Postgame Quotes: Titans vs. Saints

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TITANS INTERIM HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY**

(on win)

"It was an (absolutely) great win for this team. They are so competitive. They want to win so bad. They have come up short so many times. To keep the resilience throughout the game (says a lot). It could've got bad early. At times, that has happened with us. Never once did they ever flinch. And (they) just kind of kept coming back and making it a close game. (I said), 'Find a way to win this game. We have to find a way.' "

(on players making plays)

"We had guys out there (who had not played much recently). B.W. (Webb) played. As much as he did (play), he is just on the practice squad, to come in here and compete like he did (was big). We had a lot of guys that played well and we needed them to step up. DGB (Dorial Green-Beckham), to make some of the plays that he did, that was a big, giant step for him."

(on being proud of the team)

"The biggest thing was that your whole emotion could've been deflated when that field goal hit the crossbar. Not once did someone on that sideline say that 'we are not still in this, we are not still going to win this game.' That is this team. I have been in the league a long time. I'm just proud of them, really, really proud. They needed that. They really needed that."

(on the play of the Titans defensive backs)

"They did a really good job. Our defense has done a really good job all year. Today, with the backs that they (the Saints) have, I felt like that they were going to try to run the ball on us. Our guys knew that. That was a big emphasis…You try to make them one-dimensional. You really don't want to do that when that one dimension is Drew Brees, as accurate as he is. Other than the three double moves that got over the top of us, our guys kept everything in front of them and made tackles when we needed to. Our line did not get frustrated. When that ball is coming out quick, you start to think, 'I am never gonna get there. I am never gonna get there.' And if you stop, that is when the ball just sails over your head for a big, long play action pass. They just kept coming and kept coming. It was relentless. That is what these guys are made of. They just never stopped."

(on the improved play of the offensive line and offense)

"We got the ball out of (Mariota's) hands quicker. We changed the scheme some on how we were going to get the ball out and get it down the field. We changed some things that I thought was necessary. They handled it extremely well. Marcus (Mariota), obviously, made some great plays. He is accurate. If you can get him to get the ball out of his hands and he gets it into our guys' hands that turn out to be big plays…(that is the goal). Look at Delanie (Walker) what he does after he catches the ball."

(on Craig Stevens)

"Craig Stevens, every time you want him to make a play, Craig Stevens makes a play every time. He is just reliable. He does not get the credit in the passing game that he should get. He is a complete player. That was a huge play for us. It doesn't surprise me that he did it."

(on penalties and personal foul calls)

"That is just how a 1-6, emotional team is. You are struggling, fighting, scratching, and trying to win. Sometimes, emotions get the best of you. That is not acceptable. That could've cost us the game. Those are guys that, they know that. It can't happen. It will cost us a game if we don't get it under control."

(on why the pass protection was so much improved today)

"Some of it is new. Some of the things that I am familiar with as a former coordinator and a play caller, so I have been involved with the run game, really, since I have been here. I just got more involved with the passing game. I am not going to take credit for all of it. I thought that Jason Michael called an unbelievable football game. You talk about being composed and not missing a beat for the pressure that was on him. I am really proud of him and proud of what he did. We changed some of the philosophy of how to get the ball out and what to do with it. We will continue to do that."

(on Dorial Green-Beckham)

"We put a lot of pressure on him to come in and make some plays. And he did. He is going to be that much better after one game. Just (getting) the experience (is important). There were explosive plays that he left out there. It was all good for him, all positive things."

(on the emotion of the week)

"This has been an emotional week. This has been quite a week for everybody. To have an outcome like that (added to it). When it came to an overtime (period), getting the ball and scoring after the way that this week has gone, that locker room in there, they are all responsible for it. Those coaches (and) everybody kind of rallied around each other. It is a credit to them."

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QB #8 MARCUS MARIOTA**

"I have to give the credit to all of the guys up front. Throughout the entire game they held their blocks and gave me time. All the credit goes to them. It's incredible. Throughout this hectic week of ours, to pull out this win, was huge."

(on overtime)

"We felt the same way in overtime as we did the entire game. We went in a looked at it as if we could seal the game we wanted to do that, and fortunately we were able to do that."

(on game-winning touchdown)

"It's something we've worked on this entire season. It's kind of been in our game plan the entire year. (Anthony) Fasano did a great job selling it and guys up front did a great job selling it. And he just popped wide open."

"I think our team just stayed composed. They really believed in each other and for us moving forward that's what we need. Moving forward, this team each and every week of practice continues to work hard. So we'll keep doing that and hopefully we will keep pulling out some of these wins."

(on first touchdown)

"Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. We were fortunate to be in the right spot at the right time. He (Delanie Walker) did a great job following the ball and making the play. The stands was the target to be honest with you guys. I mean they brought a lot of pressure and honestly I was trying to throw it away. Right when I threw it I said I didn't put enough on it. But like I said, fortunately sometimes it's better to be  lucky than to be good. I saw the ball bounce a few times and saw him grab it and run it in for us."

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TE #80 ANTHONY FASANO**

(on game-winning touchdown catch)

"It was just play action by Marcus, and he sold it great. I happened to have the right coverage for the play and it was called at the right time. And he (Marcus) threw it up there and I was wide open to make the catch. Catching those are sometimes tougher than the ones you have to contest for."

"I'm just so happy for this team. It was a great team win. We had a lot of ups and downs out there and we fought through it."

"It was a heck of a win. I'm so proud of my teammates, especially with all of the adversity we went through this season and even this week. Now we have to look forward to next week."

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TE #82 DELANIE WALKER**

"We just went out there and played Titans football and got a great win. For him (Mariota) to come back and come out here today off an injury and do what he did today says a lot about him. That just excites me for him and his future and what we can become. And you've got to give the credit to the offensive line who protected him all game and gave him time to throw. He sat in there and made the tough throws and clearly that's what got us the win."

(on first touchdown)

"To be honest, I lost the ball in the lights when he (Mariota) threw it. But he got it up there and gave me an opportunity to make a play. They ran into each other, I turned around and saw the ball pop out, grabbed it and ran it in for a touchdown. The ball was just bouncing our way today."

"Our coach, Mike Mularkey – him being a tight end coach - talked about us having to step up a little bit more. I think the entire tight end group did a great job stepping up and that's what you saw. I can't say enough about our offense line to give us time, the defense stepped up, and it was a great team win."

"We had a lot of distractions up in Tennessee, and I just felt we all came down here as a team and took those distractions and frustrations out on the Saints and that's what everyone did."


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T #77 TAYLOR LEWAN**

"I mean it's great. To get a win for him (Coach Mularkey) is huge and really emotional for everybody because he's a great guy. This team just wants to play football and play winning football. I say that because I'm tired of even our own fans saying we're terrible. So I this is a big deal and we have a great future to look forward to."

"We protected him (Marcus Mariota) as best we could. To see he didn't get sacked is huge. Obviously a win is a win, and you want to keep him protected to give us a better chance to win."

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OLB #98 BRIAN ORAKPO**

(on back-to-back unsportsmanlike conduct penalties)

"I'm not going to get into that. All I know is that we won the game. That's all that matters. Drew (Brees) is a heck of a quarterback and they (referees) are going to call those calls every time. After that call we had to focus back in. I know I got a little crazy out there, and other people did too. But we settled down quickly and played football. Like I said it's very hard and frustrating when you get a call like that because you work so hard to get to a guy like Drew Brees. But even if the calls didn't go in our favor, we had to settle down and continue to play football.".

"This win was huge. I mean after the week we had; losing a great coach in Coach Whisenhunt, this win is huge for us; especially with us being a young team."

"It was a tough game for our defense, but I felt we put a lot of pressure on him (Brees). I mean, he gets the ball out real quick, and I mean you're talking about a veteran quarterback, a Hall of Fame quarterback out there making plays. But he hung in there and made our plays and that was the difference at the end of the day."

(on sack in last two minutes of regulation)

"That was huge, for us to get a sack at the very end to push them back to put them out of field goal range. That really helped. Like I said, we had our back against the wall then and we made the play to get us into overtime."

LB #52 STEVE JOHNSON

"He's (Brees) a great quarterback, and if you are going to decide to blitz you better make sure you have the right coverage called behind you. I'm just so happy for our new coach. To see him get a tough victory in his first game means a lot. Just to see all of our players run around at the end of the game being happy because we won is something memorable. To be honest, I never thought it would be like that. I thought we were going to win it in the fourth quarter. But to win it in overtime, there's nothing better than that."

CB #38 B.W. WEBB

(on his interception)

"The ball was up there in the air and all I wanted to do was make a play. The coaches and older players did a great job with me this week to get ready to play and get me in a position to make plays and help our team win."

"It's a huge victory for us. I mean to come into another team's house and get a 'W' is unbelievable. That's never an easy thing to do. I can't be happier."

SAINTS HEAD COACH SEAN PAYTON

"Obviously, it's a disappointing loss. I respect (Tennessee) for battling back like they were able to. I felt early on we had our opportunities to get out ahead and score a few more and all of a sudden, we got a turnover. There was a sequence of about two or three things that happened. The second half comes and we struggle with some (pass) protections, we can't get off the field defensively, we get in field goal range and we get a kick blocked. We fumble a return. We do those things that keep you from winning. It's disappointing, but we'll look closely at the film and battle back."

(on Hau'oli Kikaha's absence affecting the pass rush)

"It's hard to put a measure on that. We knew that Marcus (Mariota) is pretty good at getting the ball out of his hands. We'll look at the tape and see how we did with our rush. It's kind of frustrating. We played some zone and some man coverage. We just struggled getting off the field, and obviously when you lose like that in overtime, it leaves a sour taste in your mouth.

"It's a game that despite the imperfections and how we played, we had a chance (to win) at the end and weren't able to execute. We get that opportunity to kick that field goal at the end. It's disappointing."

(on new holder)

"We have to look at the kicks. It's hard to tell without seeing it on the film, if the trajectory was low, if the hold was clean. I'm not sure. We'll see."

(on playing base defense more)

"They're kind of a heavy 12 personnel team with two tight ends. They got into some three tight ends. I think (we played base defense) maybe a little bit more today, but I don't know (if it was) that much more."

(on Tennessee's first TD on tipped pass changing dynamic of game)

"There's not a lot I can say to you guys when something like that happens. They're going to high-point the ball, there's a collision. You get back, keep working and keep hustling. Obviously, it's a key point in the game and you hope to overcome it."

(on frustration of losing with a chance to go over .500 on the season)

"It's a loss. There's not a lot of wiggle room when you start off the way we started. When you lose the turnover battle like we did today - we got one and lost two - (and) you can't execute a simple field goal, to me, it's certainly up and down. To get that consistency we're looking for, we're going to have to be better in a lot of areas, or else, it's going to be kind of streaky, here-and-there type of deal. We've got to do a better job of coaching. There are a number of things that are frustrating about this loss.

(on differences in Tennessee's scheme with new head coach)

"No, they ran play-actions and they did a good job of running the football. Their rush numbers at half were better than ours; that's pretty disappointing. I thought we'd be better rushing the football in the second half. I don't know there was anything (in the scheme) that jumped out. Certainly, the personnel was a little different, because receivers were playing new roles for them. They were down one there; we were down at linebacker and a little thin at corners. (That's) kind of how it is week to week.

(on whether he considered going for two with 27-20 lead)

"No, not at that point in the game."

(on frustration of field goal operation throughout the season) "It's the snap, the hold, the fundamentals. They kicked last week to win a game and they get an opportunity to do it again. We'll look at the tape. Obviously, it's frustrating. We obviously aren't doing a good enough job coaching. We've got to get that cleaned up."

QB #9 DREW BREES

(On if it's tough to win tight games consistently)

"It's the manner in which you arrive at that point. Sometimes, there are tight games where it's hard fought and it's just back and forth and all that, but give them a lot of credit. When you look at all the things that we talk about as being an emphasis for us to win a football game, first being the turnover-takeaway ratio, we lost that today. We gave it away twice and only got it back once. I'm not sure what the penalty number was, but it sure felt like there were a lot of penalties against us. We are close to leading the league in penalties, and that's going to get you beat. You look at both of those things right there, and those are two critical statistics that every team looks at and says that we have to be on the plus side of a lot of these things if we are going to give ourselves a chance, and we are not right now. That fact makes these games really close, maybe even dipping in the favor of the other team, and we have to constantly overcome that. That's the reason for some of these tight games, and if you're lucky, you win some, and others you lose, and you know why."

(On why Saints became so ineffective in the second half)

"I have to go back and look at the film. We became a little bit more conservative, which is fine. We have answered for whatever a defense wants to throw at us. We feel like we have an answer to any defense that anyone wants to throw at us. We can move that ball methodically down the field. We wait for opportunities for big plays, and we will call our shots, checking down if it's not there to make sure we keep possessing the ball and moving the ball down the field. Obviously, we came out and scored on the first three drives, and it slowed down a bit after that. We kept moving it and then we had that one turnover, which was my fault, but sometimes you're playing the field position game against a good defense. That team has a very good defense. That just happened to be the case in the second half."

(On frustration of not being able to climb over .500)

"Forget the records. It's frustrating that we lost this game because of all of those things that I mentioned earlier; penalties, turnovers, and just not making the plays that we need to make. I know we can run the ball better. I know we can stop the run better. All of those things that mean winning in football we didn't do enough of today."

(On toughness of the defense today getting a few hits on Drew)

"Everybody wants to hit the quarterback, that's just part of the game. That's a very good pass rush team. If you turn on the film and watch them, they have a lot of guys that can get after the quarterback. I think we knew that coming into this game."

TE #82 BENJAMIN WATSON

(on if Tennessee changed anything at halftime)

"No, there's not much that you can do at half time really. You just stick to your game plan. Players make adjustments throughout the game. In the end, they deserved to win. They played better than we did down the stretch."

(on if he is surprised at the result)

"No, not when you look at how we played. We didn't establish a run game. That's something that we really wanted to do. That was very important for us. We had some costly turnovers as well. When you don't do those two things well, then it doesn't bode well for you. You have to do really well in all of the other areas to get the win. They played better than us and that's why they won."

WR #10 BRANDIN COOKS

(on the win streak coming to an end)

"It's tough. We worked extremely hard to get back to where we were. We just have to keep on fighting and keep doing what we do."

(on if they held themselves back)

"It was one of those games where we held ourselves back. They weren't doing anything special. There was no specific adjustment at all."

(on if playing close games caught up with them)

"No. We put in so much work. We are always ready for any situation and any type of game. It's tough. We've just got to find a way like we've been doing."

T #64 ZACH STRIEF

(on the officials throwing lots of penalties)

"It's on us to adjust accordingly if you are going to have a crew that throws a lot of penalties. I think both team were affected by it at times. I don't think it affect the rhythm necessarily."

(on establishing early momentum)

Momentum in games sometimes can be a little bit out of your control. I think that we got off to a fast start. I think that's something that we talked about all week. We were wble to do that, which was good. We had momentum not go our way. Sometimes that happens. We felt real good coming into half time. I would tell you the inability to establish that momentum coming out of half time hurt us the most."

FS #31 JAIRUS BYRD

(On early bobbled defensive play with Keenan Lewis that resulted in Titans score)

"It was just a play where we were both going for the ball and trying to make a play on the ball, and with two people there, stuff like that is obviously unfortunate, but it just happened. You're not really aware of other people around you, you're just going for the ball. This isn't a one guy calls the other one off type of situation. You just go for the ball."

(On mood on the sideline following that play)

"Next play. There's nothing really to say. You're just going for the ball. It was a pop fly. You can't call it, you just go for it."

CB #21 KEENAN LEWIS

(on Marcus Mariota's poise)

"He's a good quarterback. There's a reason why he was the No. 2 pick. It is what it is."

(on the frustration of the loss)

"It's frustrating. You have teams like Carolina and Atlanta who are winning games. You don't want to be third or fourth in your division. It's getting close to playoffs and it's the time to start winning."

K #5 KAI FORBATH

(on game winning kicks two weeks in a row)

"It's part of the job. We have to get to work next week and work on those things."

(on if the hold was okay)

"We haven't had a chance to look at it. I'm just looking at the ball. It comes out quick. We will look at it this week."

(on if the new holder made a difference)

"Thomas (Morstead) has been helping me since I got here. We practice on the side. I felt comfortable with him coming in this week."

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