TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE VRABEL
Q. I know you like to be aggressive, but it didn't work out.
MIKE VRABEL: I told the team that I made a decision that we were going to be aggressive early in the drive. When that drive started, I thought in my mind that if we scored, when we scored if there was less than 40 seconds we were going to go for two and we were going to win the game, and if there was a minute and 30, we were going to kick the extra point and go play defense. So I got a lot of faith in our players. They've been converting third downs and converting in those situations, and Marcus was doing everything we needed him to do and keeping plays alive. And so I can't -- not going to second guess the call. Just didn't work out.
Q. In the second half did you think any longer about going into overtime and extending the game?
MIKE VRABEL: Playing with two backup guards. We had both of our guards went down. That was a consideration. And so we wanted to win the game. Wanted to go out there and win the game, and just a few short weeks ago, you know, it's great and now it's not so great. So we're going to get back to work and we're going to improve. We're going to improve the stuff that we didn't do very well today and get better
Q. That's kind of how you've been as a head coach. There's not been a game where you've been aggressive in fourth down situations. Is that the way you've operated?
MIKE VRABEL: You know, I'm just trying to do what's best for the team. I'm trying to find a way to win a football game and haven't done a very good job the last three weeks, and so, again, I have a lot of faith in our players. We prepare, we work together. And then I've got confidence in them to go out there and execute, and so faced with the same situation, I'd like to think that I would do it the same way.
Q. Any thought especially after you got the penalty?
MIKE VRABEL: Yeah, I think there's always thought. I think there's always thought. I think from where I was they walked everybody up in there and showed blitz and popped out. So, it probably wouldn't have looked real enticing. We're not going to second guess the call and decisions. That's your guys' job. That'll happen. I understand that. But there were some guys that were showing up on offense and can compete defensively after the few poor plays and poor calls, it seemed like we settled down there and started to play some defense.
Q. What did you tell the guys in the locker room after the game?
MIKE VRABEL: Told them I was proud of them for the work they put in, for the fact that they competed to the bitter end and that I have full confidence in them to make the plays, and that's why I make the decisions that I've made, told them we have to starts with me doing a better job. We gotta do more. We all have to do more because whatever we've been doing isn't enough, hasn't been enough. So that'll start shortly. We'll just have to do more because what we've been doing hasn't been enough.
Q. What happened on the two long touchdowns?
MIKE VRABEL: I would say poor coaching and poor execution. Like any other big play, we try to get those things fixed and corrected immediately, and they should be fixed before those things happen. And so for a defense that's still I would say relatively new to the system, it's the big plays, and then everything -- you know looks like great defense and then it's a big play and it looks like great defense. So we have to continue to harp on and coach and try to eliminate the big plays, especially from this team. There were things that we saw on film, those receivers, Philip getting them in the right play call.
Q. Could you tell the difference in confidence when you got a touchdown in the red zone?
MIKE VRABEL: I mean I think that the red zone for everybody has to improve. I mean it's critical. You drive the ball down there or the other team drives it down there, and it's really -- it gets your team going if you can score down there, and then it kind of deflates them a little bit if you're able to force them to kick a field goal. And we've talked about being good in the red zone and we'll continue to improve. The drives are great. We just have to find a way to start finishing and practicing it more. We'll have to practice red zone more and hopefully continue to get down there and start executing and scoring touchdowns.
Q. What did you think about the entire London experience?
MIKE VRABEL: Barring what just happened, I mean obviously people have been great. I felt like the travel was good, the schedule was good. I can't think that there's an operations staff that's better than the National Football League than the one we have with Brent Akers and his staff. Everything was taken care of well in advance. We showed up, we tried to continue our preparation, tried to get some rest, and we tried to come here and win. And that didn't happen, and I gotta do a better job. That's the bottom line. And that'll start in a few short minutes.
Q. The debated lateral –
MIKE VRABEL: I did. And the other one, the catch I'm probably just sometimes I'm grasping at straws, hey, did it look like it hit the ground, was it moving. Didn't do a very good job on that challenge, but I had a good line of what would have I guess been the forward pass. Is that where you were leading to? Again --
Q. How was he making that play? He's got to know if he's throwing it backwards. I mean he knows he's behind the line of scrimmage. How could he conceivably be throwing the ball forward?
MIKE VRABEL: Are we asking about Marcus, how could Marcus throw it forward?
MIKE VRABEL: So, again, I'm not a physics major, I'm not a science major. I know that he runs about 19 or 20 miles an hour and the ball is traveling 19 or 20 miles an hour. Right? We can all agree on that. Dion is running behind him. And so he looks and sees Dion back here, and he throws it. Well, Dion and the ball are traveling 20 miles an hour, whatever the hell they're traveling, and the ball was thrown at the 39, it was caught at the 40. So I don't know how you want me to answer this, but I think that Marcus is competing his tail off and he's given us a chance and gave us a chance today. Could there things be better? Yeah. And he's working on it and we're all trying to work on things. But to say that -- the lateral did not cost us this football game today.
Q. The game's end the decision making on third downs good enough?
MIKE VRABEL: Well, 62 percent with three minutes and 47 seconds. You know, I'm not going to go down here and evaluate the roster. Give me a few days and I guess we can talk on Wednesday or whenever we talk. I'm not going to give a mid-season report card after a tough loss over here in London. But we were converting third downs today. I know that he was putting it in there, and I know that there was drops, and so it looked like those decisions were good when balls hit guys in the hands, I mean we gotta make plays. They gotta help the quarterback. The quarterback has gotta make good decisions. We gotta coach good. And it all goes hand in hand. Marcus is out there competing his tail off. Pressure is there. He looked like he did a good job of trying to escape that a few times and gained some yards. We all have to do better and Marcus would say that, too.
Q. Talking about being one handed and very natural in a crucial moment. What's going on there with Corey?
MIKE VRABEL: I don't know. You'll have to ask Corey. I don't know. I had the same view you did. He'll answer the question. I'm just not sure if he thought it was out of his reach or whatever. I'm not going to answer for him.
Q. It's going Tajae's way a lot on third downs. How important has he been kind of coming along?
MIKE VRABEL: Yeah. I think that's what happens. The more you perform and you make plays, the more plays seem -- the more opportunities come your way. That's how it goes; you write good stories, you get a new job. You write bad stories, you get another job. And you catch the ball and get conversions, then the quarterback tends to look your way because, well, it worked the last time I threw it to that guy. So those are huge. Being able to convert third downs in this league is critical. And so Tajae has been a great asset for us to convert those. Thanks, guys.
TITANS QB MARCUS MARIOTA
Q. What was your thinking when coach put two fingers up?
MARCUS MARIOTA: I love that he has the confidence in us to go make that. We just didn't execute.
Q. How did the final play, play out for you?
MARCUS MARIOTA: They did a good job covering it. I should have done a better job maybe extending the play knowing it's the last play. There's definitely more I wish I could have done. With that being said they did a good job of covering and making the play.
Q. What is the feeling in the locker room now?
MARCUS MARIOTA: It doesn't feel good.
Q. What's the mindset there?
MARCUS MARIOTA: Flush it. We've got a lot of season left. We've just gotta move past this kind of stress that we've had and improve. I think the bye week comes at a good time, gives everybody a chance to catch a breather, and we gotta move forward from this.
Q. You guys did a lot of good work out of the backfield today. What was the reason behind that?
MARCUS MARIOTA: Well, it starts up front. I thought our guys up front did a great job of moving the line of scrimmage, and then when you give those guys space, our backs are tough to tackle. And when they're able to go out there and do their thing, they're going to gain yards, and they did a great job today and made some plays.
Q. How big a momentum shift was the interception at the end of the half?
MARCUS MARIOTA: No, not at all. I don't feel -- we still lost. Yeah. That was a big mistake. I should have moved on my progression. I don't know who tipped it. He made a great, but it would have been a tight throw anyway and I should have moved onto my second read and maybe we would have had a shot.
Q. Your first interception down there – are you impressed it took so long?
MARCUS MARIOTA: I don't know. I don't even know how to answer that question. I mean, it is what it is. They made a great play.
Q. Overall, the offense – how did you feel it went today?
MARCUS MARIOTA: Well, we just didn't do enough to score, to win really. I thought we did a good job of moving the ball, got in the red zone. But when you kick field goals, these teams are too good, man. They're going to find ways to score touchdowns and you're going to end up being behind, so we've gotta be more efficient in the red zone. We've gotta make the most of our opportunities. We just didn't capitalize there.
Q. At what point did you realize that the lateral --
MARCUS MARIOTA: I didn't. That was kind of an instinctual play. I felt kind of Dion to my left and just tried to make a play. I didn't realize it was forward until they called it.
Q. What was the whole week experience like coming up to the game?
MARCUS MARIOTA: Oh, it was a great experience. It's a privilege to come out here and play and to expand the game, to be able to share what we love and I had a blast. I think the travel and all that, it is what it is, but at the same time you get to come and experience another country, another city, and it was a lot of fun. The fans were great today. They were out in full force, and it was a special experience and one that I'll remember for sure.
Q. The team has lost three in a row, what has to happen to get the team back on track?
MARCUS MARIOTA: Just flush it. Move on. We gotta stick to our process. We can't let the past influence what's going to happen in the future. You gotta stay present, not worry about what the scenarios are, what's going on in our vision. We just gotta focus on getting better and doing our job and not worrying about others.
Q. Do you think your team is capable on going on a run and winning the division?
MARCUS MARIOTA: Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. Tajae has done a great job for us. We've kind of moved him around here and there and for him to understand the offense, understand his role, I gotta tip my hat off to him, he's done a great job for us.
The Tennessee Titans take on the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 7 of the 2018 season on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018 at Wembley Stadium in London. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)
The Tennessee Titans prepare to take on the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 7 of the 2018 season on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018 at Wembley Stadium in London. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)