Initial comments ...
"I'd like to start by saying that our thoughts and prayers go out to the Bironas family. I didn't know Rob well, but there are a number of guys on our football team that did. I know that he meant a lot to a number of guys. It was pretty tough news this morning to hear. We are thinking about his family and we are grateful for his contribution to the Titans."
Do you think that had an effect on any of the guys today?
"You know what? I'm going to say this right now — I'm not making any excuses. We didn't get the job done today. I'm real upset with not performing even close to the way we are capable of. We are going to get it fixed."
What happened to the team that played so well in Kansas City?
"It's there. It's just not making the plays. I mean, we open the game with a nice drive. We were moving the ball down the field and then missed a field goal. What's happening to us is, when we have the opportunity to make plays in whatever aspect, we're not making them. We're not making the catch, we're not making the tackle, we're not making the kick. You got to give their players credit. When they punted, they punted it down to the two-yard line, and that put us in a tough situation. Then we had the holding penalty, which causes a safety. That's an example of us not doing what we need to do. We had a chance to punt the ball inside the one and the ball goes inside the end zone. Those are things that, when you really look at it, we've got to do better. Our guys — somebody — has to make a play. We were in position to make a play on the throw-back to the quarterback. We repped that play in practice, and we don't make it. We had a chance for a big play down the field early when they brought their pressure, and we missed it. It's unacceptable. This league is about making plays."
You've talked about a lot of things that didn't go well. How about the throws that didn't go well?
"Those were tough conditions out there with the wind. But, we did make some throws. We did miss some throws. Everybody is going to be held to that standard."
If you are going to win games this year, Jake Locker is going to have to play better ...
Is some of this on Jake?
"It always comes back to the quarterback, whether it's good or bad. We were in second down and our center snaps the ball. That's not Jake's fault. There are a number of examples where it's not always just Jake. We all have to play better. There were balls where we could have made a catch down the field, which could have been a big play. We didn't make a play until Kendall (Wright) made a play at the end, when he made a catch. Regardless of that, it's not good enough. Everybody has got to pick it up."
After a loss like that, what do you do to get the guys' attention?
"There has to be a sense of urgency with that. That was the message that we talked about in the locker room after the game."
What's Blidi Wreh-Wilson thinking as that play unfolds. What was his explanation?
"I couldn't tell you what he's thinking. He's a young player, but youth is not an excuse. I'll be the first to tell you, once again, this league is about making plays."
You said youreppedthat play. Did he rep it?
"We repped that play in practice. Part of being a pro, whether it's you getting the rep or not, when it shows up in (the game) exactly the way you ran it (in practice), you have to make the play."
He had four penalties on the day. Did he lose confidence?
"You know what, he's a young football player that is talented. I want to be clear, I'm not trying to point the finger at Blidi. We're just talking about a play that wasn't made. There were a lot of plays that weren't made out there today. There were a lot calls that weren't great calls today. It's all of us. We are going to work to get it corrected."
Did you consider bringing quarterback Charlie Whitehurst in and sitting Jake Locker to try something new?
"No. I didn't."
"I didn't think it was the time to do that."
What about going forward? Is Jake still your quarterback?
"Jake is still our quarterback."
What would have to happen for you to feel like it would be necessary to make a change?
"One of the things that you asked me when I first got here was what would I do differently. One of the things was patience with the quarterback. Jake has to play better. Once again, we all have to play better."
Zaviar Gooden started out the game, but was replaced at times by Avery Williamson. Can you tell me how he did and what the thought behind that change was?
"Avery worked in the rotation all this week. That was always a possibility. There was a chance for him to play, and he played. As far as how he did, until I see the tape, I couldn't give you that assessment."
What went wrong with special teams?
"I would say it was not a very good display by our special teams today, which is an area that needs to be one of our strengths, which it has been before. I was very disappointed in that. It's part of the game. Once again, it was a team effort today. It wasn't any particular individual. We didn't play well as a team."
There were a lot of penalties and it seemed like they were undisciplined. How do you get a hold of that?
"I think there were a lot of penalties out there today. Some were called on us and some weren't called on them. It was unfortunate. The holding penalties, I'll have to see those. Those come to mind, because they negated big runs. The personal foul right before the half, that's inexcusable."
There have been questions about Jake Locker's psyche. Can he take hearing that he's part of the problem?
"I haven't said that he's not a part of the problem. I've said that it's the entire team. The questions that I got were about if we were going to move or make a change from Jake. That's what I was responding to. Let me be clear about it."
Can you talk about the interception in the end zone?
"That wasn't a good throw. You don't throw it back across the field in that situation. That's tough."
What was Jake's explanation on that one?
"He said he saw Nate (Washington) and he thought he could make the throw. In that situation, where you are in the game, you have to be a little more judicious about not making that throw."
One of the positives was that Bishop Sankey got in a real good rhythm coming out of the half. How can that help him moving forward?
"We were able to run the ball effectively, and that's one of the few positives from today. It's always good to see your young players making a contribution like Bishop did today."
Any injuries today?
"Taylor Thompson hurt his knee. I'm not sure what the extent of that is. Other than that, I'm not aware of (any)."
Is it tough to ask Michael Roos to sit at the end games that were out of hand?
"I don't think so. I think it's good to give him some time. I'll be interested to see how he played. We moved the ball in there the one series he was in, so he must of done some decent things. Once again, until I see it ... I'm sure Michael understands it. Michael has been pretty consistent for us."
How do you create the sense of urgency?
"We're one game back with thirteen left. There's a lot football left. It's important for us to get what we did corrected and move on."
How hard is it going to be to get this back on track?
"We could show up next week and play like we did in Kansas City. Are we back on track then? That's the way this league is. It's tough. We need to be more consistent, there's no question about that. We have to play better. You can't go on the road, drive down the field and miss the kick to open the game. Not only from the psyche of your football team, but you give them better field position. That can't happen. Those are the kinds of things, situationally, that hurt you in the game. We got beat in the situational department today. That really hurt us."
This team hasn't performed anywhere close to the team that beat Kansas City. Can you put your finger on what the problem has been?
"We just have to get better. I agree we haven't played well enough to win football games offensively."
What happened on the first drive? You moved it down the field, but did they make adjustments or did you just miss some throws?
"It's kind of a theme. We have the opportunities to make plays, but we don't make them. It starts with me missing throws. I have to make some of those throws to continue drives and give ourselves opportunities to score points."
You seem to be missing high when you throw. Is there any consistent theme to what's going on with those incompletions?
"No, not that I've seen."
The throw into the end zone that was intercepted, obviously you would like to have that back. What did you see?
"I saw our guy (Nate Washington) wide open."
When did you realize he wasn't wide open?
"When the guy caught it."
You guys weren't able to get off on the right foot with a missed field goal on the opening drive ...
"It's football, and that's going to happen at times. We have to overcome that, but I thought we went out and had another good drive after that. It's something you can't dwell on, you can't get back, and you can't redo it."
You guys were able to generate yards but not points. What has to happen to turn one into the other?
"Like I said, we have to make plays. I have to make throws that give us the opportunity to score points."
Running back Bishop Sankey was able to get off to a good start after halftime. How encouraging was that to see?
"I thought he did a good job running hard and finding lanes. He moved the football for us on that first drive, so it was good to see that. It's good to see the shape he's in, and it was good that he was able to stay in and continue to run. He did a good job for us, but we have to finish the drive and get points on the board."
Was it loud enough to use the silent count early on?
"Yes, it was necessary for us. We got in the rhythm of using it, so we stuck with it."
Considering the back-to-back losses in this fashion, is it time to start reevaluating things?
"The only thing we can do is keep trying to improve as a football team and work hard. The rest will take care of itself."
The windy conditions weren't easy out there. How much did that play into the way the offense played today?
"It's always like that here. I'm not going to make excuses. They were able to execute and score points in it. We have to find a way to do it too."
This day started off horridly before you even got to the stadium with news of the sudden death of former Titans kicker Rob Bironas. You knew Rob. What are your thoughts on the tragedy?
"It's one of those things that gives you perspective. It reminds you to be thankful for the people in your life. Rob was a charismatic guy that always brought smiles to people's faces around the building. It's tough to see it happen to someone so young, who was just recently married. You feel for him and his loved ones that are left behind. You just pray that his family can somehow be stronger and find a positive."
What does Bengals WR AJ Green do so well that's tough to keep up with?
"He catches the football. He's good in and out of his breaks. He's a good receiver."
Did the coaches talk to you about the penalties?
"We just got off the field, so they'll address that probably later. It's something I can't do. I can't hurt the team like that. I can't put our team in situations like that."
On Bengals QB Andy Dalton's touchdown reception, were you going for the ball, or did you get caught in no-man's land?
"I saw the quarterback come out, and it was just kind of one of those (plays). The ball was there, he was there, and I should have hit him. I didn't know, or think of, where to hit him, how to hit him. But I've got to make that play."
Was everything in slow motion there?
"I kind of anticipated the play. I have to make that play."
Were you deciding whether you should hit him or get the ball?
"Once the ball was in the air, I've got to find a way to make that play. It's the second week in a row with me, and it's unacceptable. It's not how we practice, it's not. It's unacceptable. I've got to find a way for myself. Everyone's got to kind of look in the mirror, I know myself included. This is two weeks in a row, and it's unacceptable."
When you look back, do you wish you would have gone for the ball?
"I mean, I went for the ball. But if I could do it again, I would take a better angle and go straight to him and just find a way. If I would have maybe deflected the ball, it could have popped up in the air. But I've just got to find a way to make that play."
Did the wind affect the kicks today?
"Yeah, certainly it was breezy. It was a windy day. But I've got to do a better job of handling that. I feel like I let the guys on his team down today, and that's tough."
Do you try to account for the wind during your kicks in weather like today?
"Yeah, certainly today. It was blowing hard enough to where you had to respect it and play it. And like I said, I didn't do a good enough job today."
The game ended up being pretty one-sided. If you make those two field goals early, does that make a difference?
"Well I think they're all important. I don't look at what the final score was. I think that every kick's important. You're called on to do your job each and every time. So I'm disappointed I didn't do that."
You seemed excited when fellow University of Kentucky linebacker Avery Williamson made a tackle today, patting him on the helmet ...
"Absolutely, man. That's my little bro. It's always an honor to play beside a guy that went to your school and experienced that same badge of honor, Kentucky blue. Whenever he's out there I'm excited for him. I had the chance to play last year, a couple years with Danny Trevathan and this year with Avery. It's amazing man. It's an amazing feeling every time he's out there with me."
How has the transition been for you coming from the Denver Broncos?
"At first it was little bit shaky. I didn't really understand or get the picture of why I was here. But I'm glad that I'm here with my new teammates. It's an amazing feeling. I'm closer to my family, closer to friends and the Big Blue Nation. So I feel very excited I made the switch."
You had some success on the drive when you were the featured back. What was the reason for that success?
"We picked the tempo up coming out at halftime, picked the tempo up with no huddle. We were just getting some good blocks with good creases and we just rolling with it. We had some momentum and it seemed like we had a drive there for a second there. Unfortunately we stalled out in the end. So that's pretty much how the success went coming out in the second half."
When you're outgaining a team and are losing so lopsided like that, how do you explain that?
"Really, it's just coming down to the details and making plays when they count. Unfortunately we didn't do that today. We played a little sloppy. We turned the ball over. But we're confident we're going to get that corrected coming into this next week."