HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY
(Did you see what you wanted to see in the preseason finale?)– "Well, we wanted to win, so we saw that. That was important. I'm happy with the defense getting a turnover on the first play. I'm happy with the offense scoring a touchdown off of the turnover. Those are things good teams do and I'm pretty pleased with it."
(You had QB Marcus Mariota go through warm ups and sat him out, I knew that was the plan probably for you in your mind leading up to this, could you maybe talk through that one?) – "There was a number of them that I decided and I told them after the coin toss so they were prepared to play all the way up until we were getting ready to kick it off. I wanted them to mentally prepare for the game – to do everything they would do to get ready to play the game, all the way to being on the sideline for the coin toss. That was part of it."
(What do you think about RB Antonio Andrews performance?)- "He ran very tough, very physical. He runs our style and he did a lot of good things. I'll have to see more but I'm talking about the run game – watching how he moved piles and scored on a 4-yard run with not a whole lot there. I thought he did some good things."
(RB Derrick Henry did the same thing when he was in there, was it more of the same for him from what you saw?) - "Yes, he's been consistent for four games and we've seen some really good production from him. That was the last run and I'm glad he broke it like he did before the play was called so they could give him the last one and get him out. A big run, a big physical run. He's shown everything he's capable of doing for four games now. "
(I know you liked CB Kalen (Reed) a lot and you said he was really good in practice this week but clearly had some struggles) – "Yes, he struggled and I'm going to take that hit for putting him in there. He made two poor decisions and then he should have come out but I did not do that. That's nobody's fault but mine and that's the result when you don't do something that you should do."
(You're still looking for an answer out of the return unit?) – "I wanted to give (Kalen Reed) an opportunity. I was hoping to get him some kickoff returns but that wasn't the case. But I thought Kevin Byard, when we made the switch, I thought he made some good decisions and I think he's a dangerous guy with the ball in his hands."
(How much did it help getting CB Perrish Cox some work leading up to the regular season?) – "It was important. He played more than the rest of the regulars and he looked good. He was moving around very well. I think he's back."
(What's your assessment of WR Justin Hunter tonight?) – "To me, those throws are throws where we're not taking what the defense was giving us. That ball shouldn't have been to Justin, that should have been down to Derrick Henry. So that's not Justin, that was a very good route by him. There's things that I'll have to watch on the complete tape but those were not good decisions by Alex (Tanney). He knows that now, obviously, but going in, the big goal was to take what the defense gives you and we didn't do that. The result was two picks."
(Did any of the young guys catch your eye tonight?) – "I didn't think they could block Mehdi (Abdesmad). Watching him, I thought he was in the backfield a lot. He just kept showing up in the backfield. Tre (McBride) made some plays and Tre did some things that he could do better. (Sebastian) Tretola I thought played physical in the run game. He's really gotten better and better since he's gotten here."
(Tre McBride has told us that he's giving you everything he has, has he done that and has he built on that tonight?) – "He does. He comes to work every day and does everything he can. He wants to please, he wants to do good and he's really fun to be around the way he works. There are things that he needs to get better at that didn't show up in your guys eyes, that I see. He needs to be more consistent in some of those things but he made some plays and that's what he needed to do tonight. I'm glad he got the opportunities that he got to make those plays."
(Do RB Bishop Sankey and WR Justin Hunter have a role on this team?) – "That's all in discussion. (General Manager) Jon (Robinson) and I will talk about that, I'm sure, on the plane ride. We're going to watch the film again. I'd hate to make any judgment on anybody until I watch film over and over. We'll talk about it tomorrow."
(What was your message to the team after a game like this when you have some tough decisions on the horizon?) – "The last thing that I said to them was that the coaching staff appreciates everybody in this room, for the effort and what they've done since April. They've done everything we've asked them to do and they've played the style that we play. Obviously we can't keep everybody but nobody can walk out of here and leave that building when we make these decisions and not be proud of themselves for what they did. They did everything they could. Unfortunately we can't keep them all."
(Any injuries of note?) – "No, we came out healthy."
(Did you see what you wanted to see in the preseason finale?)
Well, we wanted to win, so we saw that, that was important. I'm happy with the defense with a turnover on the first play. I'm happy with the offense scoring a touchdown off of the turnover. Those are things good teams do and I'm pretty pleased with it.
(You had QB Marcus Mariota go through warm ups and sat him out, I knew that was the plan probably for you in your mind leading up to this, could you maybe talk through that one?)
There was a number of them that I decided and I told them after the coin toss so they were prepared to play all the way up until we were ready to kick it off. I wanted them to mentally prepare for the game, do everything they would do to get ready to play the game, all the way to being on the sideline for the coin toss. That was part of it.
(on the defensive starters' one series being one play)
That was the deal. I'll take that deal any time. If we can create a turnover like that that leads to a score, that's big for our team.
(on the offense)
I like the way we're playing. We are playing our style of football. It doesn't matter what the game is. It's preseason game four; people can say that. But this is how we play. I like what we're doing, and we're moving the ball by doing it. We have to quit making some mistakes with not taking what the defense gives us, but if we do that, we'll be fine.
S RASHAD JOHNSON
(on the defense getting a stop and a turnover on the first drive)
Getting that first stop was huge. It was something that was plaguing us this preseason. Going into the season, we have to be able to stop opening drives and haven't been able to do it all preseason. It was big for us to go out and get that off our backs. We know we can do it, but to go out and do it is a totally different thing.
(on being ready for the regular season)
I definitely feel like we're ready to play. We've been working hard all offseason. It's time now, you know? It's time now to go out, make some plays and get it going. We're excited about next week.
T TAYLOR LEWAN
(on taking advantage of the early turnover and scoring)
It was good. Every time we go on the field, we want to be as physical, mean and aggressive as we possibly can be. We knew when we went out there that we had one series, and we wanted to take advantage of the position we were in and make the most of it.
(on the offense's readiness for the season)
I think the offense has been ready for the season. We're playing as a team. The chemistry has been better than ever. We have plenty of talent. We just have to keep playing physically.
RB DERRICK HENRY
(on establishing tempo with a physical running game)
That's something that we preach all the time, being physical as a team and setting the tempo. That's what we wanted to do as an offense tonight. We came in and scored after the fumble recovery. Then we had a turnover, but we picked it back up in that third drive and got things going.
(How much more comfortable, how much more confident are you around the football now compared to the start of the preseason?)
"More comfortable. I got more repetition (and) more experience. It starts up front and the guys did a great job blocking.
(Offense seems to be in sync heading into the regular season?)
"Yes, I feel like we're rolling (with) a head full of steam into the regular season. I feel like we had a good preseason – a good training camp. Guys got better and competed every day and made each other better on both sides of the ball."
(Now with RB DeMarco Murray, do you see it more as a mentorship or more as a friendly competition, how would you characterize your guys' relationship?)
"I mean whenever I have advice, he's willing to help me out if I have any questions or things like that. You know we're still competing, getting each other better every day with the way we work and go out there and work hard all throughout the week."
(You haven't had to go through a preseason before, are you kind of glad that this one is over?)
"I mean it is fun that football is back. We love playing in games and playing a different opponent. It was a fun preseason. (We went) 3-1, so I feel good about that and get rolling into the season."
LB BRIAN ORAKPO
(On the defensive's performance overall tonight)
"Oh I thought we did a phenomenal job. Guys flying around, making a name for themselves. We emphasize on starting fast, getting off the field when need be and we did so. Hats off because guys really working their tails off to have that happen and I really thought that we had a good overall effort out there today."
(On getting ready for game one of the season)
"Do the same thing. Emphasize on starting fast and being physical throughout the whole 60 minutes and I think we'll be fine. It's going to definitely be a tough task against the Vikings but I think we're up for it. It's going to be a good game between the two teams."
(On if he feels the team made any improvements this preseason)
"Not really off the top of my, but we did improve on our depth. That's one thing we've been trying to emphasize: depth at all positions, competition at all positions. We really are a two-deep team so if anybody goes down throughout the season, which is possibly, most likely will happen, the guy behind will be able to come in and really fill his shoes. So, depth is very important and I really feel like we have some now."
QB MARCUS MARIOTA
(How much fun was to watch the young guys play and some of the backups to get the chance?)– "You know I enjoy it. A lot of those guys I came in with in my rookie class and it's fun to see them excel and get some success. It's being a part of a team, I enjoy going out there and watching those guys play."
(How quickly does the mood change, is on the flight home now regular season mode, do you feel that immediately?)- "I'm sure once you go into work tomorrow it's all full-steam ahead into the regular season. That's got to be the mentality and enjoy this win, enjoy what we've done up to this point, but really it doesn't really mean anything. It's our opportunity now to take what we've learned this offseason and build upon it for the regular season."
(Do you feel like this offensive team is ready for the regular season?)- "Definitely. We've had some ups and downs but at the same time I think we've had a lot more ups than we have downs. It's good to build off of, having success, sustaining drives. I think we've built a solid resume up to this point for the regular season."
RB ANTONIO ANDREWS
(On his two touchdown performance to wrap up the preseason)– "Oh yes, I just come out there take advantage of my opportunities and just punch it in when your time's called."
(On showing his physicality during his last preseason opportunity) – "Oh yes, everybody knows my running style. It's really just going out there showing them I can play special teams, and that I got my wind up and really just rock with it."
(On handling what he could control this offseason) "Oh yes I control all controllers by far. No worries, play their cards and see how they land."
CB PERRISH COX
(In the Titans locker room with Cornerback Perrish Cox, who played roughly three series in his return from injury this evening, feel good?)– "It felt good. I really wanted to get the game feeling under my belt. I wish I would have got a little bit more action than I did, but just to get out there with my teammates and make the calls, just get on the same page and fit my gaps and run to the ball. That's really all I needed. I've been here long enough, I kind of know what to expect; but I think we're all ready for Week 1."
(The coaches gave you plenty of time to get that ankle right before you returned.)– "No doubt, no doubt. The trainers worked with me really hard. They were great as far as the healing time, especially the strength coaches as you can see my traps are finally too big. (Laughter) that's all I really did was lift. Like I said, they did a great job by getting me back on the field. I was able to play the last game and I'm ready for Week 1."
(I know you and CB Jason McCourty have joked to each other about being healthy and playing together in this defense, that's the goal for Week 1?) – That's kind of been the goal. We've been talking about that since last year. It was a frustrating year for the both of us. He went out in the first couple games; I was in. By the time he came back, I was out. We were never really on the field together, so we have been talking about that a lot. Like I said our DB coach, Deshea (Townsend), he's also been talking about it and that's all we're looking forward to, is being on the field at the same time and making plays."
QB ALEX TANNEY
(Alex, it is the end of preseason for the Titans, how will you get ready for next week's game?) –
"Everything with me is just trying to improve and taking advantage of the reps I can get, trying to take the stuff that we're talking about in the classroom and take it to the practice field. (I am) just trying to work on improvement."
(Alex, how do you think you performed tonight?) –"I* *can't turn the ball over. I did it twice, so (it was) not great."
(What do you think the team needs to improve for next week's game?) – "I just think we need to focus on the game plan the coaches are going to put together this weekend and go out there and execute that next weekend."
The Titans close out the 2016 preseason against the Dolphins in Miami. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)