Titans-49ers Postgame Quotes

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**

HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY**

Opening comments:

"I'll start off with the injuries. [Tennessee Titans CB Ryan] Logan with an ankle did not return to the game. You know, it'll be day-to-day, and then [Tennessee Titans DL Karl] Klug got a groin strain and don't know how serious that is. We'll evaluate that again, but just got done speaking with the team, just told them like it was. We got some plays, we had chances to win that game all over the place and we just could not make the plays when we needed to have the plays made. That's basically what it came down to. They did, they did, they had too many big plays offensively. We had a chance to win and we just couldn't come up with the plays when we needed them."

How tough is it emotionally to lose a game like this when you take a lead and then lose it by--?

"All losses are pretty tough to be honest with you. I haven't had a really good one since I've been playing or coaching. So, you know it's disappointing. We've won a lot of these games, these types of games, again we had a chance to win all the way down to the last play of the game, and that's all you can ask from your team, that you have a chance. And we certainly had plenty."

What happened on the field goal drive not getting the play in and then decision to run there on third-and-two?

"Well, we knew we didn't want to take a sack. Felt like we had a good play call based on the fronts we were getting, and just felt like we could hit a pretty good run right there. I mean, obviously they stopped us, but that was the thought. Certainly didn't want to lose any yards."

Did Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota have an option to change out of that?

"Yes."

As the linebackers came forward should he have?

"No."

Got the offense jump started with a no huddle. Why was that so much more effective than what you had been doing?

"That's just something we felt like going in was a good way to attack them, and so that was part of the game plan."

Why was San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo able to do so much against this defense?

"A lot of pinpoint throws. A lot of very catchable throws, very tough to defend throws. I thought he made a lot of plays for that, I mean he made a lot of plays out of the pocket, he made a lot of plays for that offense."

The few big plays, were some of those coverage mistakes?

"Yes. Yes, coverage mistakes."

Awful lot of field goals, or holding them to field goals for the second week in a row now. What do you say to the defense when they put forth that type of an effort again?

"No, it was really good. You know, we need to, if we can hold them to punting that would be even better. I think they only punted once. You'd like to get some drives when you're stopped down in their territory more than, I mean you know, stopping them after a turnover was a big, big for us, but we need to get some punts more than field goals. And that'd be the difference in the game too."

You talk a lot about how the team responds, and offense responded when they needed to today didn't they, for the most part?

"Yeah, I thought they did. I thought they played, you know, going back to that two-minute drill at the half was again, great response. That's what I mean, they've done it for the majority of the year when we've needed some points at half they've done a really good job of that, and executed that part very well."

After the fumble, Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker fumbles 13-to-3, they're driving to maybe go up 23, did you feel like the game possibly was slipping away at that point if they get in the end zone?

"No, I didn't. No, I haven't felt that way. I mean, really maybe a couple games during this year, you know, the Houston game. I didn't feel it in this game. I felt like there was a lot of football still to go."

What was your vantage point on the play that got challenged with Tennessee Titans OLB Erik Walden?

"It was pretty good. You know, I just, again, I looked at it with, you know from my vantage point I saw his white gloves around the ball and I saw their red gloves around our white gloves, and I figured that's what I saw. And then upstairs, clearly should have saw what, you know, again they confirmed to try and challenge it."

Can you talk about your mindset going back home with two games left?

"Yeah, we have a chance to still get in the playoffs. We have to win at home with two games that we have. We have to win the first one first, and that'll be all we talk about is winning that one at home, the next one."

QB MARCUS MARIOTA

Marcus you got the drive you needed at the end to kick you to the game, how tough is it not to win when you do that?

"It is tough, but I wouldn't want to have any other defense in that situation. Our guys have pulled us out numerous times and we trust those guys to make the play. The Niners, you have to give them credit. They made the plays in the end to win the game."

Why is the offense so much more effective in the no huddle?

"I don't know. I really don't know. I thought we were very efficient. It's a package that we practice every single day. Guys trust it and I thought we did a good job being able to executive."

Coach says all the time you are free to kind of offer your import on Fridays, what you like and what you don't like. Do you talk about how much you like no huddle, how good you are at it, do you want to see more of it?

"I think it just depends game by game. I think particularly in this one, we thought if we could get in a huddle we could attack down field and do some different things. It just kind of depends week-to-week. It's something that again, we're comfortable in so at any point in time we can get to it and I just think today we were able to execute and guys played good."

Some of your receivers said that they think that's your niche. Do you feel most comfortable when you're running no huddle?

"Depends. I mean honestly, I feel good in any situation. Again I think we were just able to attack them in no huddle and that's just going to kind of depend week to week."

What was the feeling leaving here two weeks ago?

"Oh man, disappointing. We left Nashville in first place in our division and now we lost two in a row. It's not a very good feeling, but it's something that we can learn from and we have to bounce back."

Do you expect this team to rally and finish like you wanted?

"For sure. This group of guys is close and they understand the situation. We understand what we put ourselves in and I wouldn't want to go into any other situation with any other group of guys. I think these guys understand that we can go out there and win these next two games."

Do you feel the playoffs slipping away?

"No, and for us we've got to just go out there and put a complete game together in all phases. We're playing at the top level, and I think we're close, and I trust these guys. I think we can get it done next weekend."

Even in the loss, do you feel like the offense maybe gained some confidence on what they're able to do on some drives?

"Yeah, it's nice to score some points, but we didn't make enough plays. You know, in the end we should never put our defense in that situation. That's something we can build on."

How much better might you be at home?

"I think we're really good at home and I know I'm looking forward to being back there. It'll be nice to get back in the routine and get ready for the Los Angeles Rams."

What's it say about the capabilities of this offense that despite a slow start you ran about 17 straight to take a lead?

"It says a lot. And again, I believe in those guys. We're able to do those things. We have the ability to score points and that's why it's been disappointing these last few weeks when we haven't been able to score on every single drive. That's our goal and we can go out there and do that. We've just got to go out there and do it on a consistent basis and help our defense out."

On the third-and-two before the field goal, did you consider checking out of that?

"I should have. Looking at, it you know, I asked coach [Titans head coach Mike Mularkey] getting into that play, I thought we could cram it in there. Looking back on it, you know the fact that he got somebody low to the box I just thought that we could put it in there for two yards, and you know some of that I wish I could have had back."

What would you have checked to, what's the option there?

"I would probably, after we assess what the defense was doing, but I think probably it was a one-on-one matchup across the board and you know, I'd like to probably get to something different, some type of combination with the receivers."

Is that a situation where you're weighing the risk of sack versus the reward of--?"Yeah, there's a lot that plays into it. Again, I think what it came down to is I thought we could just cram it in there and get two yards, and you know, our offensive line was blocking their tail off all day. And I thought we could just go in there and get those two yards, but again, you got to give credit to the 49ers defense. They played in crunch time and we just couldn't get a first down."

Tennessee Titans WR Taywan Taylor said that if you guys get that he feels like you guys would have won. Do you kind of feel the same, you get that first down and drain the clock a little bit more?

"Yeah, for sure, for sure. I think they had two timeouts left you know, we would have had an opportunity to push the ball a little further and run some clock out, make them drain their timeouts, but again, we just didn't make the play. The 49ers defense came out and stopped us short and that's ultimately what happened."

WR RISHARD MATTHEWS

Where are you guys offensively? I know Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Mularkey has talked about it a lot, it's just your ability to respond. Offensively, you did respond, just starting at the end of the first half.

"Yes, offensively we were getting it done. We were getting it done the whole game. The defense stepped up when it needed to. It's just the last drive, we couldn't convert and we had to settle for a field goal. We let them get down there and score."

For you guys, you've still got two games left. What's the mentality moving forward?

"The mentality, I hope, is go out there and win these next two. Practice hard throughout the week and do what you got to do to help this team win. That's our mentality."

CB BRICE McCAIN

The offense gives you the lead back with 1:07 to go. As a defender, you want to be in that position in the end of the game. right?

"We want to have the lead at the end of the game. We didn't get the job done, but we'll watch film and find a way to correct our mistakes and move on to the Rams."

San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo has come in, and done marvelous things with this 49ers offense.  How different did they look today from what they look like on film, and how much maybe goes on you guys for lack of execution?

"It was us. He came in, he executed, but the chunk of yardage came from blown coverages. That's about it. He didn't do anything special. He threw a lot of quick game, get the ball to the receiver's hands fast, and they made plays. That's about it. It was nothing special. He didn't do anything special. He just threw to open guys."

You guys have struggled defensively. It seems like third down has been a recurring theme. For them to convert as much as they did on third down today, how much did that pain you?

"It's hard when you don't get off the field on third down. That's any team. That's any week. If you don't get off the field on third down, you will lose games. The games we had a great defensive performance in, we got off the field on third downs. We didn't do that today."

LB AVERY WILLIAMSON

How much do you give credit to San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo, and how much is on the defense for not getting stops, and not getting off the field?

"I definitely give him credit. He's a good quarterback, but we've got to make sure we're good lineman and make plays. We made some good tackles today, and gave them some extra yards. We weren't getting off the field fast enough and we've got to do a better job about that."

What's the sense of urgency like right now with two to go?

"We've got to win, so these last two games we've got to lay on the line. We've got to make sure we get it done. Do or die."

Can this team lift up? Does the team have it in them to finish strong?

"Yes, we done it before. We got to make sure we're on point because every play matters these last two games. We've got to take it one game at a time."

S KEVIN BYARD

How hard to swallow the big plays against today?

"We really didn't make any plays on defense, especially in the secondary. I think we gave up like 400 yards. That is the game right there. We didn't make any plays at all."

Any logic to that after playing pretty good pass defense in recent weeks?

"They are going to make some catches, we are in the NFL. Some guys are going to make some plays. I felt like when there were opportunities to make some plays we didn't make them. We just did not make enough plays, period."

Were there more busts this weekend than prior weeks?

"I think this was the worst communication we've ever had. We had a couple miscommunication plays. We gave up a lot of plays."

How about theplay to San Francisco 49ers TE Garrett Celek?

"That was a miscommunication for sure."

How much credit do you give to San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo? How much on this defense for not performing?

"He is a good player. He is one hell of a player. I think the 49ers got themselves a quarterback. We gave them a lot of plays a whole lot of plays. I give him credit, but we gave up a lot of plays today for sure."

How tough is this game to handle emotionally? You take the lead with a minute left, and let it get away on the last play.

"It is tough man. I felt like we were supposed to beat these last two teams we played. So now we have to go back home, and get these last two wins to get in the playoffs."

DT JURRELL CASEY

How confident are you in your ability to recover?

"We definitely are not going to slouch. We are still in this. We are going to win theses next two and put ourselves in a position to get into the playoffs. At the end of the day, we know what we are all about at home, so we are going to take care of business. Everyone is ready to fly around. That is one thing we don't lack is effort and toughness out there. It is about discipline and making plays you are supposed to make, and we did not make enough of them today."

They made a lot of big plays in the passing game. How much do you feel like you could have helped up front by getting to the QB quicker?

"We definitely could have helped out. Pass rush and coverage go hand-in-hand. We didn't put enough pressure on them today. We allowed them to sit back there and pick our guys apart. It did not turn out to our favor."

What kind of a gut punch was it to lose there at the end?

"It is tough. We were needing our offense to come in critical situations and help us win these games, and they did that today. They put us in position to go out there and win it and we let them down."

Is it frustrating to play a guy like that who gets the ball out so quickly?

"It is super frustrating. We have to find a way to get him down. We have to find a way to mess up his vision. We did not do that today."

TE DELANIE WALKER

What did you think of the play of San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo?

"He played great. He came out there and did a good job."

How was the play of Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota?

"He is always looking good. I thought he moved the ball pretty well and put points on the board. That is all you can ask for from your quarterback."

*How was it going up against some of the young guys on defense?  *

"Obviously they played pretty well since they won. They made more plays than we did."

The Tennessee Titans take on the San Francisco 49ers in Week 15 at Levi's Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

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