TITANS vs BEARS
Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020
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Q.*Sort of a three-part question but they're all very related. One, is what was the conversation with A.J. (Brown) like after that deep ball? I don't know if there was a miscommunication or if he kind of let up. Two, how much did he make up for that the rest of the game? And three, do you see him making that difficult jump from good to great?*
RYAN TANNEHILL: There's a lot to that question. First one, we were just a little off for whatever reason. We'll clean that up. He made a huge play for us on that third down, being able to fight through the contact. The DB was trying to get his hands in there and he was trying to swipe his hands down and use late hands to catch that ball and then, obviously, the physical finish to get the thing in the end zone. So, proud of him. He made a bunch of big plays for us today. The play, the catch and run, high ball, catch and run on the first drive was huge for us, and some other big catches as well. So, proud of what he did today. He continues to take steps in the right direction and we're just going to keep pushing him along that way.
Q.*While you guys would obviously like to play complimentary football in every game, how good was it to see the defense today, kind of had some added juice with some new guys out there, really big part of this game today and the win?*
RYAN TANNEHILL: It was huge. No doubt about it. It was huge. They were playing fast. They were playing free. They were making plays. Three and outs early in the game kept us in it. Offense wasn't doing our job. We weren't moving the ball, but defense was playing stout defense, really team defense. You could see them swarming, really just giving up nothing. So, proud of those guys and the way they played today. Obviously, made some huge plays getting the turnovers for us and really just kept us in the game the whole game and then finished it off.
Q.*Mike (Vrabel), head coach, had called this a little bit of a crossroads game coming off a couple losses. How do you like the way you responded today?*
RYAN TANNEHILL: I'm proud that we got a win. I think it wasn't pretty. We didn't execute well enough. Too many missed opportunities offensively. Defense came out, played stout from the jump and kept us in it and the offense was able to make enough plays to get the win. So, we battled. We found a way to make some plays, put some points on the board and get the win but, definitely, a lot of things we can clean up.
Q.*You talk about the Bears making it tough on you. How important to have a guy like AJ do some things after the catch or make a catch against two defenders there the way he did and make something happen on a day like this?*
RYAN TANNEHILL: It's huge. He made a couple big plays for us. No doubt about it. They were making it tough up front. We knew it coming in that they had a really good front and they did a good job for the whole game. So, we knew we had to make some plays outside. We missed on some close opportunities, and just didn't finish on enough plays, but A.J. (Brown) was huge in making those plays down field for us.
Q.*Early on in the game it looked like some of the passes that were, that you were letting go of were a little bit high. How were you able to adjust and get that under control, and it also seemed like that there was a couple of drops. So how were you able to get back in a rhythm and overcome that?*
RYAN TANNEHILL: The only one I felt like was high was the one A.J. (Brown) caught, made a good play on it and then finished it off with a great run. So, I didn't really think it was a problem. Obviously, I would like to have had that one a little bit down, but it wasn't like a consistent problem. But you mentioned just not finishing plays, whether it's a throw, the catch, the block, we just had too many missed opportunities overall on offense today, so we need to clean those things up. We have a good team coming to town on Thursday, so we have to get it cleaned up in a hurry.
Q.*Wonder if you could just talk a little bit about the O-line, lost (Rodger) Saffold today for certainly part of the game. How are guys like Ty (Sambrailo) and Jamil Douglas stepping in and contributing here?*
RYAN TANNEHILL: They have been huge for us. Obviously, it's tough when you lose guys up front, but Ty (Sambrailo) stepped in for us early in the year, and then, obviously, when Taylor (Lewan) went down, he's played a big role for us now. I'll find out more about Rodger (Saffold), but losing Rodger (Saffold) for over half this game, having Jamil (Douglas) step in there, I know Jamil (Douglas) has played a lot of football for us and we have a ton of confidence in him. So, hopefully, Rodger (Saffold) will be back soon, but we have a ton of confidence in Jamil (Douglas) as well.
Q.*You had the explosive play to Jonnu Smith and you went right back to him for the touchdown. How good was it to get him back involved, because I know he's been a huge part of your red zone success?*
RYAN TANNEHILL: Yeah it was huge. That play to Jonnu (Smith), the first one, the explosive one, was huge for us. Derrick (Henry) had a big run, breaking some tackles and tight roping the sideline, staying in bounds there. It was really a crucial point in the game where we needed to move the ball offensively and put points on the board. So, I'm proud of our guys, the way we found a way to execute there when we needed to, when it was really on the line and you mentioned Jonnu (Smith) making a huge play for us and him being able to finish off with a touchdown the next play.
Q.*You guys have gotten some great juice and energy from the guys that have come in on offense. (Jeremy) McNichols and (D'Onta) Foreman we've talked about in prior weeks. Defense today got that it seemed like from new pass rushers, certainly from (Desmond) King. How gratifying is that as a team, that was relying on continuity coming into the season, to be getting this from newcomers?*
RYAN TANNEHILL: It's huge. Obviously, whenever you have somebody new step in, it's a team effort to get them ready to go and then that person has to kind of take the onus upon themselves to make it happen. So, like you mentioned, we've had guys offensively step in, Jamil (Douglas) did it today for us. Then you mentioned Desmond King on the other side. Got here on Saturday and was able to go out and make some huge plays for us. So proud of the way that our team really built up around those guys, communicated with them and then he was able to make some big plays for us.
Q.*I know you would rather be 8-0 at the midway point but sitting 6-2, how do you like where this team is and what's the challenge in turn around and playing here in a couple days?*
RYAN TANNEHILL: No doubt. We got to enjoy this one tonight but get ourselves recovered and ready to go, have a big one, division game at home on Thursday Night Football, so we're excited for that, excited for the opportunity. Six and two, but at this point we have to look forward and we're really 0-0 going into the second half of the season. We have done some good things, we need to clean up some things, offensively, just be cleaner, make some plays and when the opportunities present themselves, but excited about the toughness we have, both mentally and physically, and being able to find a way to win.