(on the mentality of 'Super Bowl or Bust' and how it feels today)
It feels bad. Obviously, you don't really plan for moments like this. Kind of walk around the locker room, gave everybody a hug, told them I love them and I appreciate all the effort day in and day out to get to this point, but it definitely sucks right now. It's kind of hard to reflect on kind of everything, but just didn't play well to win the ball game and kind of just appreciative of the effort today from all phases. Obviously, it wasn't good enough, but at the end of the day appreciate all the guys.
(on if the defensive effort today makes the loss harder to swallow)
No. It makes it harder to swallow because we lost. Regardless of how many sacks we got or how many plays the defense made, in certain critical situations we didn't make the play. That's the type of thing that I look at. I missed a tackle. Let Ja'Marr Chase get out of there. I'm beating myself about that. I'm not necessarily concerned about what the offense does. Obviously we can't turn the ball over, but we could have got more turnovers as well, you know what I'm saying? Especially early in the game. It's a lot of different like that but I definitely am not going to let anything kind of divide the team even though obviously the season is over with. And I've told Ryan (Tannehill) that too. That I appreciate him and all the work that he's put in this year, the plays that he's made for us. They made some plays, some unfortunate plays, but at the end of the day, we're going to stick together as a family.
(on the finality and the shock now that the season is over)
Honestly, that's the toughest part about this business, especially some teams that know they're not going to the playoffs. They are already making plans, preparing themselves. But when you are in a situation like this, nobody plans to lose, nobody plans to say goodbye and things like that. That's something I made a conscious effort of when I was just in the locker room. Most of the guys that may be free agents, who knows what's going to happen next year, you know? A lot of things can happen from here to next year so I just told them I love them ad I appreciate everybody
(on if it is harder to swallow the loss because of the amount of talent and the bar set in the locker room)
Absolutely. We felt like this was our year. We felt like this was the year we were going to put it all together and go win a Super Bowl, but, you know, it didn't happen that way. Like I said, it's hard to kind of put everything in perspective right now, but at the end of the day, just grateful. Just grateful for the guys, grateful for the opportunity to just play with these guys. Some of the guys I won't be able to play with again, so just appreciative.
(on the loss being hurtful and frustrating as the No. 1 seed)
Yeah, I mean, number one seed, six seed, you know, don't really matter because at the end of the day, once you have to go out on the field you've got to win games, regardless if you get a first-round Bye or not. But we obviously felt that having a first-round Bye, guys were rested up. We just didn't execute well enough to win the ball game. It hurts either way it goes, I guess that's my point.
(on words he shared with quarterback Ryan Tannehill after the game and what he means to the team as a leader)
You think about, you know, you can look at the stats or interceptions and things like that but the past three years he's been here, you look at all-time Titans quarterbacks and things like that, he's right there at the top. So obviously, he's meant a lot to this team and meant a lot to the success and been a huge part of success that we've had the past few years. Understandably, he's beating himself up about the interceptions. That's what comes with being a leader, comes with being a quarterback. I missed one tackle and I feel like I had a terrible game and that's just how it goes. Like I said, he's meant a lot to my family. You know, obviously I know his family, his wife means a lot to my family, means a lot to this team, and a lot to this community. Like I said, I told him don't beat himself up about it. These things happen and I know for a fact he'll come back next year stronger and try to make a run at this thing.
(on the good defensive performance overall)
Yeah, I mean, honestly, you all should have the whole front four up here instead of me. Those guys played phenomenal, best I've ever seen. I said it a few weeks ago, this is the best front four in the league. Obviously, you know, Harold (Landry) is about to be a free agent and things like that. I'm hoping and praying we can get him back because if we can have those guys rushing like they were today, stopping the run and we can have everybody dropping in coverage and making plays in the back, I think this defense can really take the next step obviously trying to be the number one defense in the league.
(on being confident the game was over after the last stop)
Yeah, we've seen it numerous times. It happened in the San Francisco game. We were sitting on the sideline. Obviously, we're still going over different things, if we have to go back out there for the two-minute drill, but I'm sitting on the sideline like, 'We're about to win the game, (Ryan) Tannehill is about to drive our entire offense down the field. We might kick a field goal. We might score a touchdown,' but sometimes these things don't happen. It is what it is. I had full confidence that we were going to score and win the game.