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Postgame Quotes: Titans vs. Raiders




(opening statement)

Give credit to the Raiders to come into our place and beat us. To me it's two good football teams that played today. I thought it was going to be a close game; it was a close game. We kicked a field goal, we had a chance for an onside, we've got to do some things better in some areas, but there were some good things in that game we can build off, and obviously there are some things every week we can clean up.

(on the decision to start the game with an onside kick)

Wanted to get the ball, start the game with the ball.

(on if he second guessed himself after the kick)

Not for a second. I don't do that.

(on why he didn't second guess his decision)

We could have had the ball at the 50-yard line with a pretty potent offense if we execute the onside kick.

(on where the failure was for the execution of the onside kick)

Well, they got it. I'm not going to go into the who or why, that's none of your business.

(on CB Adoree' Jackson's performance)

I saw him make a lot of good plays. He made a play by the goal line by the endzone, I thought it was a good play. The kickoff return he had a chance, he made something out of nothing, I thought that was a good play. Again, I thought we had some young guys that did some good things today that they can build off of. Corey (Davis), for getting in his first NFL game was good. We had some young guys that got some good experience for us.

(on how the offense performed)

I like how we responded to a touchdown, we came back, went 75 yards for a touchdown. I like that we had the ball on the two and went down to kick a field goal and match theirs. I liked a lot of things we did. We came up short. I didn't like that we had to kick a field goal in the red zone. We need to finish drives much better, and we need to convert third downs.

(on if the new team members are why they are struggling when the team was so good in the red zone last season)

A little bit, yeah, a little bit. Again, just some things I saw from the sideline of the plays developing, and the pictures on the sideline, but I'll definitely get it much better once I watch it over and over.

(on if he expected to run the ball better than they did today)

I'd like to see us running better than that. I think we can. They've got a good front. Those two guys on the outside can kind of squeeze you in, that's the design of the defense. I'd like to see us run it better.

(on what he can take away from a week one loss)

Like I said, I think there are two good teams that played today. We didn't make enough plays that could put us over the top. We played a close game. We thought it was going to be. At the end there, to let the kickoff return to get out there, to let them get in a position to kick another field goal- those are things our defense has to do a better job of. Getting off the field as well.

* (on if special teams still needs improvement)*

Yes, that's definitely- we missed a field goal at the end. That still keeps us in the game. Special teams still got to get better at it, there's no doubt about it. We had three penalties, a missed field goal, we had a 40-yard plus return by (Cordarrelle) Patterson; those are things we've got to get better.

(on WR Corey Davis' performance)

There's some things he's got to clean up. Again, for his first game, I thought he did some very good things, but there are some- he got a lot of plays, a lot of things to learn, but there were some things that were not on track just because lack of time.

(on if the game will change shape if Corey Davis plays more)

No. Maybe more towards the end.

(on how limited Corey Davis was in the game)

We just weren't going to throw him in there to start the game if we wanted to go two wide set. He was limited to three wide receivers, he did rotate with (Eric) Decker, he got a good number of snaps.

(on if WR Eric Dekker's limited time in the preseason from an ankle injury impacted his performance)

He fell down on a third down that we should have completed. There were some things he could have helped us out a little bit better, but he's been out with an ankle- he's been limited, very limited. I appreciate that he's out there playing, and playing as many snaps as he has. Certainly would hope to have him get in there and get some more snaps and have that group together for the first time. It's one game they've been together.

(on if Eric Decker's ankle injury is still an issue)

No, but he's been limited.

(on converting third downs in the first half)

I thought the protection was good. I thought our protection was pretty good all day, especially when we felt like (Bruce) Irvin and (Khalil) Mack could be the game changers on the outside, the I thought our tackles did well against those guys. It was the third downs more in the second half that shut down some drives that we needed to keep going, but again, there's a lot of good things I can see and talk about and the first half of third downs and how we were able to drive the ball like we did.

(on leaving time on the clock first half and leaving opportunities to run)

Yeah. Now looking back at it, it's easy to say that, yes. I wish we had done that, especially with that quarterback.

(on if that was play calling or players getting out of bounds when they should have stayed in)

No, that's a little bit of everything. If you want to blame anybody, blame the coaches.

(on Adoree Jackson's battle skills against WR Amari Cooper)

You're going against one of the best in the league in your very first start in the NFL. It's good for you. There's nothing but good that will come from it.

(on if it's frustrating to go 90 yards and settling on a field goal)

Yeah it is. We had a chance. That last play, we had a chance to get in there. I'll go back and look at it, it was a long drive, we kept the ball, we came off of our two and went down and scored points and answered them, so I thought it was good that we did that. Obviously, anytime you don't score a touchdown in the red zone you're disappointed.

(on if the team is tackling well enough)

There's much that has to get better. That was a big emphasis at halftime, we were not tackling well enough.

(on if he saw improvement after the first half)


(on if Hurricane Irma dictates how the team prepares for next week)

I haven't really thought much about it, I haven't heard much different about going there next week. I haven't, obviously before the game it was still in south Florida, I don't know what the track it's on, I don't know what the plans are, I haven't talked to anybody about that.

(on if he has family in Florida)

Yes. I have some in central Florida and some in Jacksonville still.



(on the red zone deficiency making the difference today)

Yeah, that was critical.  I think that was probably the turning point of the game was the fact that we couldn't score touchdowns in there.  You play a good team like that, you've got to make the most out of your opportunities and unfortunately, we weren't able to do that today.

(on so many new receivers playing into challenges early in the season)

Not necessarily.  I thought the receivers did a good job.  I thought, offensively, we moved the ball.  We just got kind of stalled down there in the red zone.  That's something that we're good at.  You know, over the last couple of years, we've made a lot of plays down in the red zone. Just today, we weren't able to do that.

(on the things Corey Davis has been working on in practice, like the first reception, showing up today)

Yes.  Oh yeah, absolutely.  That's the standard.  That's what I think he can live up to and we can always get better. We can always improve.  He did well today.

(on missing the wide outs in preseason and trying to get in sync with them)

I thought we moved the ball well.  It just came down to the fact that when we got down in the red zone, we didn't score.  I've got to give credit to Oakland's defense.  They made a couple plays down there when we didn't and I don't think that has anything to do with the receiving corps. 

(on the 10-yard touchdown to open the game and what he saw there)

Yeah, it came out just like every day in practice.  The end tried to grab the running back.  Delanie (Walker) and the receiver did a great job blocking.  It really was an easy route for me.  Those guys did all the work.  I just kind of had the ball. 

(on this, regardless of being good or bad, not counting for more than one and affecting the locker room)

Yeah, I mean confidence wise, I think everything's fine.  I mean, obviously, it sucks to lose.  It sucks to lose your home opener but at the same time, I thought we did a lot of good things.  There were a lot of good plays out there.  We just didn't make enough.  When you face a good team like Oakland, you've got to hit on all cylinders and unfortunately, we just didn't make enough plays. 

(on the several third-and-longs in the first half being confidence builders and making completions )

Yeah, I think you just build rhythm.  To be able to gain a first down, especially in those long situations, builds rhythm, builds confidence, gives the guys life.  Overall, I thought third down we did a pretty good job, we just, again, didn't convert in the red zone and that's critical.

(on walking off the field after a 90-yard drive and settling for a field goal)

It's tough, frustrating. In this league, it's hard to score and when you sustain drives as long as we did today, a couple of them, you want to finish with a touchdown and get more points on board.  Unfortunately, we were unable to do that.  Yeah, it was definitely frustrating.

(on if the team knew about opening the game with an onside kick)

We had an idea, for sure.  Again, hats off to Oakland.  They were ready for it.  They made a good play but I love that.  I love the aggressiveness.  I love being a part of that culture.  I thought Coach (Mike) Mularkey did a good job in making that call.

(on being more comfortable with all of the new receivers and not just Delanie Walker and Rishard Matthews)

I'm comfortable with every single one of those guys.  Doesn't matter who's out there.  I think each and every single one of them have the ability to make plays.

(on getting ready for Jacksonville)

Flush it and move on and get ready to go.  That's all you can do.  It's a long season.  Build off of the positives and look back and fix the negatives and get ready to go for Jacksonville.

(on what this week means coming up since he was injured in a play at Jacksonville last year)

Honestly, I haven't really put much thought into it.  It's a division opponent and it's a road game.  Most important is just going out there, playing well and getting a win.  We didn't play very well in our division last season and we have to change that if we want to go on and accomplish the things we want to do.

(on additional pressure at Jacksonville and the potential of starting 0-2)

No, again, it's a long season.  Obviously, you want to look at this game, you want to improve but you've got to flush it.  You've got to move on.  You know, we've got to find ways to get ready and I think we will.


(on frustration of not getting into end zone)

You just want to get into the end zone. We wanted to get seven. We just couldn't get it into the end zone.

(on if Oakland was doing anything defensively they were not aware of)

I am going to have to watch film. I am out there and really don't know the missed assignments. I can say what I did. I don't think there is anything they did. Everything we practice, we had seen. We just got to execute.

(on change of third down percentage in second half)

You know, they probably changed some things when they went in at halftime. We change things. Again, the Raiders played better than us today and that is why they won and they probably made some changes in the secondary to stop us.

(on disappointing way to open the regular season)

Very disappointing, we don't want to lose at home. We talk about protecting our house. We didn't do that today, so it is disappointing.



(on having opportunity to get on field for game action)

It felt good, real good. It is unfortunate that we came up with the loss, but we will bounce back. We have got another week of preparation and we will be better next week.  

(on how he felt about his performance)

Decently, obviously not near enough as we came out with a L. But like I said, we will clean it up next time.

(on if he felt better as the game progressed)

Yeah, I did. I went into the game not knowing how much I was going to get in, but I was pretty much preparing myself for anything.

(on promising drives that ended with field goals)

Obviously when we go down and get into the red zone, you want to get six or seven points on the board. We got some things to clean up and we'll get it in the next one. Most of the things were on us. We got to correct a few things.



(on offensive line having spurts to boost running game)

I think as an offensive line, it felt like everyone was on the same page and we were in our blocks. I will have to watch the film. I can only say about my own play for sure.

(on getting into scoring territory on several occasions)

We talked about it, we have to finish drives. It is as simple as that.

(on if game was measuring stick)

You only get 16 opportunities in a season. Your measuring stick is the preseason. You have got to go out there and play. I think as an offense, we had a good day. We kept drives going and we got chances to score. We got to finish those drives. We got a good offense and we showed that today, but we got to finish it up.


(on the Titans offense having to settle for field goals)

We knew they were a good team defensively, offensively. We just got to score points, we can't settle for three points down there in the red zone when we're that close. We've just got to capitalize on our opportunities and go from there.

(on the Titans offense executing in the red zone)

I thought we moved the ball well, once we got down there we got a little stagnant. We've got to, like I said, lock in down there especially in the red zone and make sure we come out with six points. Definitely execution could have been better offensively.

(on the offense making adjustments in the second half)

I thought we started off running well. They made a few plays, stunts and what not. Offensively, maybe I missed a hole or something. We've just got to get better in the run game and set the tone. Just got to get more opportunities.

(on the Titans opening the game with an onside kick)

We're in favor of whatever decision he makes, that's his call.

(on putting this loss behind them and preparing for Jacksonville)

It's rough. Obviously, it's the first game, we lost. They all mean a lot. We've just got to come in tomorrow, watch the film and then go from there.



(on defending against Oakland's shoulder fade routes)

You just have to go out there and put your hands up and play to the man.  I try to do that as much as possible to come away with multiple breakups, just by playing that back shoulder the way I was doing it.  They are in the league and they are going to make plays.  As much as I want to be perfect out there, I'm not going to be perfect.  We're just going out there battling, so that's pretty much all you can do.  

(on starting and being matched up with different receivers)

Everything was cool, I was out there enjoying myself and having fun.  The older guys told me to just go out there and play my ball and just have fun the first game. That's what I expected, just going out there and competing.  They just told me to go out there and have fun and play ball.  Logan (Ryan) was telling me that's what you should want as a cornerback, for them to go after you. 

(on playing his first game in the NFL)

It felt good.  I wish we would have gotten the win, but Oakland's a great team.  They came out and performed well.  Just to get one out here with my brothers and just to have fun with those guys, it's always going to be one you won't forget.  Coach said that to everyone who was in the meeting room, 'This is going to be your first game (in the NFL), the one you won't forget.'  He still remembers his.  That's what everybody said, they all still remember their very first game. It was just great to get that first one under my belt. 

(on hurdling a tackler, during his fourth quarter kick return)

I was just trying to make a play.  That's pretty much what I did at SC (Southern Cal), so it's just me being a kid playing backyard football.  Trying to do something to make a play and get a spark going. 



(on the Raiders victory today over the Titans)

You have to give them credit where credit is due. They made their plays, and definitely made more plays than we did.  I think it's just a couple of little mistakes we had, a couple of plays here and there. A couple of missed tackles, and a couple of missed assignments. I still think we have a special group. It was game one. We just have to a get back to the film and fix things. Our game plan was sound. I feel like we played a pretty good game but for a couple of plays, and we just have to get those back.  I'm not going to point out anything in particular.  I think a secondary as a whole, we just have to make our plays. They made more plays than we made and we're going to have to fix that next week going against Jacksonville.


* (on the defensive effort today versus the Raiders)*

Really frustrating.  Coming into game one, knowing you want to help your offense out and give them the ball as much as possible, and they count on us to give them the ball back and we didn't get it done.  It definitely sucks, and it is not the way we wanted to come out and play this game.  We couldn't get them off the field to give our offense the chance.

(on the play of Raiders QB Derek Carr)

He's a good quarterback and got the ball out of his hands pretty quick. At times he did hold on to it, our guys got to him a few times and we got two sacks.  They set up pretty well and got the ball out of his hands and didn't really let us get to much pressure on him, and he did a good job of moving around in that pocket to avoid anything we did bring. 

(on losing the home opener)

Its stupid tough.  Especially at home, knowing that we want to control home field advantage as much as possible and make sure no one comes in here and put any points on that board.  It's definitely a shot to the heart and a shot to my pride to let someone come in here and run up and down on us like that. We just have to come back stronger and make sure we bounce back for the next 15 (games).


(on the defense not stopping the Raiders' offense during their long drives)

Very difficult. Very disappointing. It's the situation of football, you have to find a way to get the ball back to our offense and we came up short. Marshawn (Lynch) made some key runs and able to keep the drives alive.  Two good teams really going at it, battling. It was a great game throughout, they made more plays than we did towards the end.  For us, it is back to the drawing board.  We've been in the situation before and we've stopped our opponents late in the game. This time we just came up short, and next time we'll do a better job. 


(opening statement)

I'm really pleased with our guys. It was a complete team effort. A good football team with the Titans. An outstanding performance from our kicker. It was a pretty special day for him, proud of him, so good stuff. A couple things that stood out to me about the solid situation of winning this. Starting out with the onside attempt at the beginning of the game, the way we closed the first half and the way we closed the game. I thought those were the kind of things that we are stressing in training camp, during the offseason and preparing for the year. Seeing stuff like that come to fruition is good stuff, so I am proud of our guys. I thought the defense played solid overall, I thought all three phases we solid overall. Our team is well conditioned. Came in here knowing this is a tough team and a tough situation, and we would have to be ready to roll and we were so I am proud of our guys.  

(on kicker Giorgio Tavecchio's 50 yard kicks)

I think it is historical actually. (Raiders public relations) Will (Kiss) said it was historical. A great performance to come in and give us what we need. We asked him to make a couple of 50 yarders, 50 plus, and made two of them on the day. All three of his field goal attempts kicked off real well, so he played excellent for us. That is kind of what we are looking to get, put our guys in a situation to succeed and have them come through. You have got to give the young man a lot of credit.  I am very proud of him.

(on Tavecchio's journey to the NFL)

That's grit, that's perseverance. He certainly earned it. 

(on running back Marshawn Lynch adding to the physicality of the team)

For sure he is. We have always been physical with our offensive line, our defensive line, and adding a back like Marshawn (Lynch) who – you better be sure you want to tackle him before you go in there.  I think you saw a couple of great examples of what we were hoping to get today, so we are happy. Marshawn ran real well today. How many carries is he going to get? Maybe about 18. He had a good performance. I am happy about that as well.

(on Lynch being a closer)

He did today so we're one for one with that, and that's the idea. To be able to close these things and we did that very well.

(on the performance of the Raiders' defense in the second half)

I thought they played well. We were better on third downs, we were good in the red zone. They have got a physical offensive line, some really good backs and we didn't let them get loose. It was a good effort. They do a lot of different motions and shifts and things you have got to be ready for.  It was good to see that preparation come through.

(on safety Karl Joseph's breakup in the end zone and linebacker Nicholas Morrow's third down stop)

We made a couple of key third down stops. In the second half I think they got one conversion, that was key to being a lot better in the second half. I think throughout the day we were very solid.

(on the performance of the defensive rookies)

They're solid. We'll look at the tape and know more, but I think Eddie (Vanderdoes) was the main disruptor on the sack we got. Marquel (Lee) and Corey (James) both stuffed up the run inside for us as linebackers, so I think they had a good show.

(on linebacker Corey James' contribution after returning from injury)

They all add up. Little bit here, little bit there. That's what a team does. I think it was awesome of him to fight his way back. He had a little issue he dealt with at the end of camp there. He found his way back, made it back and showed it first team today. It was a great effort. I think he played well and it certainly was a calming influence because he was the one that's been out there before. It looked like we might not have him for a while there, but he fought his way into the game and we're really proud of that effort.

(on slowing the Titans' offense down by limiting drives by quarterback Marcus Mariota)

That's part of what they want to do. We had that in mind. We would've liked to have adjusted on that a little better – the one he did score on, but he's capable of that. He's terrific, talented young man and poses that threat that he could take off and run as well as throw.

(on talking to Tavecchio before the game to determine his outer limit)

No, I worked with the staff. Brad Seely does a great job with special teams preparation. You've got to look at the young guys we developed and the role they played today. Coach Seely did a tremendous job developing those guys. That's really what we're going to be about is develop our players, go out and find ways as a team to perform. Good start today.

(on offensive weapons on the last touchdown drive)

There's some good players in that mix. We're all about just getting the job done, but yeah, that was a good example of spreading it around. Derek (Carr) has shown over our time together that he will throw it to anybody. We don't lock in on any one guy. Obviously Coop (Amari Cooper) is going to be a match up problem for a lot of people, but we're not just going to force it there. We're going to distribute the ball and I think Derek does a great job of that.

(on quarterback Derek Carr's composure)

I thought he handled himself beautifully. I thought Todd (Downing) did a great job. He matched up against Dick LeBeau in his first game calling the game. Dick LeBeau's got a few skins on the wall. Pretty good. And he turned 80 yesterday so I said no gifts, let's get them all out of the way hopefully yesterday, none today.

(on effort by wide receiver Amari Cooper on early touchdown and getting him involved in the red zone)

Yeah, I think we're just playing. We're going to involve all of our guys. We're not going to force anything to one guy, but that was a great effort. Great individual effort and the team helped get him in there as well.

(on what tight end Jared Cook gives the team)

Yeah, you saw today several examples of it. He is a presence. We've got a lot of design for him. We go throughout the year. I guess you do get into some of that pick your poison if you're going to double outside, double Amari, then he's going to be tough to handle in the middle. So, we look forward to utilizing him as we go forward.


(on the Titans defense)

In the AFC West there are a lot of good defenses, so I know one when I see one. The Titans, ever since I've come into the NFL, are one of the top five defenses I've played – it's not even close. The way Coach (Dick) LeBeau schemes things and schemes free runners, plays coverage and all those things, he always tests our rules, he's good at that. Let alone with him as the coach, the players are unbelievable as you guys have seen. You have to be so careful not to throw a random pass to a defender just sitting there. You have to be so careful not to turn the ball over against these guys while still staying aggressive to move the ball and get explosive plays. It's a fine line, but Tennessee always has one the best defenses that I've ever played.

(on the success of Raiders kicker Giorgio Tavecchio)

For four years now, we've had him in OTAs and then we let him go and (Sebastian Janikowski) is kicking. Obviously, Seabass (Sebastian Janikowski), no one wants him hurt. He's our brother and our teammate, and he was hurt and Giorgio (Tavecchio) stepped up in a big way, and it couldn't happen to a better person. I hope our fans hear that and know that about Giorgio. He is one of the best people I've ever been around. Just his demeanor, the way he carries himself, what he's all about; everything about him is just the same every day, so, when he was knocking those kicks, from coaches to players to staff, there wasn't anyone who wasn't smiling. Obviously, he's doing things to help us win a game, but it's more so for the person. And, I think that's what makes our group special. Everyone out there, obviously we want to win, but we really cared more for him that he was having some success and that he could feel a little joy after the game.

(on how RB Marshawn Lynch's running style softens up the defense)

We got to see that Marshawn (Lynch) is Marshawn. He's running through people, and he's going to make it a pain on them to tackle him. You got to earn it if you're going to tackle him. When he's able to do that; we're all human so I'm sure they have to think about other things than Jared (Cook) and Coop (Amari Cooper) and Seth (Roberts) and Crab (Michael Crabtree). You know, there's a lot to think about and then you throw in him, trying to tackle him with our offensive line and that's a whole other story. We're in a good place, we have a lot of good pieces. Again, as Coach (Jack) Del Rio says, talent is nothing. We, as an offense – we were just talking – we didn't play well. We felt that we did not play to our standard, the way we should. I know I didn't. We have a lot to correct coming back for our next game.

(on his play in the red zone, specifically with WR Amari Cooper)

They had a young player guarding Coop (Amari Cooper), who we think is special. The young kid made some plays. At the same time, I can throw some better balls to help Coop out. Again, we never take something away from someone when they make a play. We'll never be like that, but at the same time, I could have helped him more with some of those plays and I'm sure he'd say the opposite. It's just how we are and it's how this organization is built – our culture. That's how we grow. If we both take the responsibility, we'll work at it and get better. I'm completely fine saying I screwed up, and I did a couple times. He made a perfect conversion on a route and I messed it up. There were so many little things in this game, which it always happens in a week one, but when you win you can sit

back and go dang man, we could have had so much more. So, looking back at it, we did do some good things, especially in the red zone, but there's still so much room for growth for him and I and our offense.

(on missing RB Marshawn Lynch on a pass play in the first half)

That was my fault. That was my fault. Marshawn (Lynch) did right. I was expecting him to bob and I weaved, and I messed it up. He did right, so that was all my fault.

(on the prospect of playing the Titans again later in the season)

It would be nice to play them at home. We've been here on the road three times in a row, but it's a great place, a great environment. They're a great team. I don't know much about their division this year. We don't play as many of them as we did last year, but I do know they're in a tough division but they're a good football team. So, absolutely, do I think we could see them down the road? Absolutely. You know, I think they're a really good football team. You know, I don't know much about their offense to be honest with you. I know a lot about their defense up close and personal, but absolutely, especially with a defense like that. You know, they can go a long way; that's for sure.

(on spreading the ball around to different receivers)

Yeah, that's really cool. And, you know, that's so funny because I don't know that. Just going through the reads and matchups and what route beats who and that's where a lot of your film study comes in. What routes do you want to throw against each and every guy? That kind of stuff. So the fact we were able to do that is really good for our offense. It shows that yeah we can go to Coop (Amari Cooper), we can go to Crab (Michael Crabtree), but we can throw receiver routes to a running back in Jalen (Richard). We can put (Jared) Cook out and let him run some routes from outside and in the slot. We can do a lot of things. And, like I said earlier, we can do a lot of things, we have a lot of talent – you know there's no secret about that. But we did not play well enough as an offense going forward, I believe. There's a lot of room for growth, especially on my end. But, it did feel good to get the rust out, to go out and complete some balls and see some things work. As an offense, that was good, but we have a long way to go. But, it is nice to see we can spread it out.


(on the Raiders defense)

The defense did a great job getting some key stops. When you get those stops, we got to take advantage of them and put the pressure on the other team.

(on what the Raiders can improve on)

We need to continue to finish drives. Some drives we stalled out a little bit and we just need to finish drives.**

(on getting the first game out of the way)

  • *The first game is always a lot of jitters. You don't know what to expect. We have a lot of leadership on this team so that definitely makes it a lot easier for us.

(on RB Marshawn Lynch's performance)

  • *We've been witnessing that since day one. We're really not surprised. That's what he does. That's why we brought him in. It's great to have him here and it's going to be exciting to watch him as the season goes on. 

(on QB Derek Carr) DC (Derek Carr) is the man of the franchise. He's our guy, he knows we have his back.


(on what he focused on in the offseason) Just to take advantage of my opportunities. I really didn't do that out there today but it happens sometimes. I got to move forward.

(on having RB Marshawn Lynch on the offense) He's such a beast. You saw that play where he ran a guy over that was like five times bigger than he was, so it gets everybody hype.

(on scoring a touchdown on the opening drive) It was great. It was a great feeling and it was a great boost for the team and it gave us the energy we needed on offense.

(on finishing the team's strong closing drive)

  • *That's what separates a mediocre offense from a great offense, being able to finish the game, being able to get in that victory formation at the end of the game.

(on the defense's play after the first drive of the game) It's encouraging. It really focused us and it was great to see them go out there today.

(on the Raiders defensive backs) They're definitely an underrated group. They work really hard every day and they work on their craft and they just want to be great players.


(on the team's strong finish) It feels so good. It's the best feeling. It doesn't get any better than that. That's what you look forward to, that's what you practice all week for, and throughout OTAs and throughout training camp for and to go out there and get physical, hit people, get people on the ground and finish like that, that's just the best feeling. We got a long way to go but that was a great start.

(on bringing in RB Marshawn Lynch during the offseason) He's a physical player, he's smash mouth, he's going to run right through you. Third-and-short, fourth down situations, when you're trying to close a game out, that's the type of player that you need, a guy that's going to go north and south like that.

(on the team's strong finish preparing them for the playoffs) That's a great start. It would have been even better if we had converted that third-and-short. I think that's the only thing we could have improved on, so we can take that next step because in the post season that's the type of games that are going to be played week in and week out. 

(on what he learned about his team today) Not much more than I had already known. The way that these guys prepare week in and week out every single day, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and even the day off on Monday, guys are in there taking care of their bodies, watching film. A lot of freaking hours and a lot of effort goes into this thing and just to see guys go in there and compete on Sunday and just have fun with it too, it doesn't get any better.

(on how this team compares to last year's) We're different because we have four (Derek Carr) in there. Obviously he's a great leader and a great signal caller and we just took the blinders off him, so to speak, and let him take control. He's just a natural, great leader. He's very confident in the huddle, and there was no doubt whatsoever that we were going to get things done


(on his NFL debut)

I have been dreaming about this moment for a very long time. It is special. I am feeling gratitude, catharsis. You spend so much time waiting, hoping, imagining, dreaming, and then when it happens it is not necessarily anti-climactic, but you can't be too caught up in the moment and what it means to you. This isn't about me, this is about the Raiders playing the Tennessee Titans. I am just grateful that I got the chance to contribute. You can imagine it has been a crazy week for me with the highs and the lows. I am Italian, so I live it very fully. This was a great week of life for me.

(on what it was like to receive the game ball from his teammates)

It was special. I have been dreaming about this for a long time and to see the smiling faces means the world to me. When these big o-linemen that have been battling all game turn to you and are so happy that you contributed, that is what I do this for.

(on keeping his emotions in check, especially on his first 52-yard kick)

I think I just went numb. For me it is a very spiritual journey, so I like to think that I just trusted in God's grace and know that he gave me the talents to perform the way that I needed to today. I am grateful that it worked out the way that it did.  

(on what his range was going to be entering the game)

I think we were going to say 53 (yards) in one direction and 50 (yards) in the other direction because there was a slight wind. It was a little swirly, it wasn't consistent. When I got the call to go out there I was just blank and went through the motions.


(on defensive performance as a whole)

The biggest thing going into this game as a defense is you want to make them earn everything. Even with the things they got and the balls they caught, everything was contested. You are going to win some battles and lose some battles, but you want to be in the right place competing. As long as we do that I think we will have even better games than today.

(on what has improved defensively from last year to this point this year)

Stopping the run [has improved]. First and second down I think we did a really good job of getting them to third-and-eight, third-and-10, third-and-seven, and that area where we can really go after them, call coverage or whatever we wanted to do. We kind of dictated the game and what was going on and not letting them get the third and shorts constantly. They had some third-and-shorts, but there wasn't a lot of them. It was good for our defense.

(on RB Marshawn Lynch's physicality)

That's what we already expected. We already knew who he was coming in here. He came in and put on a show. I think at the end of the game in the fourth quarter when you need to get down the field, give it to Beast Mode. That's what he did – got us down the field. He did exactly what we thought he would do today – put points on the board and now our defense can go into prevent defense.


(on QB Derek Carr)

DC [Derek Carr] is back. He's full, he's healthy, he's excited and he's the same DC and even better. I thought this year, he is even more focused and determined after having that injury last year. He came in ready today. It wasn't a perfect game, you're never going to have a perfect game, but we got away with a W and that's the biggest thing.

(on the running game being built to finish games in the fourth quarter)

That's exactly what we do. We take our four-minute offense seriously. We go in with probably a couple of plays and we are like 'It's four-minute. Everybody bite down, man-on-man.' It's not really fancy at all. It's four-minute. We just want to keep the ball and you are just going to have to stop us. We have added Marshawn [Lynch] who is a tough runner, our o-line is one of the best in the league, and we have guys like me and D-Wash [DeAndre Washington] that can come in and run the ball effectively. If we need to throw in the four-minute we have those options as well. Today we finished the game on the run and we finished the game with a victory. That's how you finish the game.

The Tennessee Titans take on the Oakland Raiders in Week 1 action at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

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