took over, he initially hit the ground with that and guys bought in. It's been fun for us to see it happen over the past two weeks.

(on Campbell being demanding)

He's demanding, yeah. But I think more than anything you feel his passion for the game. He wants to establish what we are as a team. That starts up front with the offensive and defensive lines.

(on what Rishard Matthews means to the team)

He's doing a great job.  He's a strong, physical guy. He's understanding the offense. He knows what we are trying to accomplish. He's being in the right spot at the right time and getting open. That's all I can ask.


(On what was different than the past four games)

We executed, we put them behind the chains and stopped their run game, which they were good in the past few games.

(On how they were successful)

You've got to be able to stop the run.  It gives you an opportunity to get after the young quarterback and give them multiple looks, and get after him.


(On the win)

Everybody showed up, it wasn't an individual, it was a team win.

(On if they did anything differently)

No, we played our defense, we just got after them.

(On the interception return for a touchdown)

Preparation met opportunity.  I studied film all week. Once I saw a certain formation, I knew the ball should be coming on a slant.  I took advantage and I got it in the end zone.


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