Titans-Cardinals Postgame Quotes

HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER

(opening statements)

We had a pretty good week of preparation last week, early continuing right up to the preparation for the Cardinals. (I) felt like we took a step as a football team and I think it gave us a carryover tonight. I liked some of the things that we saw. I liked the effort, the enthusiasm and saw a lot of good things in all three phases.

So, our next challenge now is we have two games in 10 days and we are practicing against the Cardinals on Wednesday. So, we got a short week and will get right back to work.

(on Vince Young's sharpness)

He felt excited about playing. He was prepared, focused, made plays with his legs and made plays with his arm and real good on the line of scrimmage as well.

(on if blitzing was an indication of things to come)

We needed to improve in that area. So, we indentified some areas early in the game to bring extra pressure.

(on if he was pleased with running backs)

Well, you expect backs to do well behind our offensive line. Sam (Samkon Gado) has got run skills. He is a good zone runner. He has a good feel for what we are doing. It is good to see him have some success in a limited amount of preparation, practice time.

The big back (LeGarrette Blount) he can run. I mean he has got some acceleration, he's powerful. It is good we got more of an opportunity for him today.

(on if Nate Washington talked him into the challenge)

He didn't talk me into it. No. I was standing right there. It happened quick, but then I was able to confirm it upstairs. I will not let a player talk me into it. I had a player years ago talk me into it; swore up and down the ball bounced twice.

(on if returner's job is wide open)

We have not made a decision there. Damian (Williams) made some plays. He made a tough catch and (showed) some run after catch ability. It is good to get him back in it and get in his first ballgame.

(On any injuries tonight)

Pete (Ittersagan) cleared up.  He cleared up and probably tomorrow we'll watch him.  We'll be very, very careful with him but we had nothing other than that.

(On Collin Allred's absence tonight)

Held him out.  He had a burner and it didn't make sense to subject him to anything.  He'll be fine this week.

(On being optimistic about the guys returning on the short week)

I think we'll get some guys back this week, yes.

(On liking what he saw from the first team defense)

Three three-and-outs, I thought, was quite an accomplishment.  Although the third one we had long down and distance situation but I thought they rallied.  They tackled well.  We had a number of tackles for losses and looked like we got a lot of pressure on the passer.

(On the quarterback race)

Well it's difficult because its typically not enough reps.  In a perfect world, it was a quarter a piece and it didn't end up that way.  And so we'll adjust it.  You know, Vince has to play.  \He's our starter and so are the other three  and you know when you talk about having to make a decision between Rusty (Smith) and Chris (Simms), you need to give them ample reps so hopefully we will be able to do that.  But we also have unique practice session against Arizona where I think it will help.

(On Marc Mariani's recent play and how it will make the decision about him difficult)

Well, he's been making plays, yeah.  You draft players with the hope and the expectation that they'll come in, make plays and make the football team.  And he's been making plays for us.

(On his thoughts about LP Field and how it's improved after the flood in May)

Well, yeah, there was.  I thought they did a nice tribute with the moment of silence but also the tribute on the jumbotron.  And it was.  I was out here that afternoon when it filled and I was back out there the next morning when it was empty.  But we were very, very fortunate here.  The last of Nashville's worries was this and we were just very fortunate.

QB VINCE YOUNG

(on swapping jerseys with Darnell Dockett)

A lot of respect. We have a relationship off the field and in the offseason, things like that. We do different things. He comes to my celebrity weekend football camps and things like that. And it's the same respect he has for me. I tell him, 'I want your jersey; you want mine.' And he gave it to me. It's just a respect that he has for me and vice versa. I have the same respect for him.

(on if he believes Darnell Dockett will have a productive year)

That's a Pro Bowler right there. Hall of Fame guy right there.

(on his performance in Monday's game)

Overall, pretty good. I felt like I had my eyes in the right places. Like I said earlier this week, I feel like our receivers are coming along real great. And they're doing a great job. They're taking a lot of pressure off C.J. (Chris Johnson). So if we can continue those type of things, I feel like we can have an explosive offense anytime. But that's just one game, and we have two games right now, so we've got to continue to keep working and get better and better.

(on his expectations for Wednesday's upcoming practice with the Arizona Cardinals)

Just basically doing some of the things that we didn't show today. And that's a good time to showcase a lot of different things we're going to run during the season against the type of team that runs a cover four, cover four press and different things that they were running with the blitz. So we've got a chance as an offense. You know, me sliding different protection on their blitz and just get a feel for the kind of things they'll be doing a lot during the season and some of the things we didn't run tonight. I feel like it's going to be a good deal for us going against a different defense because going against our defense every day at camp gets kind of boring sometimes.

(on his confidence in the receivers)

I definitely feel very confident in those guys. Ever since OTA's, I feel very comfortable with the guys because of the fact that guys are in the right place at the right time, catching the ball. We've got so many that can play out there at any time and make a play for you. Lavelle Hawkins did a great job of stepping up as well as Nate (Washington) doing a great job. It's all coming together right now. Seeing Cat (Craig Stevens) catch a deep ball down the field. I mean, it's all coming together right now. All we've got to do is keep working and don't get too happy with ourselves right now because we've still got a long way to go. I feel like the confidence with myself as well as with the receivers is really good right now.

(on the tribute video played over the jumbotron to the flood cleanup)

All respect to everybody who put their hands in and put work in to get it back to where it needed to be. I've got a great relationship with the LP guys as well as with our community. It's good to get out here today and get in front of our fans. They give us a lot of support. It was a sad moment with the flood, but at the same time as the Tennessee Titans, as an organization, we want to continue to keep our city alive – keep everybody smiling. And good job for us to go out and have a good game on a Monday night – from the first team down to the young guys. I mean, it's phenomenal to be back in the stadium today with everything working. We just walked in and were talking about how furniture was gone from the flood and things like that. It's all worked out. We're just happy to be back in the stadium.

(on if he was impressed with the effectiveness of the flood relief crew)

Very impressed. The grass is very soft. As an athlete, you definitely want the grass to be soft for the game. You don't want to be tackled on some hard stuff. But at the same time, they did a great job of getting us back in here and getting the stadium back to where it needed to be.

(on his celebration after Samkon Gado's touchdown)

That's the biggest thing that I've felt over the previous years – there's a lot of pointing fingers when everything isn't going right. And I feel like we needed more excitement on those type of runs or those types of big catches or that sack or that deflection by a DB. And as I learned growing up, when you support your teammates, I feel like everybody plays better. When a guy makes a mistake, don't bash him and get up in his face and anything like that. I feel like we should support him – say, 'You're all right, man. Just get ready for the next play.' And a lot of guys are doing that, from the starting guys down to the young guys. We really need that to play the type of football that we want to play.

WR NATE WASHINGTON

(on the Titans offense being on the same page)

It is a day to day grind.  This is the offense that we've been waiting for, and things have been going well.  We're just working day to day; trying to get better.  Trying to be on the same page and we are on the same page now.

(on Vince Young's improvement)

He's doing a lot more reading.  His reads are better.  He's able to sit back there and be comfortable.  He knows where he is going with the ball.  Not necessarily before the snap because he is still making his reads.

QB KERRY COLLINS

(on the Titans receiving weapons)

They're some guys that are coming into their own.  They are in their third or fourth year.  Like Hawk (Hawkins) and Craig Stevens.  Those kind of guys are becoming guys that we can depend on and they made some good plays tonight.

WR MARC MARIANI

(on first game in Nashville)

From what I hear, it was a sold out crowd.  It was fun to play at home in front of the fans, to put on the show a little bit and get the win tonight.

(on playing many different roles tonight)

I'm taking advantage of every rep.  Punt, kickoffs, returns.  It doesn't matter what it is.  I'm competing every play and hopefully in a couple of weeks, that will pay off.

SS CHRIS HOPE

(on holding Cardinals offensive starters in check)

We played fast. We played aggressive. We executed our assignments and everybody tackled well. When you have a team doing those things and hitting on all cylinders, we got a lot of good pressure up front. The defensive line played really well against the pass and the run. It made our job easy in the back end.

(on new faces on defense)

It has been definitely different looking around, looking at the guys that are lining up beside me in the battle. It is obviously different without (Albert) Haynesworth, Keith Bulluck, Kyle Vanden Bosch, (and) David Thornton. You know, Cortland (Finnegan) has been out. It is a very, very different team. The positive about that is that you have guys that are hungry. Everybody is going out to try and prove themselves worthy of getting an opportunity to start or play or make the team. When you add that to the equation, a guy's desire and he's hungry, hungriness is pretty tough to stop.

HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT

(opening statement)

Ok, so obviously not our best effort tonight. I think we had opportunities to make plays in the game and we didn't get that done.  They were bringing a lot of pressure on us early in the game against our offense and when that happens you have got to make plays down the field.  That's where you get them out of it. I thought we had some opportunities and we didn't execute and that's disappointing. It is a preseason game where we didn't prepare against those kind of blitzes but we have seen looks like that from our defense so I expect us to handle it better than we did tonight. I was a little encouraged with our defense with two three and outs there early in the game but ultimately we gave up another big play which we can't do.  Overall, I think we just have to go back with the tape and look at it and assess where we are as a team but it is something we have got to really work on improving this week and play better next.

(on the performance of Matt Leinart and the first team offense)

Well I'm not happy with it obviously.  I think that we had opportunities from all of our quarterbacks to make plays tonight and we didn't get that done.  That is something we have to continue to work on.  I am not panicked about it.  I think it is a process that you have to go through but I think what is encouraging is that we had opportunities to make plays and we just didn't execute them.  So hopefully when we get back this week and work on execution and have success with them the next time.

(on miscommunication with Derek Anderson and Stephen Spach on the sideline pass)

I didn't get the sense that there was miscommunication.  We just didn't connect on the throw. The play was designed to take a shot and Stephen got over the top of him.  He didn't run a great route but he did win over the top and that's the kind of play, I mean, we specifically knew that we were going to have an opportunity to try and throw it and part of it was looking for Stephen and see how he would react to that situation. Those are things you learn about players and you are disappointed that they weren't executed better. I know this, the next time we are in that situation they both will execute it better because I am going to get on them about it.

(on the pass from Derek Anderson on the Stephen Spach play)

That's a little adjustment that a veteran receiver would have made.  When you are playing tight coverage like that and the guy was sitting inside of you, when you win inside you have got to flatten him because if you take the angle up the field it brings the inside defenders in the play and it makes it a harder throw for the quarterback. And once again, that's an experience thing.  If it would have been Larry (Fitzgerald) out there, I've seen Larry do that many times. You get on the same page with the quarterback and that's something we will learn. It's invaluable for us to be able for us to experience that.  You're disappointed that we weren't successful with it but there's a specific reason why we weren't successful but we can correct it.

(on Derek Anderson's throwing, progression and touchdown on the goal line)

That's the thing he is getting better at, part of that is footwork, part of that is getting reps or that's getting playtime. That is why he played a little more tonight and why we said we wanted him to play with the second team. My expectations, are when we have something like that come up the next time, we can be successful. I like the fact the scheme of the play worked. We were open, disciplined, and we were able to get a touchdown.

He is learning how to play in this league. He is by no means a finished product and I think tonight was fantastic from the standpoint; he got a number of reps. That's what he needed; he needs that experience. That's why we put him in there to see how he would handle it. He wasn't perfect but he did make a couple of plays. So, I am excited about his progress. We also understand; he has got a ways to go before he is ready to play.

If Larry had his preference he would be back playing next week. His rehab will progress from here. Like we said, last week, we will be conservative on that approach. I don't think there is any question in our minds that he is going to be ready for the first game. I think he will be ready for the last game, the last preseason game. Obviously, that's not something we are pushing him to do. We want to rehab him but we will see where he is next week.

QB MATT LEINART

(on overall performance of tonight )**

You want to move the ball. We're close and we made some decent plays.  We got into second and long, third and long a couple of times.  I thought obviously their intent was to blitz us every down, it seemed like.  So on a few of those plays, you've just got to throw the ball to your hot and take what they give you.  Yeah you want to move the ball better, obviously.  But what are you going to do?  You've got to watch the film.  We'll see what happened on film and we'll just clean it up, move forward.  And have a better outing this Saturday.

*(on the expectation of the  Titans blitzing a lot )       *

No.  I think with them they have shown a lot of different looks early in the preseason games.  So we expected a lot of coverage.  But you bring pressure; you just make the best of it.  You take what they give you like I said.  Again, you don't game plan in preseason, so obviously there are some things that they are just going to get you on.  It's no excuse.  You've got to move the ball better and you know, it falls on the quarterback.

DT DAN WILLIAMS

(on being back in Tennessee)

It was good. After being in Flagstaff for so long and being in the thin air, it kind of feels good to have a little humidity and get the clouds to cover up the sun a little. It feels good to be at home. It was a chance for my family to come up and see the game. It is weird being back in Tennessee after my first training camp. I am really glad to be close to home.

(on the game)

It was fun. I had a good time. I saw Derrick Morgan and also LeGarrette Blount over there running the ball. You see a lot of those guys at the Combine and the Rookie Symposium. It was good to see those guys again.

(on his play)

I have to watch the film. I made a couple plays here and there but I have to do better. That is my mindset every game. I need to get with Coach (Ron) Aiken and see what he has to say.

(on the Arizona defense during the game)

For the most part, the first unit did well. We made a couple mistakes but we are going to get that corrected. For the most part, we did well. But it was not at the level we wanted to play tonight. I believe the veterans would say that as well. It was a great experience being in the preseason. We will watch the tape and learn from it.

DT DARNELL DOCKETT

(on the game)

We started off strong, but we have to be better than that.  It is preseason and the records technically don't count, but we just have to be better than that.  There are no ifs, ands or buts about it.  We just need to be better than that.  I look forward to a good intense week of practice.  We are going to play a lot more in the Chicago scrimmage.  We have to get our timing right.  More reps will help our team get better.

(on the communication)

It is easy to do it in practice because you have a lot of time in between plays and you can communicate, but you get out here in a scrimmage you really don't have that much time.  We have to get more reps and more playing time together.  There are a lot of new faces in the huddle.

(on a scrimmage Wednesday)

You get an opportunity to go practice against somebody else, a new face and a new intensity.  It is going to be very competitive.  That is a good team.  I don't think people realize that.  They have one of the best runners in the game.  I am excited.  It is basically playing another game on Wednesday.  I am going to be excited and I know they are going to be excited.  We are going to get after each other.  We are looking to make them better and they are looking to make us better.

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