Titans-Bears Postgame Quotes

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TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY

On injuries

"In regards to injuries, Jason McCourty, he's got a bruised knee right now. Jurell [Casey] sprained his foot. We'll obviously have more test results when we get back into Nashville. For the most part, nothing serious it looks like from that game."

On the last defensive series

"It was quite a ride. Like I said, every one of these games is like a live wire. It was quite a ride and got away with a win. We need some of those games. I've been on the other end of those games here. We needed one of those games to go our way."

On how the secondary played down the stretch

"Again, I can't grade anybody from the naked eye. I'm going to have to look at it. They had a lot of balls thrown their way. They [the Bears] threw 46 passes. They had a lot of opportunities, but when it counted, we won."

On why it was difficult getting pressure on Barkley

"I'm not sure why. We were pressuring, especially late here. We were pressuring more, but we just weren't getting to him. They were doing a job of blocking up. It wasn't like they had more in there. They were chipping. They do the same things we do. We just weren't getting on like we have been. They did a good job blocking us."

On if he likes position the team is in with a quarter of the season to play

"Yeah, I think we're pretty happy with where we're sitting right now. Based on our past, this is a good spot, and maybe the bye was meant to be this late for a reason. We've got some guys banged up a little bit. Not too bad but should be healthy for the final quarter [of the season] and try and make a run at it."

On how big was the touchdown on third and 10 to make it 21-7

"A big play. A big play. I think that's designed to hopefully get them in a coverage, when they lined up in it, kind of knew beforehand where it was going. I thought he had overthrown it, but Rishard [Matthews] did a really did a good job. It was a great throw. I mean a great throw, big time play. Those are the things you need on third downs."

On if there was any thought to put more of the game in Mariota's hands the last two drives

"No, because we have confidence in what we're doing. We got to make some first downs obviously, but certainly not going to throw it the last drive. Absolutely not going to throw it. The shovel pass is a throw, but it's not something down field that we can kill the clock. If you can keep the clock going, make them take a timeout. Again, some of those plays were the zone read, the ball could've been in his hands."

On the defense's red zone interception and fourth down play

"Big time for us to do that. Big plays by our defense."

On what he attributes Marcus Mariota's downfield throwing improvements to

"I'm not sure if he had problems throwing the ball downfield. He's been pretty consistent all year with those throws. Maybe their was an issue in training camp but not since then."

On if Mariota has had more opportunities to attack downfield this year

"Probably yes. I would say that. We're trying to design more shots down the field."

On third and long defense

"If you don't get a lot of pressure on him, he had some time in the pocket to get these guys open. You have to have some pressure. It's tough back there on the back end to cover these guys, especially when they're running crossing routes and rub routes are going on. Tough to defend if you don't have pressure.

On going with Derrick Henry instead of DeMarco Murray

"That's kind of been our plan all year. We get into a four minute and we run Derrick. A little fresher. Some of the things we were running, he runs well."

On the defense's ability to bend but not break

"I think that's part of the process of learning how to win, what we have to do to win games. We have to make stops. We have to get the ball and we have to get turnovers, especially when they get in the red zone. Those are huge turnovers for us."

On what this game meant in the development of Mariota

"He's just been very consistent with his play. You watched him today, probably thrown a lot away that weren't there and not try and force any errors and make mistakes. He's playing smart football, taking what the defense gives him."

On if there was a concerted effort to get Henry involved early

"Not particularly, it was just how the top 15 plays played out that he was involved in those personnel groupings. We liked the design of the plays. We liked, not that he was the back, but just that he was part of those personnel groupings."

On how Henry has handled his playing time

"He's been outstanding. He's been very patient, but very supportive. He's a great teammate to these guys. He's been very positive with these guys and I've told him that."

On if it's a relief to get out of here with a win

"It's better than relief. It's a win on the road, which we need. These are have to win games. We have to win these games to stay in the mix regardless of what anyone else is doing. We have to win our games. I don't care how it unfolded or how it ended. We won the game."

On how using four corners worked for him

"Again, it didn't feel like it obviously the second half when they were moving the ball like they were. Not very effective, but again I have to watch the tape to give you a fair evaluation."

On if he sensed any complacency when it was 27-7

"Not on our side. No."

On what changed in the fourth quarter

"Well, they were throwing the ball a lot more in the fourth quarter than they were in the first three. I'm not sure what their scheme was, but they had a lot of crossing routes. He was well protected. He was. He made some good throws. He made a lot more throws and some of his guys didn't make plays for him."

**

QB MARCUS MARIOTA **

On winning the game

"It's nice to win games like this. Obviously, as an offense, you'd like to be able to put the game away late but that's the nature of this league. They're going to have an opportunity to make plays and they did. You have to give a lot of credit to the Bears for getting those stops in the fourth quarter as well as moving the ball and scoring points. It is nice to win sometimes like that, and we'll just continue to grow from it."

On the success of the 2015 draft class of quarterbacks (Mariota & Winston)

"I don't see a whole lot of them, other than maybe the highlights and stuff like that. I'm happy for him. I've gotten to know him a little bit. I wish him continued success. But for us, we're just trying to make our teams better, find ways to win games and hopefully we'll continue that throughout our careers."

On their third-down conversion success

"It's important. That's the critical down in the game. If we're able to continue to convert those, we'll give our offense the best chance to score points and win the game."

On third down and red zone success

"I have to give a lot of credit to the guys around me, including the coaching staff. They do a great job of game planning for us and the guys continue to find ways to get open and the guys up front do a great job giving us some time to make plays."

On continued confidence late in the game

"I believe it comes from each and every one of us. It starts with coach Mularkey and trickles down. That's the kind of confidence that you want to have in the locker room, that culture around each other, that belief. If we continue that, continue to grow as a team like that, we'll continue to find ways to win games like this."

On if they left any points on the field

"Absolutley. Whether it's the third downs in the fourth quarter, or instead of kicking field goals, scoring touchdowns, we kind of let them hang around. You have to give them a lot of credit, they deserve a lot of credit for what happened. They played hard all the way up until the end. We're very fortunate to get the win."

On the mindset going into the bye week

"We're right in the thick of it. Our mentality can't change. We have to continue to take it one day at a time, find ways to improve and just approach it one game at a time."

On Titans receivers making plays

"Absolutley. That's starts out on the practice field. Those guys are making those types of plays in practice. They are working hard at their craft. When they are able to make plays like that, the entire offense has a lot of confidence and you are able to continue to move the ball."

On what he felt after the Titans defense held on the last play

"Joy. I mean, you've very happy you won the game, proud of the guys, proud of the defense for hanging in there and finding a way to get that stop. That's all you can really ask for. They stepped up to the plate and made that play to win the game."

On preparing to get a final possession in the fourth quarter

"You have to prepare. In terms of down on the sideline, as an offensive unit, we were getting ready for whatever the situation may be – whether it was taking a knee or getting ready for two-minute.  Coaches do a great job of keeping us – in terms of our mindset – keeping us engaged in the game and making sure we understand the situation."

On Derrick Henry's contribution

"He's a very dynamic player. He continues to come in and make plays.  That's going to be the expectation for him."

On if the cold weather affected his game

"No, I've played in a lot of cold games up in Oregon."

On Rashad Johnson's touchdown catch

"He's the type of guy that can make plays. I always believe that the guy is going to make a play, no matter what. When he has an opportunity to do that, he's going to do that. I'm glad he was able to come down with the ball."

On his streak of two-touchdown games (in company with Brady & Marino)

"That's first time I've heard it. It is cool. As a kid, you kind of grow up wishing to be mentioned with some of those guys. To me, it's a honor but a lot of the credit goes to the guys in the locker room.  None of that would have been possible without the five guys up front blocking and the guys getting open and finding ways to come down with the ball. They deserve a lot of credit for what's going on. I'm just there giving them the opportunity to make those plays."

On if he imagined himself achieving what he has

"As an athlete, I think you have to have the confidence and belief in yourself. To say I had envisioned joining some of these names would be tough to say. But I really believe in myself and I hold myself to a high standard. The expectation for me is to be able to consistently be the best player that my team needs me to be. Going forward, I'll continue to do that."

On becoming the first Titans quarterback to throw 25 touchdowns in a season

"It's really cool. But that doesn't matter if we don't win games.  Give a lot of credit to guys around in the locker room. We have to continue to find ways to win games and we'll see how it goes."

On the timing of the bye week

"I feel that we got pretty fortunate with this. With our mini-bye with the Thursday night game halfway through the year and then now playing the last quarter of the season right after a bye – I think it set up very nicely for us. It'll be good for guys to take some time off, heal up and get ready for the last quarter."

On their position in the playoff hunt

"That's all you want – you want an opportunity this time of the year to get a chance to run at a division title, maybe make a run at the playoffs. That's all you can ask for. We have to continue to take it one day at a time, find ways to improve and not worry about what's going on around us and just focus on what we can do to get better and get ready for these next four games."

On the timing of the bye week

"I think it's really nice for us. It's an opportunity for us to heal up and get ready for the last four games."

On the Titans offensive line's performance

"I would agree with that statement. I think those guys up front did a great job of giving us some time to make plays down the field. We're fortunate to play behind those guys. They've made plays like that all year."

On what he said to Matt Barkley following the game

"I was kind of caught all over the place and he ended up coming up to me. I just wished him a good game. I thought he came out and played well. He gave his team the best chance to win and that's all you can really ask for a guy coming in. I was very impressed with him."

**

TE DELANIE WALKER**

On getting a win before a bye week

"It is very important when you go into a bye week. You kind of want to finish strong with a win. That's all we talked about; ending the [third] quarter 2-2. Got this win going into the bye week, so that's a good motivation for us coming back after this bye."

On the team evening the record at 6-6

"It put us back into the running in our division. That's all we care about at the moment. Trying to get to the top of the division. I actually think Houston lost; I'm not sure where that's going to put us. Getting this win is a good start for us going into the fourth quarter."

On the remaining schedule

"We got four more games. We got a good bye, and now we can start off the fourth quarter with a good run."

**

WR RASHARD MATTHEWS**

On the connection with Marcus Mariota

"Yeah. It's just part of us connecting. He's doing a great job at looking for everybody. Getting everybody the ball. I'm just happy when the ball comes my way that I can make plays."

On the touchdown throw

"It was a money throw. He threw it right where I could get it and still keep my body inbounds. It was a great throw."

On getting another win

"We're going to go out there and fight until the end. Until the game is over. You never know what is going to happen. We did a great job at staying in the game. Kudos to the defense. They won the game for us."

On converting third downs in the first half

"That's what football is about. The good teams go out and convert the third downs. When we do that, we are making the right step in the right direction."

On Mariota's numbers

"I think you guys quoted me a while back, 'I don't think he's played his best game yet'. It's dangerous. He's only in his second year. Hopefully, he will continue to grow and better and better. It's going to be dangerous when he's killing the numbers he has now."

S KEVIN BYARD

On the end of the defensive stand to end the game

"You can't let them in. No matter what, you can't let them in. They can get to the one-yard line, but it doesn't matter until they cross the goal line. That was our mentality. We were saying in the huddle, 'They don't have to score.' At the end of the day, we just had to get off the field. That's what we did."

On two red zone interceptions

"It was one of those days in the NFL. Just back and forth, back and forth. The defensive backs have been taking a lot of criticism these last couple weeks. We were able to seal the deal and make a few plays late. At the end of the day, that's what happened."

On seeing the ball on the ground on fourth down

"I'm not going to lie, when I made the hit, I was just hoping I wasn't going to hear the crowd explode. When I didn't hear the crowd explode, I just got up and was extremely happy we got the win. That was my feeling."

On getting a win heading into the bye week

"It does wonders for us. You can go into the bye week with a good feeling. It's easier to break down the film, get better and different things when you have a 'W'. It's harder when you have a loss. That was definitely good for us. We're going to go into the bye happy campers."

**

LB AVERY WILLIAMSON**

On turning the Bears away three times in the red zone

"That was huge for us, especially on the onside kick. We stopped them on the first series. We held them on the fourth down. It was huge momentum for us to give the offense the ball back. They were putting up points, so I am happy we pulled this one out."

On winning at the end of the game

"It will build confidence for us. For us not to fold when it gets down like that, in the past our momentum goes down so bad, we feel like we're going to lose. We just stayed strong. We made mistakes out there, but we continued to stay the course. That shows the maturity of the team. How we've grown."

BEARS HEAD COACH JOHN FOX

Opening Statement

"There is only one injury to report. Danny Trevathan left the game and did not return with a right knee. At this point, it appears to be serious, but we do not have all the tests run to give you a real solid prognosis at this point."

On whether Eddie Royal was out of the game as a result of the toe

"I really don't have knowledge of that. He had some spot play, returned punts, and I know the coaches were rolling him through on offense as well."* *

On balancing the team's execution and effort with disappointment of the loss

"The results are wins and losses, and the results have not been good. But just as I told the team, it was a pretty gritty, hard-fought game to get back into it. We just have to play better for 60 minutes. We had a couple of picks in the first half that took points off the board. We had the same guy came back and put the team in a tough spot, especially for an inexperienced quarterback in our system. You know, a hurry-up system. I don't think the design for the day was to have him throw the ball 54 times."

On the disappointment of the dropped balls in the 4th quarter

"I think there were a lot of different guys out there that haven't been in the position to catch or drop balls very many times. I know one of the guys in there, Marquess Wilson, was playing only his second game this season. Those guys fought hard. They did a lot of good things. There were some good catches, as well as drops. So just like any time, if the result isn't exactly what you were looking for, you go back to the drawing board and learn from it."

On the performance of Matt Barkley

"He was better late than early [in the game.] But all-in-all, I think for the guy's first start with us, it was pretty good."

BEARS QB MATT BARKLEY

On the final drive and drop by Josh Bellamy

"I figured that we had a chance to score and when situations like that come up – we've been repping plays like that for so long that it's hard to see those not work. Just like during the game when there were opportunities in the red-zone that didn't go our way, those ones hurt because you've repped those plays and things don't go right and you just got to eat those. But Josh (Bellamy) played his butt of the whole game. You can't put that one on him, the plays on me and the players throughout the game with opportunities to make it not close in the end. We win as a team and we'll lose as a team."

On the drops by the receivers and if those get frustrating

"No. I don't look at it that way. I'm one play and then on to the next one. We'll look at the tape tomorrow. I'm not a stats guy so we'll just see how the tape looks and go from there. But during the game I don't get wrapped up in the emotions of all that negativity. I'm trying to keep guys going, keep the tempo pressed and one play at a time."

On finding a rhythm as the game progressed and in the hurry-up offense

"I think because we were forced to kind of hurry up to score, that tempo with the no-huddle and just getting the ball out, I think the receivers were definitely feeling it as well. Getting their routes – they were all crisp routes and I was seeing everything easier. But I think most importantly in a lot of those looks the defense – they just kind of play off and you can see what they're doing – there's not a lot of crazy looks or disguises. So I was seeing everything clean. Our guys, they were getting open – I had all the time in the world it felt like. I like pushing the tempo like that when you can have an advantage."

On the last play of the game

"It's one of those plays where you wish you could have had something back with a different look on defense or a different call maybe. We had our chances but I thought Dowell (Loggains) called a hell of a game. I felt really comfortable with how he got me ready all week. But that last one just hurts knowing that we had it."

On the best piece of advice he received going into his first start

"I don't know if I received one glaring thing that stood out. Just throughout the week different coaches and players just telling me to be me and that's more of a reassurance because I know that and I think that's what I did tonight. I'm not really fazed by situations really. I just try to stay even keel and level headed and let that reflect to the guys, whether that's in the huddle or on the sidelines. Just to be

me, play my game, don't try to morph into anyone else. I thought I did that tonight."

On the meaning of his first NFL start and his play

"I know who I am and as a quarterback I know what I'm capable of. Football is a wonderful game because of the team sport that it is. How it takes 11 guys doing the right thing to make a play work and it's encouraging – even though we lost – it's encouraging any time to see how these guys fought and how they really banded together to play for each other. It was cool to see. So I think just moving on from here, knowing that we can win, that we have guys on this team that can win games. Just making sure that we don't shoot ourselves in the foot, I think that's the goal from here on out."

On if he found chemistry with the receivers

"Absolutely – and even seeing the different looks that we were getting on defense when they started playing off. Just seeing out cuts, where they were getting in and out of breaks. Definitely that did grow throughout that second-half I would say. And one week was, I think, more than enough to get that rhythm down. A lot of those guys I had been working service team with earlier in the year so I did know them. It's good to have Key back (Marquess Wilson) with his foot being healthy and him already – just having a rapport with him – and the other guys. It's encouraging"

On the play of Marquess Wilson

"He's a big target. I think he plays big so it's comforting knowing you can put it within a five-yard radius and he can go get it and the touchdown play, he just beat his man, really and it was just an in-route. Safety stayed back side so it was pretty much a high-low on the backer and he made his guy miss. It was a lot cleaner window than sometimes we've been getting in service team. He's a big target, plays well and makes plays."

On dealing with the defensive pressure later in the game

"That boils down to just my trust in my line. I thought those guys did an unbelievable job tonight – I really did. Felt like I had all the time in the world and seeing those cuts of my receivers and just knowing their timing as that developed, it really eased my presence in the pocket and allowed me to just stay planted and not try to scramble or get out and knowing where they were going to be. So, regardless of what they were bringing, I think my trust in my guys really helped that."

BEARS TE DANIEL BROWN

On his first touchdown

"I don't know if you can really describe it. Your first touchdown is always something you're going to remember. I can't really put it into words. It's kind of like an out-of-body experience. I'm overwhelmed with joy."

On the play of Matt Barkley

"He did a heck of a job. Stepping in like that and leading a team – we kind of dug ourselves a hole- he kind of rallied us and kept us going. I think it's a testament to him and all of the work he's put in."

On the mood in the room

"Obviously, we're disappointed. We fought all day. It didn't happen the way we wanted it to. To come up short like that, it's just something that we have to learn. We have to learn how to finish. I'm proud of the way we fought back, but obviously, we're all a little disappointed in the outcome."

BEARS WR CAMERON MEREDITH

On the play of Matt Barkley

"He was very impressive. The speed of the game didn't slow down at all. He came out prepared. He put the ball in the right places. We just have to come out and make some better plays next week."

On whether there are any signs of encouragement from today's finish

"Yeah, it's good that we fought back. We battled. Everyone was out there sucking it up and making the plays when it went to them. We just need that to have that added motivation to finish the game. We're going to get it right. We've been saying it a lot, but we mean it. It's just taking a little time. So, we'll go back and see what we need to do for next week."

On having the momentum on the last drive

"Yeah, we were moving the ball. I don't think they could cover us, I just think it was a matter of us making the plays. So, we're disappointed in ourselves, and we hold ourselves accountable. So, we'll get back to it."

BEARS WR DEONTE THOMPSON

On the play of the wide receivers

"It was a tough day for our group, but we're just going to keep battling and keep fighting and keep coming everyday with our 'A-game.'"

On the play of Matt Barkley

"I think he played excellent. He came out in the second half putting the ball everywhere. I think he did a great job. . . I think to rally us back like that with what our team is going through right now – a lot of guys injured and this and that – for our team to come back and rally like that, that was big. That was a positive."

On his touchdown catch

"It was really just man-to-man coverage, and I just won my matchup. I had told Matt earlier that the guy couldn't guard me. He just believed in me and threw the ball to me."

On the amount of dropped passes today

"I have no idea. I guess it's just coincidence. This group doesn't drop balls. That was the first time we ever came out and performed like that."

BEARS DL AKIEM HICKS

On whether the team can take away any positives

"I think we've taken that road a couple of times this year. Quite frankly, a lot of guys are tired of having to look for the bright side in it. We want that result. I know I do. I want that result. It's part of this game, and it's something that's hard to swallow, but as much as we're fighting through things, I know we're ready for a result. I'm ready for the result."

On whether the team was up for today's game

"Always. Always. I mean, if you look at the score, there was a number of times we were down, and if you don't have that mentality to be able to push through – during chapel this week, our pastor was talking about adversity and pressure and being able to push through, and I think that we all felt that. That ability to push through when things aren't going your way like when we don't have points on the board and the defense is getting thirteen-play drives ran on them, I think that we found that pressure and were able to push through."

BEARS WR MARQUESS WILSON

On the play of Matt Barkley in the second half

"You know, Matt gives us a chance to make plays, and we just all build off of his energy and everybody else's energy, we felt like we had things rollin', and we just have to answer the call next time."

*On the drops *

"We just have to focus better. I had a couple of drops, and I just have to focus more. We just have to build off of it. I'll just have to come in early tomorrow and just work on it."

The Tennessee Titans take on the Chicago Bears in Week 12 action at Soldier Field. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

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