QB Ryan Tannehill


How close were you to going down on the near sack you escaped from?

"Yeah, they played Tampa. Thought I was going to have a shot to AJ (Brown) sitting in the middle. He ended up beating the guy with speed, so the guy was couple yards behind him, didn't like the look of it. Tried to come back to Firk (Anthony Firkser). 51 did a good job of widening back to him and had to pull it back down as I was getting wrapped up. Then just twisted away, got away from it, and saw Nick (Westbrook-Ikhine) waving his arms doing the Billy Whiteshoes over there on the sideline, so was able to find him and get him the ball."

What did guys tell you when you got back to the sideline?

"Yeah, a lot of, 'how the heck did you do that?' Just kept playing. The guy, felt the guy kind of wrapping me up, but I felt a little bit of space, a little bit of air, it wasn't a strong hold, so just kept fighting and twisted out of there and was able to make a play."

The inconsistency of the passing game has been in discussion all year. You guys were on fire today. What did you see today that you can build on moving forward?

"Yeah, just keep working. Obviously did some good things. Still a lot of things we need to clean up, but excited about the way our guys came and competed. Wasn't always pretty. Got off to a hot start; things got ugly there for a second, but we just kept fighting and guys made plays when we needed them.

So proud of the way we kept fighting and hopefully we can build on the good things we did the next couple weeks as we move forward."

Nick Westbrook-Ikhine has been available to you though the entire season. How much have you seen him grow into the role he has now?

"Yeah, it's been a lot of fun to watch Nick. I have so much respect for him and the way he works. We move him around everywhere. He plays wide receiver position consecutively, within the drive he'll play all three, and people don't realize what kind of mental gymnastics that puts you through on where you are and what you're listening for, and just the flexibility that gives us as an offense. He's kind of a utility guy for us, does a little bit of everything. He blocks his tail off. Any long run just about that you see, you see Nick down the field finishing and blocking. And then obviously he's made huge plays for us in the pass game consistently throughout this year. I love playing with Nick and have a ton of respect for him."

How was the connection between you and Julio Jones on the touchdown pass?

"Yeah, we had him in the back of the end zone there. They end up basically clouding the boundary there and had to work to the backside progression on that. Saw Julio in the back. He was in a good spot and was able to kind of put it on him before the safety was playing back to him. He made a strong catch through contact there, so it was a huge play when we needed it really badly."

How much does a play like that do for that trust that you're working to develop?

"Oh, it's huge. We're steadily working at it, and to make a huge play in a critical moment in a situation where we really needed it, and to be able to make it through the contact, you know, it wasn't just a simple, easy catch. He was in the perfect spot and was able to make it through tough contact and reel it in. It was a huge play for us."

In general, in that game, it seemed like you took it upon yourself to say, "Look, we're not going to let this opportunity get by us." Did you have that mentality in the second half?

"Yeah, no doubt. You know, obviously they came flying back with a head full of steam. We went through a little bit of a lull there and got through that last touchdown drive and told the guys we need to make a play and we need our best right now. So that was my mindset, we need our best football. We need to be able to be great right now in this critical moment. We were able to make those plays."

Everybody has a list of top quarterbacks, but your name does not come up. Does that bother you or do you just care what your team thinks?

"Yeah, you're constantly fighting for the respect of your teammates, which I believe I have, and then your opponents. You know, at the end of the day, I play to win games. It would be nice to get recognized, but I'm not worried about it. I'm worried about finding ways to win games, lead my team, be great in big moments, critical moments, and win football games."

Does clinching the number one seed put you in a good position?

"Yeah, that's what it's all about. We took care of business and put ourselves in a good position. That's all it is a good position. We have to go out and play our best football here in the coming weeks. That's what great teams do. That's what the team that ultimately wins the whole thing will do, is play their best football and win games in January into February."

With all the injuries, everything you guys have been through, did you expect to be 12-5 or in a better position this year than last year?

"I'm proud of our guys. Starts at the top with Coach Vrabel and the way he leads us. We had so many guys step up this year in critical moments in big games, really too many guys to name. Some guys aren't even here anymore, but they played big for us in moments and helped us win games. We just kept fighting. This team is full of fighters. Adversity doesn't faze us. Maybe go through a lull in a game or in a quarter but going to keep fitting and stick together and believe in each other and keep fighting, that no matter what is going on, as long as there is time on the clock and we're within striking distance, we're going to keep fighting and try to find a way to win the football game."

The tight ends keep coming up big for you guys in different areas. How important has their contribution been?

"Yeah, they've come up huge for us. Obviously tough to see MyCole (Pruitt) go down last week, but that whole room has been big for us as second half of the season has gone on. Kind of found a groove. Firk (Anthony Firkser) obviously played big for us today. On third down we were able to get him out into the concept a little bit and he got open and made huge plays for us. Geoff (Geoff Swaim) has been consistent for us the whole year in the blocking game, taking advantage of his opportunities in the passing game when he gets them, but he does such a good job for us as we move him around in all different positions and gives us an advantage there on the edge."

How can you take advantage of the first-round bye week?

"Yeah, you mentioned the first part, it's rest and recover. Get physically right. Obviously saw guys get banged up out there today, so the time to get as close to 100% as you can possibly get at this point in the year is going to be huge. Mentally just start prepping. See who we're going to have an opportunity to play in a couple weeks and start mentally prepping. I'm sure we'll take a look at both teams this week and try to get a jump start on it, and then whoever it ends up being, be ready with a great plan going into the second week."

Fan Zone

Titans + Nissan Stadium App

Titans + Nissan Stadium App

Stay up to date with team and stadium news, concert and event announcements, stream live Titans games and more!

Tennessee Titans Marketplace

Tennessee Titans Marketplace

A one-stop shop for Titans memorabilia, autographed items and more!

Tennessee Titans Email Newsletter

Tennessee Titans Email Newsletter

Get Titans news sent straight to your inbox.