How do you feel after your big win today?
Yeah, it's great to get things going a little bit for us. Obviously, we wanted to come back and play well today after last week. So, excited to be able to do that, get back on the field, felt great to be back out there and were able to pull the win out at the end. So, made it a lot of fun.
What was the feeling when you guys got the ball back after a defensive stop? And how that last drive went to put (Titans kicker) Nick (Folk) in position?
Yeah, it was huge. We had a lot of momentum there. The defense came up. The crowd was into it and that's what you want when you're playing at home. Defense comes up huge with the three-and-out, get a decent punt return there, I think we got an extra 10 yards or so on the punt return. So, we had a lot of momentum there and we were able to string some plays together and get down in field goal range. It started raining there for a second and then right when we were about to snap it, it calmed down a little bit and Nick (Folks) hammered it through. So, I'm proud of our guys, the way we battled, stuck together throughout the game, through the ups and downs. That's the way football games are. It's never going to be perfect. You're going to have ups and downs and if you stick together, face that adversity, and then make big plays when it comes down to it, you're going to find a way to win. And that's what we did today.
What does it do for you when you're able to complete those long plays?
Well, it's huge. It gets us going a little bit. When you're able to hit a chunk like that, you're not going to have a 15-play drive to score. You're able to shorten the amount of plays it's going to take you to get into the end zone and build some momentum. Hit a play like that, it opens up some underneath stuff, as well. It does a lot of things for you. I'm proud of our guys. The way we practiced, we were able to hit some in practice and then those same guys are able to show up on Sunday and make the same play.
From a confidence perspective, how much does that help you get into the flow and just feel good about the game?
Well, it helps, right? Anytime you're having efficient plays and moving the ball down field, finishing drives with touchdowns, you're building confidence as a unit and those big plays definitely help do that.
How good does is it feel with the first win since last November? And how good does it feel in the locker room?
It felt great. We're not thinking about last year or anything like that, but great to bounce back from the start we had last week and find a way to get to 1-1. And it feels good to celebrate a win in the locker room. Those are the memories that, I think back over the course of my career, is celebrating tough, hard-fought games like today in the locker room with your teammates. Guys that you go to battle with. So, definitely added another great memory.
After those tough first three drives, did something specifically start clicking that you guys started sustaining it a bit more or was it confidence?
I don't remember exactly how the drive shook out, but I think we moved it. The first time we had it, got a few first downs, so it wasn't like we were just going out there and running back off the field. So, we're doing some good stuff to sustain drives and be able to finish and put points on the board. We were able to hit the big play downfield, which helped and got things rolling after that.
Did you feel a little bit more comfortable when Dillon (Radunz) came into that left guard spot?
I'm proud of those guys and the way they battled. X (Xavier Newman) came in on short notice and battled. Dillon (Radunz) stepped in and kind of thrown into the fire. Thought we were going to ease him back in a little bit after coming off the rehab and got thrown into the fire. Proud of him and the way he battled for us and came up big.
Did you feel anything differently today? Or do anything differently?
No, I felt great coming into today. I was able to flush what happened last week by Wednesday, after I talked to you guys, and then have a great week of practice and get prepared and ready to roll tonight/today.
What was it like last week, trying to get to today?
Obviously, watching the tape, it sucks. You're looking at the negative things and the things you want to correct and you're excited to get back out here. But once I was able to make those corrections with my teammates, with the coaches, I was able to put it behind me and get going for the next week. You have a long season. You can't harbor good things or bad things. We came up with a big win today. We'll celebrate tonight, enjoy it tonight. And then tomorrow, we'll start get ready for the next one.
How much did the big play with (Titans WR) Treylon (Burks) exhilarate the whole sideline and pump everybody up to have some confidence?
It's huge. It gets the crowd back into it. It gets the sideline back into it. That sparked the touchdown, and we were able to kind of pound it in there after that play by Treylon (Burks). So, that was huge for us getting some momentum and getting things rolling the right way.
How long have you been petitioning to run the triple option play?
We ran it a little bit during camp. I wasn't sure when it was going to show up, but it was a great play call. And then it's nice having Derrick (Henry) run out there and the safety just runs to him, so it made it a little bit easier for me. I definitely took a hit there on the goal line.
How important was it for DeAndre (Hopkins) to make that catch in critical situations when he's not getting high volume targets?
He came up big in some critical situations. He came up big on a third down. I was able to get him on a slant-backside and at the end getting us deep into field goal range there. He came up huge, right? He got leverage on the play and was able to get the guy running and in and win at the top. So, any time a guy can show up for you big like that in critical situations, it really helps.
Harold Landry leaned on you a lot during his recovery, having been through what he went through, seeing your teammate come up with that big of a play to force that game to OT, how cool is that for you to see that moment for him?
Yeah, it's so fun. I was just talking to him in the locker room. I'm proud of the way he battled through. It feels like – I can't speak for what he feels like; you can ask him – but it was a lot of fun to see him make a play there at the end in a critical situation. It doesn't get any bigger than that, where our backs are against the wall there on defense needed a stop in order to force it into overtime, Harold (Landry) comes up huge and makes a big play. So, after everything he's went through, all the ups and downs of rehabbing and how hard that is, to see him go out there and make a play in that critical situation, is a lot of fun for me and I know we appreciate him as a team.
What went through your mind when you saw the (Nick) Folk field goal went through?
Yeah, I was standing up on the sideline there. Nick's (Folk) been so good since he came here, in practice, in games. So, there was never a doubt that thing wasn't going to get hammered through there and didn't even look close to me. So, I don't know where it was, but I know it went through and that's all that matters.
We were talking to Jeff Simmons across the hall just now, and he was talking about how great it was to get a win. And he said, I told Ryan this week, he's my quarterback and I stand with him. What's it like to know that Jeff Simmons and your teammates have your back, no matter what?
It means a lot. I knew last week wasn't who I am as a player. I knew I was going to bounce back this week but it's nice to feel that support from your teammates throughout the week. It wasn't one big conversation or anything like that because they see how I prepare and how I play. So, I don't think there was ever a doubt that we were going to be able to bounce back. But that support, no doubt, it definitely helps build that confidence.