TENNESSEE TITANS QUOTES
HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER
We got beat by a very good football team today. And I was, needless to say, disappointed in how we played, particularly the first half. I don't think we punted in the first half, we either turned it over to them or couldn't get the ball back, or couldn't get off the field.
They were ready to play. The difference in this ball game was our third down efficiency defense and a couple of penalty-laden drives and then the turnovers. And it got out of hand, down 32 we turned to hand the ball to the running back and then it was over.
(on the offsides penalties)
It is focus, focused concentration. It's basic football. Phillip (Rivers) does a nice job on the line of scrimmage with the snap count, but there is no need for that. I mean, that's borderline selfish. We just need to play football and move when the brown thing moves and not guess.
(on if this is the most Vince Young has struggled this season)
The turnovers, yeah, I mean he's playing and doing the best he could. It's a good defense. It's a good, solid defense and they have been getting their share of turnovers. He did a great job on the drive before the half and made some good throws, but we turned the football over.
(On how it could have been a four-point game after the second drive of the first half)
Yeah, that's what you have to turn, when you come out and try to get some momentum when you start the second half and get some points in and we just didn't. We gave up a drive for a touchdown.
(On being able to reign in the team's concentration after today's loss and it being similar to after loss to Patriots)
This one, well obviously this doesn't compare to that, but it's a difficult loss. You know, this team, it had life. It had a lot of life and we just kind of lost it in the second half. Not that anybody quit. They played hard but you know, the potential to stay alive going into the final week of the season is certainly a motivating factor. But you know as we just finished talking, our focus is on 8-8 right now and finishing the season on a winning note. Rarely do you get an opportunity to finish the season on a winning note, particularly, obviously (we won't be in) the playoffs, but we need to hit the offseason running and there'd be no better way to do that than to find a way to win next week.
(On the unsportsmanlike call on Chuck Cecil)
Yeah, it was on Chuck. Yeah, he got a little excited. I don't know exactly what was said but I'll get to the bottom of it.
(On the importance of finishing the season on a winning note)
Well, we play to win. Period. We play to win. Period. We don't ever go into a ballgame with that kind of a consideration.
(On Chris Johnson's pursuit of 2,000 yards)
It's something we pay close attention to as well as he does, I'm sure. So it should be a fun game to watch.
QB VINCE YOUNG
(on the touchdown drive to end the first half)
We just couldn't get into a rhythm tonight. Too many turnovers on my behalf, definitely. That's pretty much it. Every time we did get in a rhythm, I turned the ball over. That's something I can't do. At the same time, we were having a really good game, from an offensive standpoint. We were driving the ball pretty good, it was just the turnovers on my behalf hurt us a little bit.
(on what San Diego was doing defensively)
We were moving the ball really well. My mistakes just hurt us on offense. And that didn't give our defense a chance to get to the sideline to get a breather. Overall, I really feel like we were moving the ball pretty good.
(on the team's motivation for next week's game against Seattle)
That (the possibility of making the playoffs) was definitely giving us a lot of hope. We're going to continue to work, anyway. That gave us a lot of hope to keep fighting until the end of the season, but at the same time, we've still got one more game left and want to end the season with a win.
(on the turnovers and whether or not the team reverted to early-season form)
We still moved the ball real well down the field. I feel like our offensive line played great. Our receivers and guys made key blocks down field. CJ (Chris Johnson) did some good running. Penalties are going to happen, especially when you turn around real quick and have to play on Friday. But, I still feel like we had chances to get first downs, but we just didn't get them.
(on the impact he and Chris Johnson have had on each other on the field this year)
It's big for our entire offense, for our entire team. I really feel like the things he and I do together out there pump up the fans and our teammates and help us remain confident and playing hard. CJ is a tremendous player. The guys did a great job of finding the boy out at East Carolina. Our offensive line and everybody has been working and fighting really hard for us to be able to do what we've been doing.
RB CHRIS JOHNSON
(on his frustration level during the game due to penalties and turnovers)
It was very frustrating. It felt like when we played New England because there was never really a chance to get in our groove and put points on the board. I saw there offense keep putting up points and our offense not really stepping up and making plays.
(on his disappointment level going into week 17 because of the way the team fought back this season)
It's a bad thing, but you can also look at it as a good thing because we started off 0-6 and for us to come all the way back and still have a chance to finish .500 and have something to build on next year, that's a way you can look at things.
(on if he keeps track of his yards gained during the game looking to get to 2,000 yards)
Basically my teammates, they keep them more than I keep it. There was only one time in the game when I really asked anybody how many yards I got. Our offensive line and tight ends and receivers, they was really keeping track of it really. Basically that's something they feel like we can look forward to and hopefully momentum to next year.
(on what the record of 2,000 rushing yards in a season would mean to him)
That record would mean a lot to me. That was one of my goals that I set before this year started and a lot of people didn't even think I would get close or whatever. To get that record would mean a lot to me. So basically this team will get back to work and we got one more game left so hopefully we can get 500.
(on if he can rush for 234 more yard to pass Eric Dickerson)
Anything is doable. I feel like I can do it. Just basically we got to stay in the game and keep the score close and stay in our offense. We can't become one dimensional so that means whatever happens, the defense, they got to worry about what they got to do, the offense, we got to worry about what we have to do. We have to come together as a team and make plays.
(on what breaking Marshall Faulk's total yards from scrimmage record would mean)
I feel like any record isn't underrated. Any record that I can get, I want to get that record. I can say that a lot of people are not paying attention to it, everyone is paying attention to the 2,000 yards and the Eric Dickerson record, but that's a great accomplishment to have.
(on how much credit Ahmard Hall deserves for his role in the running game)
Ahmard, he deserves as much credit as I do and the offensive line and the receivers deserve credit. Everybody does. I didn't get the offensive line cars, but I got them a gift. I also got Ahmard and Alge Crumpler a gift too.
(on if he could see the game going like this)
No I didn't. I think just from watching the film and things like that I didn't see the game going like this. We just come in here and knew we were going to have to put up points. We got a couple key injuries on defense, so we knew we were going to have to score some points and do our job.
CB CORTLAND FINNEGAN
(on the goal for the remaining game)
You go to 8-8. You win the next football game and you get Chris Johnson 2,000 yards rushing.
(on the absence of Keith Bulluck and David Thornton on the Titans' defense )
I don't know about that. I play corner and I've just got to do what I've got to do. You know we hurt ourselves early against a really good football team. They're a really good playoff, winning their division football team. And we hurt ourselves so early and made some mistakes and it hurts.
(on the second half of the season)
It's refreshing to go 7-2, and hopefully get this eighth one. That's refreshing, but at the same time that's not what anyone of us wanted. We all wanted to be playoff-bound, but we're not so we're just going to take the next one and give it our all.
(on Chris Johnson approaching 2,000 yards rushing for the season)
That's special. He's a special individual and 2,000 yards is special for us. A win is better, but I know he wants his 2,000.
DT TONY BROWN
(on the lopsided loss )
We got "keevered" today. They came out and played well, executed everything and they've got a real good team. We didn't do things as we should have and that's the result of it. The word "keevered" means we got run amuck, out-played, anything you want it to be, we just lost, man. That's not like us and everybody's real disappointed that it went the way it went, but all you can do is go out and play hard next week.
(on missing the playoffs after the mid-season turnaround )
It is disappointing, especially when you start off and put yourself in the hole like we did, then you see a little bit of light, fight back, and then have it stripped. It's our fault, totally. We expected to come out and win, and we didn't. Everybody put their heart and soul into it, even though the score doesn't show it. At the same time, I know their guys didn't quit, and made plays when they needed them and we lost.
FS MICHAEL GRIFFIN
(on the defensive breakdown)
Like I've said before. It's something that beat us, like at the beginning of the season when we were 0-6. Penalties and turnovers and not getting third down stops and things like that. So we just went back to old ways and we have to go into this last game and go out with a bang and try to finish 8-8.
(on the Titans defense not having Bulluck and Thornton today)
It plays a huge difference. The younger guys played very well today but it's one thing when you've played the entire season and have years under your belt. It's another thing when you play a lot of special teams and this is your first year in the league. The guys who played today are going to be great in the future. We've just got little things here and there that we have to work on this week going for this last game. We'll go from there.
(on the Titans' season)
Last year we were a great team, and this year we were a great team, but other teams are getting better. This is the NFL. All good football teams, you win some, you lose some and unfortunately, this season didn't go our way.
TE BO SCAIFE
(on the early turnovers and the loss)
Definitely. We were driving and those were definitely drive-killers. We had two of them early. They get the ball back and go down and score. We know we needed to jump out and keep up with them early and we fell behind. Thing just started falling from there. They are a good team and we have a lot of respect for them, but we just didn't play up to par today. They played and showed it tonight and we didn't.
(on the Chris Johnson getting 2,000 yards)
Everyone is committed to doing everything they can to help CJ get 2,000 and he deserves it.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS QUOTES
HEAD COACH NORV TURNER
Well a couple of things I've talked to our team about, I'm proud and I appreciate the way they prepared. This is a tough deal. We played Sunday and had a very physical game against Cincinnati and then had Christmas and travel and our guys have been unbelievable in terms of not letting anything distract them. And then the other thing that is significant to me and it is something we addressed in the summer and they've handled it unbelievably well. We wanted to become a real good road team and we set a record for the best record in the history of the San Diego Chargers, 7 – 1 on the road. These guys have done a great job when we have asked them to do something and doing it. Obviously, we came out and played at a high level tonight and I thought we had great produce in all three phases and that's what we are trying to get done.
(on the line for next week's game)
I don't know and I'm not going to make a lot of statements or comments about what we are going to do. I know this, I told our guys that every single guy is going to prepare to play next Sunday and we are going to practice the way we practice. We're going to practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and every guy is going to be prepared to play. Along with the assistant coaches, I'll make the decision after we practice that way for the three days what we are going to do and how we are going to play in the game.
(on Nick Hardwick's game performance)
Nick is a pro and Nick knows how to get right in. I assume he played pretty well. I thought our offensive line was outstanding. He's got to handle all the things inside. I'm sure he's going to be sore tomorrow. We are really fortunate, even though this was a short week, we have a long week and it will help him get a couple days extra.
(on the importance of getting Jon Runyan on the field)
It was great. I don't know how many plays he got, quite a few plays. Our plan was to have him play the third series. He needs to play. He hasn't played in a while. Each week he's gotten better in practice and I think when you're playing and you got two tackles and he's your third, I just like to have him ready to go play if he needs to.
(on what it means to play better each week)
What it means is we have got really good football players in all areas and we have got a lot of young guys that have stepped up and are really improving football players. To me, from a coaching standpoint, they buy into what we're asking them to do and they also know we are a good football team and have an opportunity to do some great things.
(on the significance of clinching the bye)
There's no question. As I told our guys two weeks ago, there are two different roads to get to where we want to go. Through history, I think that going the bye route gives you an advantage. It doesn't guarantee you anything. You have to still go play good. There has been a number of teams, without the bye, not only make the Super Bowl but win the whole thing. So, we just have to use the bye smartly and continue to get better.
(on how the team has improved the most)
There's no question we continue to get better defensively. When we play good defense, we have so many playmakers on offense. When we get as many opportunities as we got tonight, we are going to go make plays. Every time we continue to get better on defense, when we create turnovers, you see all the guys involved offensively. Philip (Rivers) does such a great job getting the ball to them and our offensive line does such a good job. We have a lot of different ways of attacking you.
(on if the wind affected the game plan)
No, it didn't. It was just something I should have waiting until the second quarter because the wind wasn't in the intermediate passing and the shorter passing, it wasn't a factor. It was when you threw one deep like that, and I think we had the right plan. We had the cover one, Vincent (Jackson) did a great job and Philip (Rivers) threw a great ball, the wind held it up. We turned around and threw it deep to Malcolm (Floyd) and it was unfortunately called back with a holding penalty. He probably threw that ball 55 to 60 yards.
(on Phillip Rivers coming close to the line of scrimmage on the completed pass)
Unbelievable. People always mention to me if Philip (Rivers) could run. Well, he doesn't need to run. One of his strengths is he has great presence in the pocket. He slides and he helps our protection. He's capable of making plays like he did there to (Antonio) Gates. It's just an incredible play.
(on the10 consecutive wins and Phillip Rivers' play in December)
Our team is playing well. Our offensive line and our backs do such a good job with protection, they give Philip a chance to do what he does. He has such confidence in those wide receivers. Obviously, our guys are playing with great confidence right now. That's why you are able to do what you do. One thing I will say about the run of 10, I don't think our guys feel like they are on a run of 10. I think it has been winning 10 games one at a time. I know that's a cliché, but that is what they've done. That's probably the thing I'm proudest of.
QB PHILLIP RIVERS
It was nice to come here on the road and get a win. It was a meaningful game for both teams and we came out and played well in all three phases. We really got it going. It was nice to get the two seed and keep the streak going in December, position ourselves as good as we can while going into the postseason. We started off slow and got on a streak and it says a lot about our guys. Norv and the staff and what they have done, we take it one week at a time. It has paid off for us.
(on the offensive line)
They were great the whole game and great all year. You would not want anyone else in front off you but those guys. They fight for you like crazy on every play. They love to do the nasty stuff in the run blocking and they take a great deal of pride in pass protection. They certainly have a great deal in what we are doing when we are making plays down the field. It's obviously from they way those guys are playing up front.
(on weekly improvement)
It says a lot about our guys. The way things are set up, our practice routines, our schedules, they're set up for us for the best preparation we can and the most rest we can get. Norv has always done that for us and our guys are responsible and disciplined enough to have the right approach. It's tough to have a short week and play a team that has been hot and physical. We put a complete game together and got it done.
(on his record in December)
It's been nice that we won. That's a team deal. Obviously the head coach and the quarterback get tied to the record. But, we would like to get a streak in January going that will make us feel better.
LB SHAWNE MERRIMAN
(on defending Chris Johnson)
He is fast. We knew that coming in. It wasn't a surprise. Even seeing him on the field up close and personal is even faster than watching him on film. You can see why he has as many yards as he does.
(on defensive game plan against Johnson)
We did what we needed to do. It got to a certain point when they wanted to give him yards. The game got out of hand and whatever the case is and they want to give him his yards then that was all right with us.
(on the defensive plan against the offense)
We knew for one that stopping Chris Johnson was the first thing to do. We wanted to put the ball in other people's hands. If we had to make adjustments then we would have, but, stopping Chris was number one.
(on team's potential run to a Super Bowl)
We are making a statement week in and week out. I would like to stay low under the radar like we have been. It's better that way. As long as we keep on winning games then it doesn't really matter.
RB DARREN SPROLES
(on the running game)
Their linebackers like to run so we ran at them. We used the power I and used the seams.
(on the holes in the second half)
The offensive line stayed on somebody and the seams started opening up.
(on the Titans defense)
They are a great team and they just had some holes in their defense tonight.
TE ANTONIO GATES
(on the winning on the road)
In order for us to be a championship team, we need to be able to win on the road. That was the challenge and we have met that challenge.
(on the offense being underrated)
We understand how good we can be. We like the fact that we are under the radar. They always talk about the Colts and they talk about the Saints and what they are doing. Our focus is second to none at this point. We have a ton of guys that can make plays for us. Now it is just a matter of taking it into the postseason.
(on Philip Rivers)
He is playing at a high, high level. If you haven't watched him play, I can't say enough about him. When you think about MVP's you think about leaders, you think about guys that do things when it is needed the most. He is one of those guys. Most people categorize him as a quarterback. I categorize him as a football player, because he plays with passion, he plays with intensity and helps us win football games.
CB QUENTIN JAMMER
(on overcoming the short week)
Week in and week out we always overcome something, whether it be injuries or a short week. We are pretty good at it because of the focus of the guys in the locker and the focus of the coaches. The focus in this locker room is beyond anything I have seen in my eight years. It is great to be a part of it. It is a great run, but at the same time we still need to buckle down. We still have one more to play and then we start to get into the serious business.
OLB SHAUN PHILLIPS
(on the offense)
They are a powerful offense. What is funny is that no matter how good of game they played, they always think they can get better and they always prepare as if they are in last place. They want to be the best. That is the great thing about everyone on this team. No one likes to lose. Everyone hates to lose around here. I don't care if it is a game of dominoes in the middle of the locker room. No one wants to lose. So that is what makes us prepare. We have a big thing like prior preparation prevents poor performance. We believe that if we prepare well during the week Sunday should be the easy part for us.