Postgame Quotes: Titans vs. Vikings

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TENNESSEE TITANS

**

HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT**

(opening statement)

Well we accomplished what we wanted to tonight, and that was number one, start fast and number two, win at home. That's something that is important to us. We had a bad taste in our mouths after last week's game not necessarily because of the way it went, but because of the mistakes we made.

So, it was really a focus on that. Ultimately, it took a couple of days to come to this. I just felt like it was important to get Marcus (Mariota) into a routine coming to this stadium. He had only been here once before, so get comfortable with his locker and pre-game preparation, the grass, a lot of little things you don't think about because, really, we don't play (here) for almost a month. When we come in here for real against Indianapolis on the 27th, we just have had two times of coming in here and doing all the things that lead up to a game. I thought that was important and of course once you make that decision it seemed to fall on everybody else on the offense had to go. It was important for us defensively just because of some of the things we should to fix.

(on what Marcus Mariota gained despite playing only four plays)

I don't think it is a negative, that's for sure. We recognized we weren't going against their starters, but you still got to make the plays. I thought we were efficient and did what we wanted to do.

(on having Blidi Wreh-Wilson return)

Well it makes us feel a lot better about where Blidi (Wreh-Wilson) is, number one. That's the most important thing, but he made a couple of good plays on the ball which if you remember last year, that is one of the things that he struggled with so it was nice to see him come out there tonight with confidence and play with good technique.

(on roster spots being up for grabs)

That's what we will look at and see. Obviously, you know I have been asked that a number of times during the week.  I mean there were guys that played well tonight. (Angelo) Blackson is talking about wanting to play tight end now. We'll figure it out. Obviously, we have to do it quickly, but it's going to be something we look at.

* (on Angelo Blackson's catch)*

I thought it was a really nice catch. It was a good throw and a good catch. It's too bad Beau (Brinkley) was down field because that would've been something for you guys to talk about for a while. And, don't say, "Is he going to play tight end?" because that's what everybody is already talking about.

(on T Jeremiah Poutasi's play in the first half)

He's very young. So, any time you can get him reps that's an important piece of it. That was the plan going in just because of that.

(on the next 24-48 hours)

It's awful. It's not any fun at all. It's probably the worst part of this job.  Just like, you come out of that room in there with these guys and everyone is happy and it's exciting and you realize that 22 of them aren't going to be on the roster. Maybe we'll get a few of them back on the practice squad, but it's hard. We've spent a lot of hours together over the last…however many weeks it's been.

(on escaping without many injuries tonight)

Yeah, I think so. The only one was (David) Fluellen in there.  I think he had a little bit of an ankle at the end, but I think we're in pretty good shape other than that. Nothing that I know of.

* (on G Andy Levitre not playing)*

Yeah, we talked before. I told Andy (Levitre) he wasn't going to play. We felt like we had a body of work on Andy and we knew where that was and we had between (Andy) Gallik and (Quinton) Spain and Josue (Matias) and (Will) Poehls, we had some guys that we really needed to see play. We've got to make a decision for the back end of our line group and those guys are all vying for spots. So, I think it was important that we see them do that.  

(on G Andy Levitre being a part of the team)

Yeah. My conversations with Andy, that's exactly what we told him. There's a place for Andy on this team. We've said that all along. I respect what he's done and certainly that's a decision that we've got to talk about over the next couple of days.

(on TE Chase Coffman's play during the preseason)

He did a nice job for himself. That's going to make a tough decision for that group and I think we're blessed to have one of the best tight end groups that I've been around. That's an important position. It's hard to find guys. So, as tough as it is, I'm glad it's a tough decision.

(on players winning jobs during the preseason)

You know, you come out of a game like this and it's never what you think it is sometimes so it's hard to make assessments right now, but there were some guys that made some plays tonight. I'm interested to see how it really looks on the tape and evaluate it.

(on DE Angelo Blackson adding depth at wide receiver )

Yeah, we're going to see if we can motion him down and crack block some, as well as be a pass receiver. That was a very athletic play though, I'll give him credit. Our sideline got pretty excited about it, too.  That and (Phillip) Supernaw's horrible spike. Two interesting things to talk about.*


**

QB MARCUS MARIOTA**

(on ending the preseason on a positive note)

It was great, definitely a confidence booster. Again, things we can always build upon and look forward to next week.**

(on if he was glad he got to play tonight)

Definitely. I love the game, I was going to be able to get in, and I was glad we were able to get that first drive in and score.

(on if he asked to play)

I mean obviously it's up to the coaches. This is my first time around, I don't really understand or know what regular things are going on in terms of playing time and stuff like that. So I just went about my business and hoped I played.

(on if someone saved the ball for him)

I didn't really even think about it. We'll see when the regular season gets going.

(on how the touchdown play happened)

(Harry Douglas) was actually the second receiver coming into my vision. The first was coming out of the backfield and they ended up covering that really well and Harry kind of ran a shallow and was open. We kind of knew going in that they had some hard time following the shallow wraps and Harry just made a great play.

(on how hard it was to show patience on the touchdown play)

It takes a little bit of time to develop. But again, Harry (Douglas) did a great job of getting over there as fast as he could. We knew going in that if the back wasn't going to pop that we had a chance for the shallow coming across and again, Harry did a great job of finishing that play.

(on if he feels like he and the offense are ready for the start of the regular season)

Definitely, I thought that we had some ups and downs in the preseason, but that's typical. It's good for us to learn and battle through a little bit of adversity and I think as a whole we're excited to get going and get the season going.

(on if he appreciated Angelo Blackson's play)

Incredible, unbelievable. Really heads up play, I mean unfortunate it didn't count, but at the same time, you go through some of those procedures during practice, maybe once or twice, so for those guys to be heads up and ready for that says a lot about their preparation.

(on if he saw Phillip Supernaw's spike)

What would you call that? I saw him go to spike it, I don't know if he really finished it. It's awesome to see those guys. (Alex) Tanney made a great play there, kind of extending the play, and (Phillip) Supernaw made a catch in the end zone. So it's great to see those guys compete and really be successful. They've worked hard this entire offseason and it's fun to watch.

(on sharing the locker room for the last time with some players)

It is a different experience. It isn't like college, a lot of these guys, you're not sure what's going to happen. But to see how much they've put in work and to get a victory and enjoy it as a family one more time.

(on if he is excited for the upcoming week)

I'm very excited. Obviously, now it counts. We're looking forward to it. I think we've built a solid foundation for the season and were excited to show it out on the field.

(on if it was a relief to get his first touchdown pass)

 That was the furthest thing from my mind. Stats mean nothing as long as you put up wins, that's all that matters.

(on if he is ready for the hype)

It's taking it one day at a time. I'm really focused on getting in tomorrow and getting a lift in with the guys, focus on what we can improve on and again, just take it one day at a time.

TE CHASE COFFMAN

(on his performance this preseason)

I've been happy to make some plays out there and get some good film out, and glad it's over now.  On to see what's going to happen with the real stuff.  It's a blessing to get the opportunity.  Hopefully, that will make a big difference in whatever decision they make, or have already made it.  So we'll see what happens.

(on what he'd say on his own behalf to Titans' management, about making the Titans roster)

I put it all on the film, and you guys have seen what I did on the field, and how hard I work during practice. That's what they see every day and hopefully, that's enough.

(on wondering if Titans will keep four tight ends on roster)

A little bit, but I try not to, just because I don't make those decisions. I can just do whatever comes my way on the field and try to make the plays and give them the most opportunities to say, 'You know what, maybe we should keep this guy on the team'.

**

LB ZACH BROWN**

(on how hard the last few days have been since the preseason loss at Kansas City)

It wasn't hard at all.  You know you just have to keep practicing. You have to push yourself. When you're tired you have to get your technique right.

(on being ready for the regular season to get here)

Yes, I am ready for the season.  Tampa Bay is going to be our first game, so for me, I'm excited.  I'm stoked, because of last season and so now, seeing we have this new season ahead of us, good group of guys.  And everybody is looking forward to going down to Florida.

WR HARRY DOUGLAS

(on what it feels like when after you catch a ball, you look up and see a lot of green ahead)

We practice that every day in practice. It's true, that practice makes perfect.  You are going to practice, the way you play. Antonio (Andrews) works hard every day in practice, and he does it in practice, and he did it in the game, and it helped spring a touchdown.

**

CB  PERRISH COX**

(on if Titans defense is ready for regular season to start)

No doubt, no doubt.  I think we are where we want to be. We all are on the same page and we are ready for this thing to start.  Start fast is kind of one of the main goals. We came in (tonight) able to stop the run, and at the same time we had to start fast.  That's what our goal has been and that's what we are going to go in with.  We're going to stick with the same thing.

(on the Titans' first game versus Tampa Bay)

We feel very confident and excited.  We've been doing good these past couple of weeks.  It dropped off last game, but we kind of picked it up this game and hopefullywe can build on this.  It's very exciting for myself.  I've been waiting on this time, ready to go again and Tampa Bay, I've had my eyes on the whole time.

TE  DELANIE WALKER

(on being excited on the outlook for the Titans' upcoming season)

Most definitely. I thought our preseason went all well. We had some players that made some good plays that I think will help this team out.  We'll see what happens with that.  Now we've got to move on.  The regular season is starting and we've got to look forward to Tampa.  Just excited to get this season kicked off, especially after last season we didn't have a good one.  We'll let that go be in the past and worry about the future now.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

HEAD COACH MIKE ZIMMER

(opening statement)

Not a very good performance really, throughout the course of the game we busted a lot of easy things tonight. We didn't protect as near as well as we needed to. I thought the quarterback played well, he continues to show he's a tough kid and he makes good throws. It was disappointing the way we've had a good preseason, and the way we ended up finishing up tonight, with, in my opinion, a poor effort.

(on what he saw from Taylor Heinicke that he hasn't seen before)

Well, he got hit. He's tough, now, he's a tough kid. He hung in there, he got back, he had good control of the offense, and made some good throws. There were some good throws in the two-minute drill at the end. There were a lot of things that happened over the course of the game that showed he's got something to him.

(on if he will be on the team as the third quarterback)

We'll figure all that out this week.

(on when roster decisions will be made)

It all depends. Some of them we'll make early, and then some of them are late.

(on if anyone stood out tonight who was on the bubble)

It goes both ways, both good and bad.

(on if he could give any specifics)

No.

(on being concerned about kicker Blair Walsh missing field goals tonight)

Blair is our kicker, okay? He needs to make them but Blair is our kicker.

(on how he feels about the team's first preseason loss)

Well I don't really care about my record but I don't like to lose. 

(on where he assesses the team going into the first regular season game of the season in San Francisco)

Oh, we have a lot of work to do.  I mean, we're never going to stop working.  I think that our guys feel good about the five weeks … the seven weeks or whatever it's been of training camp.  I think they feel good about the effort they've given and about the preseason.  I'll probably feel a little better after tomorrow than I do tonight.  This team has a chance if we'll figure out. You don't want to lose. You'd rather lose a preseason game.  There's some things that we can correct tonight, from tonight's game. Some understanding how important  every time we go out on the field, the things we have to do correctly to in order to win games.  It's probably a good eye-opener for these guys.

QB TAYLOR HEINICKE

(on the comeback coming up short)

We got the two-minute right before the half which was executed pretty well. We had Blake (Renaud) out there at fullback and running back I think it gave us all some good experience.

(on Dominique Williams' one hand reception)

I did. He definitely bailed me out right there.  He's a good player. He's a playmaker with the ball in his hands.

*(on the difference in the past few weeks) *

I can definitely tell the difference from two weeks ago. I feel like I am getting comfortable with the offense and with the playbook. Hopefully I am here for the season and get even more comfortable.

LB MICHAEL MAUTI

(on the blocked punt)

It just one of those things. We've been working on that play for a couple weeks now in the preseason and it opened up for me just when I needed in a preseason game. That's one of those plays that keeps you on people's minds.  Hopefully they have some tough decisions to make this week and hopefully that helps me out. 

RB DOMINIQUE WILLIAMS

(on getting a lot of playing time tonight)

The poise. It was tremendous. We didn't get too high or too low on anything. We just stayed steady. Taylor (Heinicke) went through his progressions.  I am not a quarterback expert but he looked pretty good to me.

(on the one hand reception)

That was for my mom. 

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