TITANS vs JAGUARS
Sunday, Sept 20, 2020
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Q.Ryan, on a day where the Jaguars seemed to be setting out to stop Derrick in the run game, how nice was it to be able to attack through the air the way you all did today?
RYAN TANNEHILL: Yeah, I feel like we were pretty balanced. I think they did a good job up front of not really stopping Derrick (Henry), but limiting him from getting those explosive plays. Derrick is such a tough, strong runner. He's able to fall forward for positive yardage on a lot of his runs. That run he had in the fourth quarter in the two-minute drive, it got bottled up at the line of scrimmage and somehow he was able to break through, break tackles. I think he was carrying a guy. Really an amazing run. But proud of the way that Derrick just battled. Obviously wasn't in his normal groove. Nothing that he could do about it. But the fact that they were doing a good job on the other side of the ball, he just kept battling, just kept toting the thing, and made a huge run there for us at the end, and then we were able to play off of that the pass game.
Q.Ryan, can you take us through that touchdown pass to Adam Humphries when you were staring down the blitz? What's going through your mind? How were you able to get that ball off?
RYAN TANNEHILL: Yeah, they ran a game up front and someone shook free, I saw a safety came down, knew Humph (Adam Humphries) was going to be able to win across the field, and just had to kind of stand in there and take it to the chin and make the throw. Humph did a good job adjusting to it. It kind of fluttered on me a little bit. Wasn't able to get as much on it as I wanted to with a guy in my face. Humph did a great job of adjusting to it and then going up and making a play in the end zone for me.
Q.And then you guys once again pulled off a close win. How crucial is it to have a guy like Stephen Gostkowski who can make the long field goals for you?
RYAN TANNEHILL: It's huge. Obviously coming off last week I know he wanted to get out there and bang them through today, and that's what he did. Came up huge for us there at the end. I don't know what that was, (49)-yard field goal, something like that. So, tough kick and a crucial point in the game, and had nothing but confidence he's going to bang it through and that's exactly what he did.
Q.Ryan, really needed you, the team really needed you today with the defense struggling to kind of contain the Jags. Four touchdown game, I'm not sure how many you've had, but what did it feel like to produce on that level?
RYAN TANNEHILL: Yeah, we had guys making plays. You go back to first one, Jonnu (Smith), kind of off schedule, shook his guy loose late and made him throw high and away, and Jonnu was able to go up and get it. I mentioned the Humph (Adam Humphries) touchdown where he was going up and getting the ball in the end zone. CD (Corey Davis) in the back of the end zone being physical, going through contact, and making the play. Really had guys – Jonnu catching the ball underneath and physical finishing in the end zone when he got hit short of the goal line. So, really, just hats off to the guys around me. They were making plays all day. I have a lot of confidence in those guys that if I put the ball in the air that they're going to make a play on it, and that's exactly what they did today.
Q.I'm just wondering what was it was like -- I know you played in the fanless atmosphere. That was on the road. What was it like out here? Did you detect the handful of fans who were yelling for different plays, and was it a struggle to muster energy, excitement without fans?
RYAN TANNEHILL: I mean, it's weird. I don't think it'll ever be not weird to play football in an empty stadium. It's a weird feeling. I felt like our guys played with energy. It's different. We feed off each other and create our own energy, which I feel like we did today offensively. I did see a few fans back there, but it's tough to make a whole lot of noise with just a handful people. Yeah, it's going to continue to be weird until we can get more fans in there. Proud of way our guys came to play, brought our own energy, and fed off each other.
Q.I know you feel like you need to clean up some things, but how important is it starting off 2-0, and how did you like just the overall effectiveness of the offense?
RYAN TANNEHILL: It's huge. You've got to find a way to win. Not every game is gonna be all pretty in the NFL. It's a tough league, and teams that can find ways to grind out tough wins in close games are usually teams that are going to win a lot of games. Proud of the way our guys battled. You know, got off to a good start, then hit a little bit of a lull there, but found a way to make some crucial plays down the stretch and put points on the board to win the game. Like I said, just proud of the way the guys battled and had belief in each other and the confidence that we're going to make a play and win the game.
Q.And I'm assuming you were watching. What went through your mind when you saw the ball batted up in the air and Harold come down with it?
RYAN TANNEHILL: Yeah, I saw the ball get batted up and I was screaming, 'Pick it, pick it,' not knowing if anybody was around. Couldn't really see if we had any other defenders around the ball. I saw Harold (Landry) elevate and go attack the football and make a huge play. Man, I was fired up. That was exciting to see those guys make a play in a crucial situation. Pretty cool to see Harold elevate like that and go make a play as he's getting blocked.
Q.You mentioned Jonnu Smith. Three touchdowns in two games. What is making him such a reliable option there in the end zone?
RYAN TANNEHILL: Jonnu (Smith) does a lot of good things for us. Man, he's explosive. He is strong. He is physical with the ball in his hands. Really, he's a weapon that we can use all over the field. We saw the first play of the game, him go – I don't know how many yards that was, 60 or something like that. Just have a ton of confidence in Jonnu. He has a great skillset, and he's been showing that the past two years. We have a lot of confidence in what he can do not only in the red zone, but in the open field as well.
Q.It won't show up in their stats, but the pass interference that Jonnu drew, Firkser drew, how important were they, and how much of that is a product of those guys doing the right things to get those calls?
RYAN TANNEHILL: Yeah, it was huge. The first one, third-down play, had Jonnu (Smith) one-on-one on the outside in a matchup we liked, and put the ball up. Was feeling really good about with (where) Jonnu was at on that play. I think the DB kind of panicked and made a lot of contact trying to push him out and got the pass interference call, and then the other one on third, D-line there at end, (Anthony) Firkser did a good job of trying to create some separation, and the guy hooked him and pulled him back. Really just a good job by those guys doing what they're supposed to do and creating those penalties for us.
Q.I was curious, obviously you guys had the four touchdown passes. I wonder, did the absence of AJ allow Jacksonville to focus on the run even more so than usual? Was that part of the reason you think that the running game wasn't at large as usual?
RYAN TANNEHILL: You'll have to ask Jacksonville. I don't know. I know I had confidence in the guys we had out there. Obviously miss A.J. (Brown). He's a heck of a player. With (Cameron) Batson and Kalif (Raymond), Nick (Westbrook-Ikhine) was out there a little bit, I have a ton of confidence in those guys. They all bring something a little bit different to the table. You see (Cameron) Batson make a big play for us in the fourth quarter on the deep end cut, and yeah, we miss A.J. (Brown), but have a ton of confidence in those other guys as well.
Q.Ryan, how much confidence have these receivers given you reason to have in them, especially in this game going up and making plays for you in traffic like they've been doing?
RYAN TANNEHILL: It's huge. I see them make it in practice and that builds the confidence, the trust, and then when they make them in games it only deepens that trust. I know in tight coverage if I put the ball in a good spot, then I have a strong belief our guys will go make a play on it. They did it today, and I expect them to keep doing it.
Q.You said last week you try to be a steady hand. How challenging is it to be that when you've got a pro ball pass rusher about to hit you right in the mouth as you're trying to get that ball to Adam Humphries in the end zone?
RYAN TANNEHILL: Yeah, I don't think it really changes. I could see Adam (Humphries) was going to be breaking open. That's part of playing quarterback, is being able to stand in there in a tight pocket. Obviously sometimes you want to throw the ball away, sometimes you want to run, sometimes you can see your receiver is about to be breaking open and you have to stand in there, stare down the barrel, and make the throw. I was able to do that today. Like you said, Adam (Humphries) made a huge play in the end zone for us.
Q.Do you sense that plays like that is a -- well, not the only place where, but you gain the respect of teammates when they know you're going to give yourself up to make that play for the team?
RYAN TANNEHILL: Yeah, that would be a question for them. I know I'm going to do everything to make plays for this football team and go out and execute and try to win. Hopefully I can influence these guys and show them my toughness and the confidence that I play with, so hopefully that transfers over to them. But at the end of the day, I try to do my best to go out and execute and make plays.