TITANS VS TEXANS
Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020
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Q. Ryan, I'm just curious, at this point do these sort of harrowing situations where you've got to drive the team down the field and make a play, do or die, have they begun to feel common to you, and do you feel especially relaxed just by the number of times you're in those situations?
RYAN TANNEHILL: Yeah, like I said several weeks ago, it's not a situation you want to be in every week. Obviously you like to be in four minute, be able to ice the game, but we found ourselves in that situation multiple times throughout the season, and there is a ton of confidence and belief in each other that we're going to march the thing down and play our game and finish with a win.
Today for the fourth time we were able to do that.
Q. How much does it help having Derrick able to rip off a 94 yarder? He catches that screen from you in overtime and finishes off with the wild gap there in overtime.
RYAN TANNEHILL: It's was huge. I said it on the field. He makes a big impact week in and week out. Some weeks shows up bigger on the stat sheet; this is one those weeks. That  yarder was huge. We just had the turnover, and for him to bounce back for us to take the lead like that was huge. It was a tough run, inside run, a run that we run consistently. You don't know if it's going to be one yard or 95 yards when you hand off to a guy like Derrick. Really cool to be able to see him crease that thing, make the safety miss. And then obviously the special thing about Derrick is his speed, that he's able to go 95 and not just 20, like a lot of big running backs.
Q. It was funny talking to AJ a minute ago. In one breath he said you're the general out there and you demand from the guys, but then he also said on the touchdown play there, the overtime one, that he just told you to throw him the football. Was that the case in overtime? Did he mention that in the huddle, just toss it to me?
RYAN TANNEHILL: He had said that earlier in the drive during one of the timeouts. He plays with a lot of confidence and with the receiver like that you see a one-on-one matchup, you would like to take advantage of that. So the opportunity didn't come up for a few plays there, but down in the red zone we finally got that one-on-one situation and we saw what AJ was able to do.
Q. Jonnu (Smith) goes out, but you kept this connection going with Anthony Firkser. What's the confidence level with him, especially on the last drive to end regulation? You found him a few times. What's the confidence there with Firkser?
RYAN TANNEHILL: Yeah, I have a ton of confidence in Firk. He's made a bunch of huge plays for us really over the past two years. You see some big third down conversions he made with big guys draped all over him and throwing the ball high and away. He's able to make tough catches through contact, which is huge converting to some big third downs for us. Then in the two-minute drive he found a way to get open. One of them was a short throw and he was able to crease it there and make a big play. So obviously missed having Jonnu out there, but a ton of confidence with Firk out there.
Q. You guys take over on, what the 24-yard line with 1:50 left? What do you say to those guys in the huddle? Seems like in those situations everything is just like clockwork, it runs smoothly, and you guys end up in the end zone.
RYAN TANNEHILL: Just go play confidently, one play at a time, and do what we do. This is a situation, it's not new for us. Let's just go do what we do. It's just a ton of confidence. I know I have a ton of confidence in the guys around me that we're able to do that, and we showed again that we can.
Q. It's almost like in those situations you're basically unflappable. How did you develop that confidence, because that's a situation where a lot of people will be very nervous. For you, how do you channel in and manage to find so much success there?
RYAN TANNEHILL: Got a lot of experience at it at this point. Played a lot of football. Been in that situation a lot of times. I think ultimately comes down to preparation and belief in the guys around you. Ton of confidence that we have the guys to get it done. Art (Smith) does a great job mixing the calls and keeping the defense on their heels. Really any call that comes in I feel like we're going to have a good spot to go with the football.
When you have that kind of belief in the guys around you, the O-line is protecting, guys outside are making plays, there is nothing to be hesitant about. It's just go make the plays.
Q. I know you've been in a lot of big, meaningful, fun, entertaining games. With this one fresh, top of mind, how do you feel like it ranks up there?
RYAN TANNEHILL: Yeah, definitely fun, man. It was exciting. The up and downs, up early and then a lull there, couple turnovers, in the third and early fourth quarter. Then to go down and then to be able to see the defense make a big stop on a two-point play there late in the fourth quarter, get us the ball back, they kept us in it by making that play, get the ball back with plenty of time and a ton of confidence to go tie the game up, and then obviously win the toss in overtime.
Told the guys, Let's go win it. This is our opportunity. Let's go take advantage and go win it, and that's what we did.
Q. One of the most fun you've been involved in?
RYAN TANNEHILL: Yeah, no doubt. I haven't been involved in too many overtime games. Not sure how many, but definitely not too many. To be able to win the way we did with tying it up as basically time expired and then win in the first drive of overtime was huge and a ton of fun for sure.
Q. If I could go back to the 94-yarder by Derrick, is that a play that you checked into? Looked like you saw something at the line of scrimmage and maybe adjusted.
RYAN TANNEHILL: Yeah, we go to line of scrimmage with several plays most of the time -- not most the time, a lot of the time. Depending on the front coverage, safeties, linebackers, could be all types of different things. But we made the adjustment and then Derrick and the O-line and the receivers did the rest.
Q. Ryan, this offense seems to be able to overcome and get wins, shootout type of games, when it has a couple turnovers. What is that mindset like and what brings that about that you guys have been able to overcome things throughout this season?
RYAN TANNEHILL: Yeah. Obviously you don't want to turn the ball over. Need to be able to clean that up. Been pretty good so far this year. Having two today, especially the interception, I'm not happy with. Kalif did a good job there. Tried to hit him in stride over the shoulder, when really had the whole field that could have threw him down, slowed him down a little bit.
Like to have that one back, but proud of our guys we've been through a lot of adversity, a lot of tough situations, and our belief never waivers. Obviously don't wan't to put ourselves in that situation, but our belief and confidence in one another never waivers, and it continues to grow the more times you're able to execute in those situations.
Q. I wanted to ask you, on that TD to AJ Brown, looked like you spiked it there. Were you right there deciding in your head, is that a spike here? What's the protocol on that particular type of play?
RYAN TANNEHILL: Yeah, call came from Art. Really it's a situation we practiced multiple times, talked through multiple times. You're able to get an extra shot into the end zone, time -- clock is one running there. If you clock it, probably only going to get one shot into the end zone. If you're able to take a shot, could get two off.
So just kind of a statistical game there just knowing the situation you're in and try and take advantage of it.
Q. Obviously you're working in a stressful situation at the end of regulation and again in overtime you've got to be perfect. What is the euphoria like when you win in kind of a walk-off fashion look you did?
RYAN TANNEHILL: It's huge. You know, the emotional roller coaster of really the second half is draining. When you finally win, it's level 10 excitement. You're so fired up that we were able to get it done. And then right after you almost feel exhausted just because you laid everything out there and it's so emotional, you got so much into it.
For whatever reasons, when your emotions are tied to it like that, it will drain you once it calms down. So definitely an emotional win for us, and proud we were able to pull it out.
Q. You've got to turn around now and celebrate this one, but what about the challenge you face here a week today against an undefeated Steelers team coming here?
RYAN TANNEHILL: Yeah, a ton of respect for Pittsburgh. We thought we were playing them a few weeks ago so got to study them and start our game planning for them. Watched a lot of tape on those guys and have a ton of respect for the defense. They're extremely talented. Their front is really good. They do a great job being disruptive in the run game, getting pressure in the pass game. Secondary is good as well.
We are going to have to come out and really prepare well all week and execute well on Sunday to get done what we need to.
Q. It's no secret by now how much Derrick means to your team. Do you catch yourself being awed sometimes at what he's able to do?
RYAN TANNEHILL: No, it's huge. He's consistent, so I don't know if I'm just numb -- I don't want to say numb to it like I expect it at all, but when you see him do it -- I saw on tape before I had got here him making some huge plays, and then last year I get here and I get to see it in person. He just has that rare size, strength, and speed combination. It's really extremely rare.
Most guys have the strengths or size and they're able to make the tough yards inside. Really run over guys and be physical. The thing that makes Derrick special is he has the speed; once he's in the open field, all right, he makes the safety miss. Now he turns on the gas and he's able to go 95.
So with a lot of big, physical backs you'll see 20-yard runs. With Derrick, he has the ability to take it the whole way. It's really cool. I wouldn't say I'm surprised or in awe, but it's really cool and fun to watch him make a huge play like that. You kind of see it open up a little bit from the back field once I handed it off, see him make the safety miss, and then couldn't quite see what angle the rest of the guys had on him.
Once he opened up, could see that no one was going to catch him. Definitely a ton of fun watching him work.
Q. Ryan, I think 14 total touchdowns now, two interceptions, a handful of game winning drives for an undefeated team. What is your reaction to the idea of Ryan Tannehill for MVP?
RYAN TANNEHILL: I'm just trying to win games, go out and play football. A lot things I can clean up. Those things will take care of themselves. For me, it's just about going out, performing with my team, leading my team to wins, and playing good football. Like I said, those things will take care of themselves.