Six Big Topics from Ken Whisenhunt's Press Conference


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt just wrapped up his Monday press conference at Saint Thomas Sports Park, when he discussed Sunday's 35-33 loss to the Colts.

Here's a look at the six of the top topics:


Failed two-point try**

With 47 seconds remaining, Titans fullback Jalston Fowler was stuffed on a two-point conversion try from the one-yard line. On the previous play, Fowler bowled over from one-yard out.

"They made a play, that's a fair thing to say,'' Whisenhunt said.  "We felt comfortable with the play...We felt like that was a play we'd had success with earlier in the game and we felt good about it, and they made a play."

Whsenhunt said Fowler, who suffered a leg injury when tackled on the play, appears to be OK. In hindsight, he wishes Fowler would've pitched the ball to quarterback Marcus Mariota after being knocked back.

"We didn't execute that well enough, but you have to give them credit,'' Whisenhunt said.

Offensive improvement

The Titans are ranked 9th in the NFL in total offense, and in three games Mariota has already thrown for 833 yards and eight touchdowns.

The Titans are ranked 10th overall in rushing offense, led by running back Bishop Sankey's 126 yards.

Whisenhunt noted the improvement compared to a year ago.

"Let's be real – it's not even compared to last year offensively,'' Whisenhunt said. "We are doing a lot of things better...I think there are a lot of positive signs on offense, things we are doing, and we have to build off of that."

Whisenhunt said the Titans must eliminate the turnovers, correct mistakes and do a lot better job of protecting the quarterback, however.

Whisenhunt said the Titans will continue to use more of a running back by committee approach with Sankey, Dexter McCluster and Antonio Andrews.

McCourty expected back

Cornerback Jason McCourty hasn't played this season after having groin surgery last month, but he should be back for the team's Oct. 11 game against the Bills.

Whisenhunt also sounded optimistic when discussing defensive lineman Sammie Hill's progress. Hill has missed the last three games with a knee injury.

"I would think that we'll be in pretty good shape when we come out of the bye week,'' Whisenhunt said. "We should be as close to full strength as we've been, so that would be good."

On McCourty specifically, Whisenhunt said: "To get another player of his caliber in the secondary will help us."


Missed opportunity**

Following his third quarter interception of Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, Titans linebacker Zach Brown headed for the end zone.

He had one man to beat – Luck – and a blocker, teammate Derrick Morgan.

But Brown ran into the back of Morgan, and went down at the 13-yard line.

"You'd like to see him do anything other than run into Derrick's back, who was doing a good job blocking,'' Whisenhunt said.  "But who knows if he would've gone outside or inside if he'd have scored?"

Whisenhunt said he was more disappointed the Titans didn't turn the opportunity into a touchdown. Instead, the team settled for a field goal after driving the ball to the one-yard line.

Teachable moment

Early in the contest, fans at Nissan Stadium were upset because Whisenhunt didn't challenge a call made by the officials on a sideline grab by receiver Kendall Wright.

Whisenhunt didn't challenge the call because he knew it wasn't a catch – Wright's heel came down out of bounds.

"Just from the standpoint of having the heel touch and knowing he was out of bounds, it's a good learning experience for our team,'' Whisenhunt said. "But that's two weeks in a row – we had two throws against Cleveland where we had guys on the sideline."

Sideline catches have been a point of emphasis for the Titans after the team misplayed some balls by the paint in 2014. Whisenhunt expects to see improvement moving forward.

"Awareness of the field has to be an emphasis,'' he said. "It's one of the things we have to get better at."

"Multiple fails"

The Colts scored on a 35-yard touchdown pass from Luck to Donte Moncrief in the third quarter, and it came on a 3rd-and-20.

Moncrief got behind defensive back Marqueston Huff on the play, but Whisenhunt said it wasn't all on Huff.

"He does have help on that play deep,'' Whisenhunt said, "but he has to play it better, too. It was a combination. It was a multiple fail there, which obviously hurts."


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