Postgame Quotes: Titans vs. Giants




(opening statement)

Obviously, it was a very tough day for us, not much good about what we did out there today. Zach (Mettenberger) tweaked his shoulder a little bit. I don't know the extent of it. Blidi (Wreh-Wilson), his shoulder came out, so that is why he was out. Daimion Stafford had a concussion. (Byron) Stingily had an ankle, he tried to come back and couldn't go. So, needless to say we had a number of injuries and they hurt us. We had a lot of guys that were playing today that hadn't played very much or had much experience with us. That didn't make it any easier, but we didn't do a good enough job today.

(on if the team had energy level, effort for the game)

I think it obviously hurts us when we go three and out and they drive the ball down, we kick it off. I felt like it was in pregame, our guys were ready. We just…you know had a number of dropped balls, missed blocks. We made some scheme mistakes that we haven't made. We missed some things defensively, so you know it seemed we had too many of those, so I don't know if that is a function of not being ready to play.

(on if enough was being done to protect QB Zach Mettenberger)

Tried, I mean when they bring extra guys, you've only got so many guys to block them. The way the game went, it kind of puts your back against the wall. We tried running the football, then you get to a third down and you can't convert. But you know, we chipped, we put extra guys, but at some point, you know, one-on-one, you've got to hold up.

(on if he considers not playing Zach Mettenberger)

I don't know what his status is, so we will talk about that. That's something I can't comment on right now.

(on if he is concerned about the quarterback taking shots)

Wouldn't you be? That's obviously any of the quarterbacks, I would be.  

*(on if this is the low point since arriving with team)                          *

Well, obviously it was a tough day today. It's not fun, but we are working. The only thing is that our guys are trying and we'll keep working and come out of it.

(on if he kept three quarterbacks active today due to Zach Mettenberger's condition entering the game)

Yes, that was, and also because Kendall (Wright), who was our third quarterback, wasn't available today. So, I just felt like that was because of that situation.

(on if he thought about calling up another receiver)

We used Dexter (McCluster) some as a receiver and that was the plan coming in. We also had a two tight end package we could use. But you know we have so many guys that are banged up that didn't even dress, it's difficult to find a spot to do that. 

(on if it gets harder to come back from large deficits in the game)

Obviously, it puts you in a tough position, no question about it. They pin their ears back and come after you offensively. We couldn't get open or catch balls at times. It makes it a struggle. Yeah, it's tough.

(on how the team stays focused)

They're hanging together. That speaks a lot to the character of the players we have. It's not easy, and it's not fun. We have enough young guys that a lot of them are trying to prove that they can play. They are motivated to do it. The veterans that have been around, even though it's tough for them. For a guy like Griff (Michael Griffin), who's put a lot of time in, he's working hard. It's that kind of leadership that keeps these guys together.

(on not getting enough pressure on Giants quarterback Eli Manning)

Obviously, you would like to get pressure, but then you have to worry about their receivers too, especially after we lost (Daimion) Stafford and Blidi (Wreh-Wilson). We had packages where we were going to try to double them, and we're playing with guys that don't have a lot of experience.

(on the play of Giants rookie Odell Beckham Jr.)

I thought he had a productive day. They did a nice job of getting him the ball. He's a talented young player.

(on having guys in position to make big plays)

There's no question that helps. Like I said, we had an opportunity to make some catches today that could have gotten us a first down or kept drives moving that we didn't make. We had opportunities to make plays on the ball. The one little bit of excitement was when Marqueston (Huff) intercepted the ball and ran it back. Those are the things that you can do to help get your team going because we're certainly struggling with that.

(on the pass to Karl Klug on fourth-and-one)

We knew that play would probably work. We felt like in that situation on fourth down it was a good opportunity because he's been successful blocking. Thank goodness it did.

(on the impact of injuries this season)

It doesn't make it easier. I know coming into this game when we lost guys early in the game, when we lost Blidi (Wreh-Wilson), and then we lost Daimion (Stafford), and (Byron) Stingily went down. We're playing with a tackle that's been with us for three days because both of our other tackles are out. It's not easy, it's not. When we've got two receivers that have been making plays for us this year that are on the sideline in Justin (Hunter) and Kendall (Wright), those are weapons for the quarterback. But, you know what, nobody really cares. We have to play the games on Sundays. This is an opportunity for some guys to step up and get a chance to show what they can do. That's what we are struggling through right now.

(on defenses focusing on Delanie Walker with other receivers out)

You can ask them, but it certainly appears that way to me. We're trying to do some things with Delanie (Walker) to get him the ball because obviously, he's been productive. Nate (Washington) still made some plays for us. But, it seems like they're making sure they focus on Delanie.

(on Zach Mettenberger's play before getting injured)

It's more difficult with the protection because of where we are with the receivers. We'll look at the tape and see. You admire Zach (Mettenberger) for the toughness that he's showing. He wants to be in there playing. He's trying to get the job. We have to be realistic too of what we're facing. He made a couple of throws today where we have to make those catches. He could have made a few throws a little better earlier too. We have to be able to run the football and convert third downs better than what we're doing as well. That will help everything.

(on the seriousness of Mettenberger's shoulder injury)

There's no question, it's an aggravation of it. I don't know to what extent.



(on Titans regrouping after loss)

The focus is to get better with every game.  Each day, we find something to get better at, and that's just what we have to do, here on, throughout the season.  You just have to go out there and work, just continue and try to get better each and every day. 

(on getting his first career interception and touchdown)

That's the NFL.  The guys in the league tell me 'they'll throw you at least one.'  So I guess that's the one they threw me.  Me personally, I'm a football player, so I expect myself to go out there and make plays.  It felt good at the moment, because I felt like I was trying to create a spark for the team, but now just looking at it, it really didn't do anything for the game.  So it's just another play.  It's just another play for me right now.  It's good that I finally got my first career interception out of the way, but I wish it would have come in a win.

(on covering Giants' rookie receiver Odell Beckham)

Beckham is a good player.  He's a rookie so the future is so really bright for him.  We've just got to do our job, and go out there and try to contain him as best as we possibly could. 


(on the loss today to the Giants)

When you don't achieve the goal you set out to hit that week, we have to keep working.  I don't know exactly what it's going to take, but I know if you quit and don't keep working, that's not going to fix it … We've got to do a better job of coming out and starting fast.  Making plays that come to us, and we didn't do that today. 

(on covering Giants' rookie receiver Odell Beckham)

I didn't play well enough for us to help us win.  I let the team down today.  When you get matched up on the best guy, you've got to go out there and put up a better performance than that.  To go out in the first quarter like that, I let this team down.  It's a tough one.  Got to get back to work and improve for the coming week.  Today wasn't good enough by me, by any means  …  He's a good player. I knew that coming in.  I just didn't do a good enough job.  There's nothing really more to say.  Much respect to him, coming into this week he was a good player.  It's not like he surprised myself, or any of us out there.  (We've) got to do a better job of competing and making plays.

(on the Titans' remaining season)

Each week you lose, with two wins, and three games left in the season, it's a tough position to be in.  As much as you look at it and say there's not much to play for, guys still have a lot to play for.  Your pride.  Your job.  We'll come and we'll work our butts off this week and try to win this upcoming home game versus the Jets.



(on the Titans' loss to the Giants)

It's always getting frustrating.  The way our season has been going, coming out strong and not finishing.  It's kind of tough.  But it's something that we're working on right now and something that we're going through.  But our best belief is that everything is going to come together.  As of right now, we're going through a building stage.  We just have to keep on getting ready and get prepared for next season. 

(on if he was surprised the game wasn't closer)

Every week is a new game.  You never know who you're going to be facing even though they are an NFL team. So you can't put it past anybody, no matter what their record is.  They are NFL players, and they still get paid to do the same thing. 

(on Titans' defense pressuring Giants' QB Eli Manning )

Actually, we put a thousand pressures on him today.  We had a couple of hits on him. He just got the ball out pretty quick.  

(on if today is low point in the Titans' season)

No.  We're still building and we're still learning.  We won't quit.  We'll keep on going.


(on the offensive line struggling with the Giants pass rush)

You just have to be technically sound. They have some good rushers. You have to do better.

(on how it feels to give up eight sacks today)

Obviously, it's not good. It's more about the fact we lost; that's the biggest thing. We didn't win the game, so that's frustrating.

(on injuries to the offensive line)

We're all professionals, no matter if we got here a couple of weeks ago or just now. We're all professionals and there are no excuses. The injured guys are working hard to get back, and we have to step in and be the next men up. That's the NFL.


(on his debut with the Titans)

It's my first game ever playing, so it was a good experience.

(on whether or not his head was spinning)

It was a little bit, but I had a good group of guys to help me out while we were out there and we did some good work.

(on whether or not communication issues contributed to the offensive line's struggles)

It wasn't really an issue; we just have to do better than we did.


(on the frustration level with the Titans offense)

We work hard all week, mentally and physically, but we tend to start slow on Sundays. We have to find ways to make plays. When it may seem like you can't make a play, you still have to make it. I think it just comes down to making plays.

(on what he attributes the Titans' struggles to)

You don't put it on injuries. You don't put it on anything. At the end of the day, it's us, it's about us. We have to go out there and get the job done, no matter who it is. Right now, we're just not making enough plays.

(on the mindset of the team heading into the final three games of the season)

It's tough, especially the situation we're in right now. As a man, you have to dig deep. Are you going to tuck and fold when things don't go your way? When you're at the bottom of the pile, are you just going to give up and lay there? We still have to work. We still have to come in and put in the work to hopefully get the 'W' on Sunday. Things haven't been going that way, but we still have to work no matter what.



(on the potential of stepping into the starting QB role down the stretch)

I'm trying to approach every week to be prepared to play, and I won't do anything different this week. Obviously, I'll be praying for Zach (Mettenberger) and his health. You don't ever wish that on anybody, so I hope he heals up and gets better. I'm going to continue to work and try to be as good a teammate to the guys in the locker room as I can, and be prepared if I get the opportunity to play.

(on whether he views the final few games of the season as an audition for other NFL teams)

It's an opportunity to go out and play with these guys that I've had the opportunity to compete with for four years here, and I'm excited about that, if that's the case.



(on turning the season around over the final three games of the year)

It's the end of the year so it's too late now. If we do turn it around, it really doesn't matter at this point. We played poorly today. I felt like I played poorly today. It's like a trickle effect; one person plays poorly and everyone plays poorly after that.

(on whether he believes today's loss is the lowest point of the season)

I wouldn't say it's the lowest point of the season. It's disappointing. We've only won two games and we're still playing the same way. We always say we're going to change and nothing changes.

(on if he's surprised that the Titans aren't playing better with so many players fighting for roster spots)

I think I'm in that category as well. I can't say I'm safe at all, either. It's not an individual thing; it's a team thing. We're losing together, so I don't think anyone is safe at this point.

(on the Titans' inability to move the ball offensively against the Giants defense)

It's very disappointing; that's all I can say on that. I can only say my part. I can't talk about anybody else.



(on how he feels postgame)

A little banged up but in good spirits.  We'll see tomorrow just what we're dealing with. 

(on if he feels worse than last week or if it was reaggrevated)

Yeah.  It doesn't feel good right now, but honestly, I can't tell you.  We'll see tomorrow with the MRI.   

(on if it was worth it to play this week despite injury or the potential to get hurt again)

It's always worth it.  To play football is always worth it.  Don't know how many chances you get in this business.  There's nothing more fun than being out there playing football with your guys. Being the type of guy I am, I wanted to show the fans and our team that I'm a tough guy and it's going to take a lot to keep me out of the game.  It's just unfortunate things didn't quite go our way today.

(on if it's hard to be effective with the kind of pressure he was under today)

It's tough but all around we've got to execute better to get accomplished what we want to accomplish, myself included.  The five guys on the offensive line, the receivers and backs that are in the game; just a poor job of executing today and that's on all of us.

(on when he was alone on the sidelines with the team down 23-0 and his thoughts)

It's just frustrating.  You work so hard as team and to have the good guys we have in that locker room to not have it translate on the field on Sundays is tough.  It got real frustrating today but all I can do is keep grinding, keep working and keep getting better.

(on if his shoulder was bothering him before he got knocked out of the game)

It was hurting but obviously I was playing through it, still completing balls.  It probably wasn't as good as I wanted it to be but you've got to play banged up sometimes in this business.  You've got to work your way around it, I guess. 

(on if it is tough to keep everyone together in this type of scenario)

It's not tough.  The tough part is making sure that guys don't listen to the media because that is quite frankly what ya'll are doing right now is trying to break us apart.  We've got a great group of guys in that locker room.  We're going to stick together and work through this. 

(on why he thinks the media is trying to break the team apart)

I don't think it's intentional.  I just think – however I put this is going to sound bad – guys can interpret something that said in the newspaper probably the wrong way and take it negative.  You know, really don't need that.  We don't need guys to be reading the newspaper, looking online at what yall's opinion is.

(on how tough this stretch is for him personally)

It's not fun.  It's not fun losing but all I can do is keep working.  Can't get discouraged.  The future is bright.  We've got a lot of young players and we've got three games to get better for next year.  Ultimately, this isn't where we want to be but it's not going to do any better or make us feel any better to pout about it. 

(on Karl Klug lobbying to get the ball today)

I think everyone else has been lobbying for him to get a ball.  I don't think he necessarily was the one asking for the ball.  He gets kind of nervous out there on offense because he wants to do the right thing at all times.  It's great to kind of show how athletic he is.  I mean the guy was a 1000-yard rusher in high school so the guy's obviously an athlete. 

(on the impact of not having Justin Hunter or Kendall Wright play today)

It's tough.  Those are definitely two of our big threat guys, explosive playmakers in this offense.  We missed them, obviously but (Derek) Hagan, Kris (Durham) did a good job today. They did their assignments. Obviously we weren't very effective as a whole offensive unit. 

(on communication and timing issues with new players today)

I think that gets blown out of proportion a little bit, all this timing with receivers.  We've been running the same routes since we were in middle school.  Nothing's really changed. You just got to trust the guys going to be there and they were.  We've been practicing with each other since OTAs so timing's not really an issue. 



(opening statement)

I was actually very proud of the way the guys have gone through this stretch of time and I congratulated them not only on winning obviously but on coming to work, applying themselves and preparing and then being frustrated coming back in and doing the exact same thing and making an outstanding effort.  I thought they had done that week in and week out. I was never really concerned about the effort part of it.  So I told our team that that's what I was most proud of. It's very nice to win, it's very nice, again, to have that kind of feeling.  I just told the team, we are going to smile and we're going to enjoy this and the way that we went about it was good.  We had a good first half.  We came out in the second half knowing we had not put three quarters or four quarters together depending on which week you want to talk about and that was the most important thing that we do.  And I thought we did accomplish that.  I thought we did some things in the second half that got us over that hump as well. The defense had an opportunity to play extensively in the second half, the offense pretty much in the first half. Now we did score some points and that's a good thing.  Our defense scored a touchdown for us which was very good.  I wasn't very pleased the way we intercepted the ball and ran in the end zone and had the issue with the quarterback and that type of thing.  And I think honestly, Damontre' (Moore) did think he was blocking the quarterback but there is a fine stipulation where if the quarterback was exactly trying to get involved in the play or not. That's something we have to learn from.  We did play hard.  I don't know what the numbers are or anything.  I don't know what the stats are defensively.  We did get some pressure on the quarterback today.**

(on the celebration following the interception by Rodgers-Cromartie)

Did I just say that or what did I just get done saying?  I wasn't pleased with the part of it.  That bothered me. It did. 

(on saying something to Damontre' Moore following the penalty)

Yes I did. I did speak to him as he came off the field because I really do feel he is not aware.

(on a relief to get the win after losing so much)

I don't want to use that word relief.  We work hard for the outcome and we didn't get it.  We finally got a win after many weeks of starving and we feel good about that.  We are going to be joyous and smile a little bit before we get started on Washington which will be in about 10 minutes from now.

(on special teams)

Yeah, I think the first half, we definitely demonstrated some field position by virtue of our punt return, and we were pretty solid throughout. Our field goal kicker had a 52-yarder, which was…that's a good distance for us. I was pleased to see that. Special teams did play well.

(on whether last week's half-time lead was addressed today)

I certainly did, at half-time I had an occasion to mention that, yeah.

(on whether last week's experience helped)

I'd rather use it without that example. Thanks for reminding me, but no, we don't need that to apply it. In our case, obviously, it was there and that's what you zoom in on.

(on WR Odell Beckham, Jr.'s pass)

Well, you saw many opportunities in the first half and even the opportunity for him to throw the reverse pass. So, no question, if we can design something that will help us, then we're going to do that.

(on the growth of WR Odell Beckham, Jr.)

Well, he definitely he's grown, he's improved, he understands more, but again, I'll refer back to that, without much practice he was ready to go. He was mentally ready to go, he knew his assignments and, as you know, we move him all over the place and he's done well with that. 

(on whether multiple coverage become a problem for WR Odell Beckham, Jr.)

No, double, yes because of the quality of the people we're playing against, but nevertheless, we continue to try to find ways to put him in the position to where he does, at least, get single coverage.

(on exchange between P Steve Weatherford and assistant coach)

No, I don't know anything about it, but if it was then it was emotions in the moment and I'm sure that's all it was.

(closing statement)

I want to say something about Ken Whisenhunt and his staff, too.  Ken's an excellent football coach. Obviously going through a first-year process here, but he's a good coach. And he's staff is a good staff. 


(on having a good game in a winning effort)

Absolutely, it feels good to get a win period whether you had a good game or not. No better feeling that winning. There is still a play that is going to give me trouble sleeping tonight that is still left out there. The ball that Eli (Manning) threw in the end zone, I definitely should have caught it. Regardless of who is around, those are plays that need to be made.

(on if he is pleased with the ball he threw)

I kind of missed the second read. We had Preston Parker wide open. I'm not very tall so it's hard to see over those guys. I know that Rueben (Randle) was going to go get it for me so I just tried to put it out there for him but it was a little too far.

(on his feeling when they called that play)

I had a grin on my face. It was a play that we have been practicing for a while. We executed it and brought it to the game but we were just a little short.

(on if the offense has to be more creative to get him the ball since he is playing well)

To an extent, but that comes with the game. It allows a lot of opportunities for other people. There are a lot of things that we were doing out there that gave me chances to get the ball in my hands and I think we did a great job of that.


(on his 50-yard touchdown run)

Truth be told I was a little bit gassed and trying to get over that hump and get in my second wind. I looked ahead to see what was going on before I had a good handle of the ball. I got it secure and they blocked it up great and I got out.  

(on how it feels to get a win for the first time since October)

It feels really really good. We have been encountering the same negative, dark feeling in the locker room after each game and coming in each week and being like, 'what are we going to do to get better' and it was getting old so we had to do something different this week and make a stand.


(on his feeling after the win)

I'm excited that we were able to put four quarters together and get the win. I think we got off to another fast start that we have been doing the last few weeks but we were able to come out in the second half and finish the game. There was a big run by Andre (Williams) to get the touchdown. The defense played great. I gave them an easy touchdown on a bad play by me but I thought we had a good rhythm to start the game and came out firing with the defense playing great and figure out a way to get the win.

(on the value of a win)

Yeah. I think we just have to keep working. Guys are playing hard and have been playing hard all season. We have gone through a tough time but the commitment hasn't been lost. Guys are preparing hard each and every week, practices are good, we are playing hard on game day and we just have to find a way to put it all together and make the crucial plays and not make the mistakes and figure out a way to win. That's the most important thing.

(on Odell Beckham's pass)

It was a pretty good throw. He threw it about 65 yards pretty effortlessly. It was close to a hit. We hit a couple of reverses so we tried to get them with the pass but they played it pretty well. He makes it look pretty easy.


(on how his ankle feels)

Good, no setbacks. We are good.

(on if he could have handled a full load with his ankle)

Yeah, I think I could have rolled. That is me, that is my attitude, that is my adrenaline. But the coaches felt like where we were that it was best for me to get the carries that I got and contribute how I contributed.

(on ending the losing streak and getting a win)

It does seem like forever. You forgot how good it feels to win and to validate all of the hard work. Now we get to be on the other side of the excitement for a little bit. Obviously it is short-lived. You have to get ready for a good team next week, but we are definitely going to have a good time flying home and knowing that is the kind of football we expect out of ourselves.


(on if this was his first touchdown at any level)

In college I didn't get one. In Germany, if that counts.

(on his age when he scored his last touchdown in Germany)

I was 17 when I was a quarterback in Germany. It is a little bit different level here. It was exciting [to get the touchdown on Sunday]. If you are a fan of the game, and even if you are not in the NFL or even way before you are even in the NFL, you think it would be cool one day to score. I'm glad I accomplished that.

(on making the contribution in a winning effort)

That is the most important thing. The most important thing at the end of the day is that we won today. We were close the last few weeks. We had a lot of things not going the right way for us. For me to help the team win, that is my biggest accomplishment.


(on him helping Markus Kuhn into the end zone on the fumble recovery)

I had him. If he looked I was leading him there. I was looking for anybody to come. You just have to put on that little bit of motor. He was moving kind of slow, but he made it in there.

(on the relief of getting the win)

It is a good relief knowing we broke the losing streak. Like I said earlier, we are all professional football players at the end of the day and this is our job and we have to come and do our job. It is all about pride now. We have a losing season, or a losing record, or whatever, but all we have to do now is finish strong. At the end of the day as professionals we have to do our job and we did that today.


(on it being more fun for the defense when everyone is getting involved and getting after the quarterback)

Most definitely. Getting people involved and just making plays. We are trying to win games. It has been a long time since we have won, so this is a great feeling.

(on his sack that knocked Zach Mettenberger out of the game)

I just kind of disguised where I was coming and ended up coming and I came free.


(on the feeling after waiting so long for a win) It has been a while. I have been dreaming about this win for about seven weeks now. I am just glad that we came out and did what we know we are capable of, which is to go out here and start a game fast and finish even faster. It is a great team win. The coaches, the players, the organization and everyone was behind us. The fans still come out and support us for these games although we have had a disappointing season. We just have to continue to keep going out there and fighting.

(on this being the most complete game the team has played all season)

This is one of the most complete games we have played. Defensively we really didn't allow anything all game. They had a couple of drives, but not really anything that could hurt us or even get in field goal range. Offensively they came out there and imposed their will early and kept it pretty steady throughout the course of the game. It is a great team win.

(on the celebration penalty) **

We aren't talking about anything anyway. It is what it is. We got caught up in the moment. A teammate made a play and we celebrate. We celebrate as a team.

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