Postgame Quotes: Titans vs. Jaguars

**

TITANS HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT**

(opening statement)

Well, obviously I feel better in here today, glad to get the win. I thought our guys played hard today. Give Jacksonville credit, they played their tails off and you know they made some plays at the end. But, ultimately we made enough plays to win today and that's really what it's about. At times I thought we were clicking pretty good, but you know that's the thing that we've got to continue to improve on and at least we can do that from a win this week which makes it a lot better.

* (on if he was disappointed having to settle for field goals)*

Yeah and because we were so good in the red zone last week, you know, and we felt like we had a good plan going in this week. There are a couple of little detail things that we have to do better at as a group, our entire team, and I think that we will learn from it.

(on being a big relief to earn the win to change the conversation)

I would rather you say change it for a long time rather than a little bit. You know what, it's what we needed. I think six sacks, two turnovers by our defense today. Special teams played a lot better, did a great job today. So those are the things that you look for, but that's what we needed. We have been close a couple of times this year and this is the kind of thing when you do get a win we can build off from.

(on young players rising to occasion)

We did. Blidi (Wreh-Wilson) got his first pick. Avery made a good play on the turnover down there which was huge for us. I though Bishop (Sankey) at times – we didn't block especially well for him at times – but he did a good job running the football. I thought we had some communication errors in our line and sometimes when you integrate a new person in there that happens. I thought Taylor did a good job blocking today with what little bit I can tell you without having watched the tape. So, we had some opportunities today and we took advantage of them except for the red zone. We had some sustained drives. I thought right before the half when we scored and then we had a nice long drive to open the second half, you know, (we) would have liked to have a touchdown there because that's what makes the difference in games. So, those are the things that when you look at it, we have got to get better.

(on what was going through his mind when Jacksonville lined up for game-winning field goal attempt)

I had that sinking feeling, you know just because of what we went through last week, I'll be honest with you. But, Sammie (Hill) got his big ole mitt up there and tipped it, so I am very happy for Sammie.

(on if the blocked field goal was due to scheme)

You know what, I will have to look at it. I know we came close on the extra point the time before that, too. So, I am just glad that we made a play at the end to win the game.

(on if he received explanation on why Michael Griffin did not recover kick)

You know it was hard to see unless you were standing right there. The guy grabbed his right arm right as he was going to grab the ball and that's why it popped out the back side. I will say this, we executed that the correct way. You know, last time against the Colts we didn't block those guys. This time we blocked them, we got Michael open in that pocket and it was just one of those plays the guy grabbed his arm. Michael felt bad about it. He's played well for us the last couple of weeks. I hated to see that.

(on Sammie Hill not giving up to block the field goal attempt)

Well, you know I think that speaks about our team. We had a lot of guys who contributed there. Listen, it's tough. When we went through four losses like we did, and especially last week, when we lost that game it would be easy to do that. But, we had a good week of practice. Our guys believed they could do it and we will certainly take the win.

(on if Charlie Whitehurst held onto the ball a little too long at times)

I thought we had some issues with protection from a communication standpoint more so than anything. I don't know about physical. When you integrate a new guy into the line, sometimes that happens. We'll have to look at it and see. I think our line fought, and I don't have any issues with that. We don't want those sacks, don't get me wrong. We'll get it fixed.

(on the pressure that the outside linebackers were able to get on Blake Bortles toward the end)

I think we were talking about that today. I think there are some other teams in the league that Ruston (Webster) and I were talking about that are kind of in that same situation. We said, well maybe when it starts coming, they'll really start getting them. Maybe this was the watershed event that we're now going to be able to get some sacks from those guys.

(on the efficient play of quarterback Charlie Whitehurst)

Charlie (Whitehurst) handled himself just like we thought he would. He does a nice job. He was prepared, he made some good throws. I wish he would have connected on the one to Delanie (Walker) early because that would have been a huge play for us. He did a good job. He bought time in the pocket at times. We didn't protect him as well as we need to. He ran it, he managed the offense and did a good job.

(on Taylor Lewan's composure throughout the game)

We came out without a penalty by him (Taylor Lewan), so that's progress in itself, right? I would just be guessing if I said what I thought he did. I know I watched him a couple times in protection, and he did a nice job. That guy is a pretty good rusher. I was pleased with that. I think we have to do a better job in the run game. We just completely blew a couple of plays. Once again, it's a communication thing. That's where we can't make those mistakes. We'll get better with that. We'll work this group, and we'll get chance to work on that this week.

(on Kamerion Wimbley's injury at the end of the game)

I think it was just a stinger.

(on Jurrell Casey's injury)

I talked to Jurrell (Casey) in there, and he said he was OK. I don't know if he took a shot on his hip.

(on if he expects Jake Locker to be back in the mix next week)

We'll have to see how his hand is doing. That's the question.

(on how active Jurrell Casey was in today's game)

He was very active. Ropati (Pitoitua) was active. Sammie (Hill) was active. I saw those guys on the field all over the place. You give that quarterback credit, he's tough to get down. He extended plays today. I like the energy that our defensive front played with. I like that we were able some sacks and get some pressure.

(on improvements made by Marqueston Huff this week)

With the exception of that one down there on the goal line, that's a tough play. I'm happy with (Marqueston) Huff, he's growing into a good, young player. He's intense, he wants to be good, he works at it. You like that in young players. He's a mature young guy. That's one of the things we noticed when he first got here. He's learning how to harness and focus his energy which is going to help him be a good player for us.

(on how much of a confidence boost the interception was for Blidi Wreh-Wilson)

No question it helps him, I think confidence-wise for sure, from how he is viewed by other people. Blidi (Wreh-Wilson) has worked hard, it was tough to have him sit out last week. He had some tough games earlier this year. You have to give the kid credit. He bounced off not playing last week, and played well.

(on how straining the injuries have been)

We had to activate a tight end off the practice squad just to have enough guys to play that position. For the first time, putting the inactive list together wasn't hard. Hopefully we'll get some of those guys back sooner than later.

(on deciding to kick on fourth-and-short after the timeout)

When I called the timeout, I went down and looked at where it was actually spotted. It was a little further than where I was initially under the impression it was. It was really fourth-and-two, fourth-and-one-and-a-half, I think, as opposed to being fourth-and-less-than-a-yard. At that point, we just needed to get points.

(on punting earlier in the game on fourth-and-short)

No, at that point, where we were with the clock, I felt like it was the right thing not to.

**

NT SAMMIE HILL**

(on special teams play helping Titans win the game)

It's just not on one side.  It's got to be all three phases.  We've just got to keep working.  We should not have allowed them to score at the end of the game like that, and we would not have been put in that situation.  That's the reason you have a tough back throughout the whole game.  You have to play 60 minutes of football.  And when it comes down to nine seconds, or whatever it was they had left to try to score, well, special teams is a part of the game, too.  We've been through that time where we say, 'Oh, no, here we go again'.  We're not about that any more.  We come out and we've got each other's back.  And we know if one group or two groups don't get it done, maybe the third can handle it.  Like I said, God put it in our favor today, so we could make a play on special teams as a field goal block team.  It feels great to be able to do that.  And it don't matter how it happened, and what happened.  It happened.

(on what it felt like when he made contact with the ball, on the Jaguars' late field goal attempt)

The moment when my hand touched it, I turned around to make sure I didn't just tip the ball.  So when I saw it fall, I'm thinking 'Thank you, God. Thank you, Jesus.'  It felt great.  But there is no feeling in the world right now, that I can say makes me feel good, and any better than just getting the win today.  Forget the block.  Just win.  That's the biggest part for me.  I don't care how we did, as long as we did. 

**

RB DEXTER McCLUSTER**

(on getting the Titans' win today)

It came down to the wire.  Like I've said before, you never know what play it's going to be to get the win.  That blocked field goal was unbelievable.  We have to pick each other up.  Offense may be slacking here, so defense has to step it up.  Defense slacking, special teams (have to step up).  But we had each other's back today, and that was the main thing in this win today.  It's good to hear people laughing, talking, and smiling (in the locker room after a game).  So I'm just going to enjoy the moment, and enjoy this win.

(on his increased playing time today)

It felt good to get that opportunity.  The coaches do a good job all week at getting me the reps at the running back, and getting me the reps as a receiver.  So I mean today, it just came at the wide out position. I was just happy to be a part of this one.  I think the passing game was pretty-much dominant today.  We had some guys catching some good balls on the play action.  And you never know that the game is going to change, what the ups and downs are going to be, so coaches did a good job to keep passing the ball. 

**

TE DELANIE WALKER**

(on if the win today can be a place for the Titans to build)

I think so.  I think whenever you get a win that can boost any confidence, on any team, especially when you do it at home.  So I think we just have to go in and watch film, and see what we did when he had good drives, and see how we can build off of that … That's the rules and regulations of football.  You have to have better drives than your opponent.  When we did have a good drive, we put points on the board.  We have to sustain that.  We have to see how we can keep that going because we can't keep going three-and-out.  That's what we can do better as an offense.  We have to help our defense out.  They had big stops, and we went back out there and went three-and-out.  We have to put points on the board when our defense does thing like that. 

(on the Titans' victory)

It's been a long time since we had a win.  I'm excited.  I'm the type of player that will criticize what we do, and I feel as on offense, we have to play better.  I'm happy about everything, but I'm always looking to the future on what we have to do to get better.  

(on what he did when the Jaguars attempted a potential game-winning field goal)

I didn't watch the field goal attempt.  It is scary.  I couldn't look, so I was looking in the stands, crossing my fingers that our defense comes up with something, and they did.  They did a great job on blocking it.  So kudos go out to our defense for doing a great job on wining this game.  The fans are going to let you know right away on what just happened.  As soon as I saw them jumping, I knew something good had just happened.   

**

DT JURRELL CASEY**

(on what winning does for his mindset)

It just let us know that we have enough fight in us to keep on pushing through the season; allow us to go out there with a little more confidence to keep on going. You know, it's still early in the season and we've got one of our opponents under our belt in our division and now we'll continue to go out there and beat Houston and hope to win this division.

(on his activity in today's game)

I felt today was a good day for me. I made a couple plays out there. Coach put a charge on me, saying I'm supposed to be one of the better guys on this team and I need to make bigger plays. Today I took that on myself to be out there and help my defense make better plays for the offense and better plays for ourselves. I feel I had it on my back to go out there and make bigger plays today.

(on how Sammie Hill contributes to the team)

That boy, he's a great athlete for how big he is. Surprising to me, but I've been working with him for the last couple years and he's been showing play in and play out, so there was no doubt in mind how great a player he is. There are great guys on our team that are helping us every which way, and Sammie has been doing a great job at that.

(on whether he felt dread as Jaguars prepared for offside kick)

It was more so, you know, we have to go out there and make a stop. If we want to be one of the great defenses, we got to turn it around now against a team that we know we should be able to stop. We went out there and we got the job done.

(on how much of a relief it was to win)

It's huge, we've been fighting for a win for so long and to come out with a win like this is kind of a bummer, but at the end of the day a win is a win. We fought until the end and that's what they've been harping on, starting fast and finish fast.

(on a possible knee injury sustained during the game)

I'm fine. My foot was bothering me a little bit, so I think it was just a little bit aggravated, but I'm pretty good.

(on his impression of Blake Bortles)

He did a great job today. I can't knock him, he did a heck of a job getting out of the way of pressure, getting them back into the game at the end, he did a great job. He's got a lot of work to do, but I think he's going to be a top quarterback one of these days.

(on how hard Blake Bortles is to tackle)

He's a pretty big guy. I know on my second sack, I believe, when I tagged him on the arm, and I know that he's a pretty big guy. I'll make sure to get prepared for him next year, or next game actually. That's a big dude.

**

QB CHARLIE WHITEHURST**

(on the relief of winning today's game)

It was a relief. I think we kind of controlled the game, most of the game, but we weren't able to sustain a drive there in the second half to put it away. It would have been a little easier on everybody's hearts, but it's a win and we're very happy about it and it feels really good.

(on the blocked field goal at the end of the game)

In the NFL, that guy's going to make that kick a fairly high percentage of the time, and you're just hoping that we can make a play and block it, really. It was awesome to see that.

(on the success in the passing game over the middle today)

I'm not sure if we hit anything wide. It didn't seem like it; maybe a corner or two. The way they played; they were playing a lot of zone, and we were able to get behind the linebackers a few times and make a few plays.

(on how the end of the game played out)

It happened there pretty quick at the end. We were feeling pretty good. I would have liked to have stayed on the field there with six minutes left on offense and ended the game there, but the defense did a great job, forced two turnovers and had to stop them when they did and special teams won the game there at the end.

(on the play of Titans WR Justin Hunter)

He made a couple of good catches, and over the middle. I thought catching the ball and getting hit. They were clutch catches for sure. 

(on improving the play of the offense inside the red zone)

I don't know what exactly the stats were, but there were two times that we didn't get it in. Early in the game, we were down there at the five-yard line it seemed like, and weren't able to throw it in there. If you convert a few more, then it's a different game.

(on the decision to pass the ball more on the Titans' second drive of the game)

I thought we were running it pretty good, and there were some things that we thought were opened up, play-action-wise, and that's why we did that.

(on decision to go for the field goal, instead of the touchdown, in the second quarter)

I didn't have any dialogue with coach on that one. I was on the field the whole time, and I guess we were going to go for it. And then they called timeout or we called timeout, I can't remember, but we sent the field goal thing in. I wasn't involved with that one.

(on if he takes any extra satisfaction out of earning the win as the starting quarterback)

It's a team sport; it's the ultimate team sport, but there are little things that you take and it feels really good to be part of it, more so than standing over there and watching and just staying ready. It feels good.

(on the play of Titans RB Bishop Sankey)

He's going to be a really good football player. Obviously, he is talented with the ball in his hands; hard to tackle, slippery. It seems like every time he touches it, he make something happen. He's getting better and better, and he's going to be really good.

(on the play of Titans OT Taylor Lewan)

I thought he played well. We'll see, and everybody will get graded on the film, but I thought he was fine. He did what he was supposed to do.

(on the play of Jaguars QB Blake Bortles)

I think he's going to be a really good player. He's big and strong and throws the ball well. He's going to be a test for this organization for a long time, it looks like.

**

JAGUARS HEAD COACH GUS BRADLEY **

(opening statement)

That was very disappointing in many ways.  I thought that we had multiple chances. First of all give credit to Tennessee.  They moved the ball, they got some points, enough points to capture the win, so give credit to them.  On our side of the ball, I just felt like it was sloppy.  There was sloppy tackling.  Some opportunities to make some big plays and we didn't make them and that's the challenge.  Great courage, great spirit, great attention to it and want to but still not enough guys making enough plays in some critical times. I know in the 3rd quarter we only had one position and that's an issue on multiple reasons.  I think that we had stops on 3rd downs and penalties cost us to lengthen the drive for them and give them an opportunity and then the one interception.  A lot of little things came up today, too many little things that ended up affecting us and that is what we have to learn as a team.  Those things will come back and pile up and they keep you from getting your objective. We will learn from it.  I think every opportunity we have, we identify our strengths and weaknesses but we have got to continue to grow. 

(on getting a look at the last field goal attempt)

I didn't see it.  I know he got his arm up and extended. 

(on attempting another play with :12 remaining)

No, with no time outs.  I know we made a couple of challenges earlier and that's on me.  A couple of challenges earlier based on the information we took the challenges and wish we had a time out there. Generally a May Day situation for us is about 17 seconds, you know somewhere in there but with no timeouts so with 12 we felt like we just couldn't take that chance. I know in talking to Josh (Scobee) his limit was if it got to the 37.  We got to the 37 with no timeouts and we decided to cash in there.

(on Josh Scobee's confidence on making it)

I felt really confident, he felt really confident on the sideline. It looked like it was going in the right direction.  He got enough on it.  Just the height on it and that's without seeing it a replay on it.

(on Blake Bortles' assessment today)

Well I saw some good things.  We had some explosive passes.  I think we had a total of 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 of them. But there were a lot of them that where around the 15 yards, 14 yards.  I know we challenged  them, we were going for it we tried to get the run game established  early to try to build off that and get some explosive plays so we just continued to challenge them in that aspect.

(on having a lot of screens called)

Well we went into the game having screen plays called.

(on the run game)

I think there's a couple of things we need to look at. I think the run game, if you can get it going, it's like switching up coverages on defense. Sometimes a cover two is a good call because it gives the corners a break a little bit and I think sometimes that's important for the run game, too, because, not that the receivers are taking a break, but from running routes I think it keeps them fresh as well. So, I think for multiple reasons we've got to continue working that run game and get it going.

(on slow reaction to QB Charlie Whitehurst fumble)

Yeah, I went without seeing it. I don't know. We talked about coming out of stack and turning and going and you're right, there was an opportunity there and we were slow to get on it.

(on whether mistakes can be corrected immediately)

Well, yeah, it's discipline. We have to be disciplined. I understand guys are competing and that's what we want them to do, but it's about making good decisions.  Sometimes you have that hair trigger on third down, they can happen, but it was two critical times. In a game that's really close sometimes those things really stand out, just like tackling. I thought our tackling wasn't as good as it needed to be. I don't know how many missed tackles we had, it just didn't feel like it was as good as it has been. So, those things we've got to clean up. I think that's what we have to learn as a team. Sometimes you go through this and you get stung by it and then they realize we have to be on it, and in practice, I'm hoping we come back and it's even more of a high attention to get these things right. You earn success. You earn it. It's not given to you and for us I think we've got to learn how to earn it and we're doing some things but not enough.

(on feeling behind due to field position)

Yeah, a little bit of field position and that's where those critical third downs. Even though we didn't stop them right there, we had a chance to get them backed up and we didn't take advantage of it and then the interception. Even if we come out of that with three points right there, that was a critical play in the game. So, as you get closer, like we are now in these games, these little things show up more and I'm not so sure they didn't show up before, but they really stand out now when it's a close game like this and it comes back. So, that's what I'm talking with you about our team. I think they see that now, it's real apparent, these little things are coming back to get us.

(on causing turnovers)

No, they're not, but I did see a couple of times when the ball was on the ground, the one that we just talked about. There's another one where Sen'Derrick (Marks) ripped it out, the ball came out, so we're seeing the attempts. We're seeing the attempts as far as fumbles are concerned, that's a good sign. The interceptions, we need to keep tightening up our coverage. I thought the perimeter seemed like it played pretty well. The interior, some of those deep over routes and stuff, that's where we had some issues and that's something that we have to get corrected.

(on getting closer each week)

Well, it feels like we're going in the right direction, but it's not enough. It's not enough. We've got to use our pain that we're feeling in that locker room to get things right, and I know they will. They haven't shown me any other thing different than any other week. I think we'll use this and we'll grow from this. 

QB BLAKE BORTLES

(on the little things keeping this team from winning)

Those things are huge. It's something that Gus (Bradley) emphasizes all week in practice. It's something that we know that we need to accomplish during that game to come out with the end result that we want. Those are definitely things to focus on and things that we are going to have to continue to work on in order to achieve.

*(on the last drive of the game)


It was just exciting. It's a situation that you walk through all the time in practice and you get reps at. You know what yard-line you have to get to to give your kicker a chance. The kickoff team did a great job of recovering the onside kick. We definitely wish that we could have gotten a little closer and made it easier on Josh (Scobee). That's just another thing and a little detail that could possible help this situation out.

(on having long field position)

That's part of it. That's football. You get the ball and your objective and goal and what is expected of you is to go score and put up points no matter where you get the ball at. We have to continue to work on that. There are a lot of little things that we didn't do. There are a lot of things that we left out there. We missed some throws, made some mistakes, but I think we have to continue to work and continue to try to get better.

(on if he thought the game would go differently after success on the first drive)

Everything was going really well on the first drive. We were able to move the ball and we were able to go down and score. Clay (Harbor) made a great play and were able to put seven points up early. We have to be able to sustain and stay consistent and continue that. We can't kind of just go to sleep and fall apart.

(on if the frustration level is higher after this one)

I think it's the same. A loss is a loss and you feel the same about it no matter if you lose by one or if you lose by 40. It sucks.

(on if he feels that there has been progress made by the football team)

We are able to see it each week on film. Guys are doing things better, guys doing things that they weren't doing week one or week two or week three. Guys are getting better week by week and it's cool to watch. Obviously, we want to win. Nobody wants to lose, so I think we need to continue to try to get better and keep doing what we are doing and trusting our process and getting better and the results will come. 

(on if the pressure increases on the offense with the defense playing well)

They are playing really well. They have done a really good job of limiting teams to points. That's their job and now we have to do our job. They have been playing really well the past couple of weeks and we have to back them up and support them.

S JONATHAN CYPRIEN

(on the loss)

You can't just harp on this loss or any loss we have had. Right now it is probably going to sting, but the whole team has to understand that we have a lot of games coming up and we have to be upbeat about it and compete.

(on how the locker room is taking the loss)

You are definitely going to be frustrated. You definitely want to come into the game and capitalize when you feel you are prepared and everything. You are frustrated for now, but frustration won't do anything for you. You just have to let it out, get it out and just go back to work and try our best to improve. We just have to get it done.

WR DENARD ROBINSON

(on if the positive plays being made are a sign of good things to come)

They give us hope and they make us hungry. I think we have to still come together as a team and just keep fighting and look at this film and look at the little details that we did miss.

(on his feelings after the loss)

You are always mad about a loss. Of course I am going to be mad. I am a competitor. I hate losing. At the same time, I know that we did some good things and we did a couple of things that we could have done better. At the same time you have to stay positive, because if you just let it keep you down, this loss can lead you to another loss.

WR CECIL SHORTS III

(on the offense)

We have to execute. We have to get the big plays going. You look at offenses, they have big plays, they have explosive plays. We need more of those. We need more plays down the field in the running game and in the passing game. As receivers, we have to do a better job of making the big play.

(on if he needs to start stretching the field more, or if the plays are just not being called)

No, it doesn't matter what is called, we have to go out there and make plays. If it is a five-yard route, you have to catch the ball and go. Just like on the slant, I was trying to take off and make a big play, and they made a good play. It is on us as a team – the receivers, tight ends, skill positions – to go out there and make the plays that need to be made.

(on the fumble late in the fourth quarter)

I think if I just protect the ball we wouldn't be sitting here talking about this. I don't think I was trying to do too much. I just have to be more aware. We talk about the ball all of the time. That is definitely on me. 

WR ALLEN HURNS

(on the feeling at the end when the kick gets blocked)

It hurts. It's one of those that is going to sit with you for a while knowing that you had an opportunity to win the game. One of those gut punches that will sit with you for a long time.

(on if it's just the little things that is keeping this team from being consistent)

Yeah, it most definitely is. It's one thing like a drop or an interception. It's just one thing that's keeping us from taking that next step. I feel like we just have to continue to tune in and do more of what we have been doing. As long as we just continue to improve.  Each week you can see that we are getting better and better. We feel like we just can take it to another level.

C LUKE BOWANKO

(on the offense)

It all comes down from the leaders in the huddle as far as Zane (Beadles) since he has been through just about everything and even Blake (Bortles) today just being a calm presence in the huddle and calling plays and being precise and making plays. I thought we fought all game and we just have to find a way to get those few inches here and there. It's promising to see that kind of stuff and I respect everyone in that huddle. It's tough.

(on if he thinks that there was improvement today)

That might be the most frustrating part because we know that we have shown that we can do it. We know that we can move the ball on teams because we have moved it on just about everyone we have played. That's why it's more frustrating than nothing is, why can't we do that for 60 minutes. We have to figure that out.

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