Titans-Cardinals Postgame Quotes


(on Marc Mariani)

*He had at tib-fib (tibia-fibula) fracture and he is having surgery right now. Yes, I assume that would mean he is out for the season, yes.

I am very disappointed, I feel terrible for him. Just going out and obviously seeing the pain that he was in, you know those things like that came happen. Stuff like that, as bad as that is, it's just so hard to see guys that worked so hard this past offseason, develop his receiver skills and a guy that the quarterbacks really counted on and trusted. We just saw him being great in that role along with the return game. That's a big loss for us.

(on consistency in converting turnovers into points in preseason)

The good thing is that we are getting them. We are creating turnovers. The defense tonight, they dominated the game until the two-minute drive at the end of the half. We dropped one coverage which I think was the only bad play they had the whole half. We dominated up front.  (Kamerion) Wimbley was all over the quarterback.

The defense came up big all game long and the young guys fortunately hung on. It got sloppy after Colin's (McCarthy) play I think for the game. The rest of the game was pretty sloppy. That when the penalties started up, the turnovers and the good thing is we hung on to win the game.

(on Jake Locker's settling down during game)

He did. Again, I wish we would have had more plays on offense. We had one nice drive on a short field we converted for the touchdown to Kendall (Wright), which was a nice play because that was a decision he made. We had a run called and he went to the throw. He made a nice play there to Kendall to score. He ran the ball well and he got out of trouble. I think the protection was good. Obviously, the run game wasn't what we wanted. That would have made things easier and that would have given us more plays. The problem is, again, for those positions, if you can't stay on the field, which we didn't do on offense enough, you don't get a chance to get a feel for the game.

(on Jake Locker as a starter)

That part is where you would think he's been in the league 10 years.  He handles himself very well in all situations. When he comes to the sidelines, he changed about three or four protections tonight, to keep him from being hot, to avoid problems when he threw the ball, to avoid him from getting hit. He does things that people wouldn't notice.  He's doing that.  Most young quarterbacks wouldn't even think or be able to handle. Most young quarterbacks and even some veterans, they're more concerned about the coverage. He's adjust to protections and then give them to cover, so he's way ahead of a lot of guys and he did some good things like that. There were a couple of balls that were high, couple of routes that weren't run right, but overall I was very happy with the fact that again he played, we scored points and we won the football game.

(on getting QB Rusty Smith into the game)

Yeah, the problem is that we had four plays in the third quarter ,so it was hard for … we couldn't get Matt (Hasselbeck) in until the fourth quarter or maybe it was the end of the third quarter. The offense didn't have a whole lot of work in the second half so it's hard to get everyone reps.

(on the deep-ball Cardinals' WR Larry Fitzgerald caught )

I'm not sure who came off. The quarterback started to scramble, it looked like he was sacked, he started scrambling…yeah, someone dropped coverage. Obviously, that's one play that set up a touchdown score for them before the half. 

(on Jake Locker's play under pressure)

He changed the protection to keep from being hot. If we were sliding the opposite way, he would've had to get rid of the ball a lot faster, which means he wouldn't have time to make that throw. He checked the protection, now he has time, he can make the throw.

(on the officiating)

There were a few things. I think they just got sloppy at the end. It seemed like nothing was called most of the game and then all of a sudden there's a lot of calls. I think the kicker (Will Batson) got about five shots at the field goal. I think we're going to break a record for how much further he could go back. But, good for him, he got to kick three times, which he appreciated, and made all three. Just things like that, I think just got frustrating and then not knowing sometimes what was actually happening, trying to get the information to the sideline.  What they were actually calling?  Before the halftime, there was some confusion on timeouts, at the end of the game there was a little confusion on was the last ball complete or incomplete. It's things like that that were frustrating but we want them in so hopefully that's something they will continue to clean up.


(on how he thought the game went)

I thought we were able to move the ball a little bit better than we did last week. We found ways to score points. We missed a few plays that I think could've put a few more points on the board, but overall I think it was pretty good.

(on the team's ability to turn turnovers into points)

Definitely. I think when your defense gives you a pretty short field, like they gave us a couple times today; to come away with points is a huge momentum shift for you. Not only because you get the turnover, but you're able to turn it into points and kind of put the other team in a little bit of a hole. So yeah, any time you're able to take advantage of it, I think it's good for both sides of the ball.

(on him and Chris Johnson's back-shoulder chemistry)

Yeah. You know it's just something that we had worked on throughout the week, and it just showed up. It was awesome.

(on why he throws the back-shoulder)

Yeah, I just played over top of him and he did a good job, had a good release off the ball. Like I said, it was something that we had worked on this week in practice, so he kind of had an expectation for it as well.

(on his first start at LP field)

It was cool to be able to have the first start here in Tennessee and be welcomed the way I was. I've always appreciated this sport and I will continue to.

(on what he needs to improve upon for next week)

I think we missed a few third downs that we could've converted on, missed a couple of throws on the third down that could've kept the drives alive; kept us on the field and could've possibly led to more points. I think we need to get a little better on the first down and not put ourselves in as many third-and-ones.

(on Marc Mariani's injury)

Yeah, you know just a guy that is not only important to this team, but is one of my good buddies. It's unfortunate because of his charisma and the way he can change the game through special teams. It's tough to lose a guy like that, but he's a hard worker. You'll see him back here as soon as he can be. Our thoughts and prayers are with him.


(on his deep catch in the second quarter)

It was wide open.  The corner bit on Craig (Stevens). Craig did a great job on the corner. It was a lob over the shoulder and straight to the end zone.

(on the progression of the offense)

We went three and out on a couple of drives. We left some points out there. It's just things we got to correct.

(on the play of QB Jake Locker)

I think he did well. He came in and got his feet wet. He made some plays. He made some things happen for us offensively. I think he did real well.

(on if the offense had confidence in QB Jake Locker)

He had all of it. He's our leader. He's our quarterback. We had all the confidence in him. He made plays out there.


(on his first touchdown)

It felt good. Real good. I was just happy to catch it. I went against a real good corner. I was just trying to work on my assignment and make plays.

(on the touchdown pass from QB Jake Locker)

It was the type of defense they ran. It looked good when Jake threw it. I had the opportunity to make a play and I did.

(on if there is chemistry with QB Jake Locker)

I have no idea. I had chemistry with Matt too. I feel that a little bit. It's real early. I got to keep going to practice. Practice the same way every day. And be the same person every day.


(on the Titans' defensive effort)

It's what we're trying to get done as a defense.  I think Coach (Jerry) Gray has a done a great job of preparing us.  Anticipating plays from the offense, and from there it's just going out and making plays.  I think the D-line did a great job all night getting pressure early.  You know, we're rushing four guys and we're able to get as much pressure as we are.  Which is huge for us, rushing four and playing seven in the back and being able to mix it up with different coverages to confuse the offense.

(on the defense getting five turnovers)

It's huge.  What we do in the preseason is going to build into the regular season and we realize that.  We've been consistent.  We got two in the first game, two in the second and now five here in the third.  So we're building.  That's what we want to do. We want to improve week to week so week one we hit the ground running, and we took another great step this week. You know we have one preseason game left and from there, it's 16 straight.  We're excited.


(on winning the preseason game)

It feels great just going out there and coming out with a win and getting turnovers…I feel like the front four of the D-line did a great job today.  Overall, I think we did a pretty good job.

(on the Titans defense stepping up in the win)

It's about just getting my hands on the ball. You know, the second or third play of the game getting that interception and getting a turnover, and Colin (McCarthy) getting a turnover and more opportunities out there. Outside of that, I think this was our first game plan cornered to this game and everything worked itself out if we executed it, and we came out with a "W."  The main thing going into the season is being more consistent, trying to create turnovers, and that's the main objective going into the season.  


(on being pleased with the Titans defensive performance)

Oh, definitely.  It was great to go out there and be able to make plays and try to put our offense in position to give us the best chance to win the game.  I think we were able to go out and capitalize off of a lot of mistakes that were made by Arizona, and we were also able to create plays.  We look at this game as a tune-up game going into the regular season.  This is normally the game that the starters play the most. Probably taper it off next week.  So I think it was important for us to be focused in this game and we put a lot of study into this team and I think it showed.  I think we went out there and we were able to pick up on our keys and we were able to execute on the things that were called.  I think the guys on this defensive line have been improving and getting better and it's great to be a part of that.  They bring a lot of energy and excitement and we just go out and work hard every day in practice and it's showing up in the games, so I'm excited about that.


(opening statement)

A little bit of a wild game.  There was a lot of ebb and flow in the game, a lot of turnovers by our football team.  It's hard to go on the road and win a game when you turn the football over like we did.  We made a number of mistakes.  I think defensively, we did a good job again, at times, especially with our red zone defense keeping them from scoring touchdowns.  I like the way our team responded. So I was pleased with that. I think it's tough when you are down 17 – 3 to turn it around and take the lead in the third quarter going into the fourth.  That's big when you can do that especially against a team like this.  This is a good team defensively and at home, their first game, they were really getting off the bal l quick tonight. I was proud of our team for that, but let's not kid ourselves and say we don't have some things to clean up which we do and we are going to work on those.

(on the quarterbacks)

That's a tough one tonight.  It seems like the protection thing flipped and tonight John (Skelton) had the tougher part of it, which obviously starting out.  We settled down a little bit later.  We went to the no huddle which helped us.  I am going to have to look at the tape, look at the reads where the protection broke down and look at what the quarterbacks were looking at as far as that evaluation. 

(on clarity at the quarterback position)

That's the way it goes sometimes. Tonight it was tough.  We were going against a good defensive front and we were playing a young tackle that struggled and that makes it hard. Once we got it settled down a little bit Kevin (Kolb) had the benefit of that and he did some good things. But we can't turn the ball over.  That's the thing that was disturbing.

(on settling down offensively with the quarterback changes)

Got a lot better.  Got a lot better from that point.  That was the thing.  I mean, that is what you have to do.  We do that.  We found out information about both guys.  You want to look at the tape before you say for sure but that's the way it seemed. 

(on the disappointing second half start and the team's attitude coming out of the locker room)

Well, you just manage it. You work so hard to get back in it and at halftime we said, 'we get the ball back.  We go out and score.  The game is tied.'  That's exactly what you want to do and the next thing you know, one play and we are down 13 points.  Listen, that's tough.  I'm really proud of our guys for fighting back from that.  That's a big deal on the road.  If there's anything really positive about tonight, that's it.  I wish we could have finished it and if we don't turn the ball over twice like we did on the punt returns and on the quarterback's fumble when the left guard missed the guy then that's the difference in the game.


(on how the starting offense did)

We started slow again. The defense did a great job of opening up the game and obviously, we can't have a turnover that early in the game. I think after that, once we kind of settled down as an offense, we did alright.

(on the starting offense turning the ball over)

Obviously, some of those plays D. J. (Young) got beat and a couple of other guys got beat, but ultimately I have to get the ball out of my hand quicker. I need to get it into the flats and let the guys make plays. Even if we are moving forward two or three yards at a time, it's better than moving backwards.

(on being out of the game when the offense got rolling)

It's frustrating being out of the game that early and see the offense get into a flow, but you just have to make the most of your opportunities and I didn't. I didn't feel that I did everything that I could have.

(on his interception)

It was a bad decision, I still forced it. I'm trying to get the ball out of my hands quickly and unfortunately I made a bad decision. I actually didn't see what happened to Jeff (King) on the other end because I got hit. Ultimately, I have to be smarter with it and not force it.


(on how the defense played)

Well they still scored, but I think we have slowly been getting better. Hopefully we will be hitting on all cylinders when the season starts. 

(on if having more experience playing together will make a big difference)

Yeah. I know that you guys have talked about our tackling issues, but you have to get the preseason reps because sometimes you just get a little rusty. You haven't tackled anybody since January.

(on the team rallying to almost win)

I thought we were going to win too. Man, 14, (Ryan Lindley) he is playing ball. He plays ball. I can't wait to see him in a year. I was excited for all of the young guys too.


(on whether or not they game planned to get him more touches this week)

No, it's preseason. They don't game plan for me at all.

(on whether or not he was frustrated about having two catches in the previous three preseason games)

No, I really hadn't.  I'd rather have those catches against Seattle anyway, those are the ones that count.  Obviously, I'd love to get touches, but I'm not going to complain about not getting preseason touches.  It's a long season and I'll be called on to work a lot when the time is right.  We don't game plan, I just stay on the same side and never do anything different.  Obviously, they had a game plan if I was by myself they were going to roll up on me and they did it consistently.  I know Coach Wiz (Whisenhunt) and (Offensive Coordinator) Mike Miller and (Quarterbacks Coach John) McNulty and Coach Wright will find ways to free me up and I'll make my plays—I look forward to that.

(on if the coaches have seen enough in four preseason games to make a decision at the quarterback position)

I am glad I don't have to make that decision.  That's a question that Coach Whisenhunt can answer. I'm just going to go out there and grind it out and whoever is going to be throwing the football, I'll be out there catching it.  That's really where my mindset is at with that, but I think both guys showed flashes, both guys have made plays throughout the preseason—it's still neck-and-neck. 

(on his assessment of where the offense is at right now)

We're not even close to where we're capable of being.  We have to sure some things up, make sure we're sustaining drives and not turn the football over.  I think we turned the ball over four times today and that's unacceptable if you want to be successful in this league consistently.

(on running back William Powell being a team favorite when he's on the field)

Man, Willie Po—I'm voting for him for president.  That young man has taken advantage of his opportunities.  It started last year at Denver when he carried the ball 26 times and we rode the man home, he has a knack for making plays.  You just tip your hat to him because he works so hard at practice.  What'd you say, he had 23 carries his entire college career and he just shows up so we're all happy and excited for him.  Willie Poe for president!


(on the improvements that he still needs to make)

I need to pick my legs up a little more. I'm still getting comfortable with being out there. This is one of the reasons why I needed preseason. I always need preseason. I haven't played football since December 24th.

(on how the knee felt during the game)

It felt fine. I am just knocking off rust right now. I haven't played football since December 24th. I'm trying to get out there and get a groove back.

(on the feeling after being hit for the first time)

It felt fine. I don't think I was really worried about that because I first got back to practicing a couple of weeks ago and I was falling all over the place and taking hits. I was kind of prepared for that.

(on if he feels he still has progress to make)

I still have more progress to go. I have so much strength that I could get back in my knee. That is the real encouraging sign because it can get so much better the more strength that I get. It is coming along just fine, though. I need to keep knocking the rust off and keep getting out there and getting more comfortable with it.

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