TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY
(Opening Statement) – "It was a good win, a good win on the road. I'm very happy for these guys and I'm very proud of these guys. I thought we played better and I thought we played more complimentary football as a team. We gave up too many big plays, those hurt us and it kept them really in the game but for the most part guys stuck together and really executed the schemes. I'm really, really proud of them."
(You had six sacks, how about the play of the defense?) – "That's big. I mean I know they have some issues with their offensive line; they had some of their guys that were out. We all do and that's the case when you have to step up and we took advantage of it I think. (Brian) Orakpo had a couple of sacks I think. Our outside guys did a great job of setting the edge and
also did a good job of putting pressure on the edge."
(Marcus Mariota was in a nice comfort zone of when to run and when to throw) – "It helps too when you can run the ball efficiently. It does help his play and it helps the play calling, it helps rhythm, it helps a lot of things. It kind of gives you an example of what we're capable of; we just need to do it like that consistently. I know we're capable of that."
(When you go in at halftime after the big plays that keep it close even though you're dominating, what do you tell them?) – "When you come in they already know, I don't have to get on them about big plays. They're all aware of what happened to us, it's about finishing the game. We have not done that in years past with me or whoever. We came out in a great mind frame and got a turnover on the first drive by our defense and we get three points immediately. Those are things that we need to continue to do."
(You guys run for 200 yards and you pass very well, is this what this offense is supposed to look like when it's at it's peak?) – "It can be capable of this if we play like that. You saw when we get a first-and-30; it's pretty hard to overcome a first-and-30. When things like that happen, which have been happening to us early in the season, it's hard to overcome. Those are the things, with the exception of those two plays; we didn't have to deal with today."
(Can you comment on Marcus Mariota's decision making?) – " I thought he did a good job and told him on the sideline, especially on some of those third and longs he took what the defense was giving us. Even if it's third-and-12 and we gain six yards, that's six more yards their offense has to go back against us. Good decision making, take the throws, live another day and he did a great job of that."
(Mariota seemed to be more comfortable to run, do you think he just wasn't thinking about it?) – "The lanes were there. There was a lot of man coverage and you have to realize when it's man coverage there's a chance there's a lot of lanes to run."
(Were there any injuries to speak of today?) – "No, I just went into the training room and there's nobody in there. That's always very good."
(How many other times have you dominated up front like that offensively?) – "I don't want to talk about any other team; I want to talk about our guys. I think they did an outstanding job, that's a heck of a front. We had concerns, we did, we had some very big concerns not just running the ball but making sure we're in protections that protect Marcus and keep him clean. Our guys took the challenge and I'm very proud of them. That was probably one front of the games that we've played that was a concern, I mean the concerned for all and we've played some pretty good ones."
(This is kind of the way – the blueprint – for trying to win games this year, running the football more and playing defense like you did?) – "I'd like to think, it's complementary. We want to complement each other. We want to keep the ball. We want to take it away. We want to get them off the field offensively. And then special teams: we've got to play our part and we give them a play on the return. Other than that, I thought they played pretty darn well, special teams wise. From what took place this week, I give these guys credit. I give (Special Teams coach Steve) Hoffman a lot of credit for his training, coming in here getting these guys ready to play as well as they did."
(How big was the touchdown at the end of the first half?) – It's big for us, I can say that. I'm not sure how it is on the other side. It's not good news if you can move the ball down there that quickly and score right at it, that's big momentum."
(It wasn't just (Brian) Orakpo in the pass rush, you got two from (Derrick) Morgan and (Jurrell) Casey, if your three top pass rushers are rushing like that, what's the defense capable of?) – "Games like today, pressure on the quarterback like today. That's hard to do too as quickly as their passing game is in getting the ball out, to get pressure on them."
(What happened on the punt return for a touchdown?) - "There were multiple holds on the play. Other than that they did a good job of setting up the return and a really good returner with good speed but there were a number of calls that should have been called on that play."
(You were running with success early, you ran with success late, what's the necessity to put offensive lineman out and create a scenario where maybe it seemed easier for (Quinton) Spain to get a penalty?) – "Say that again."
(When Spain got an illegal man downfield on that play) – "Well really the play was designed to throw the ball behind. It should have been a lateral so it was more on us in the passing game. It's designed to be a lateral so Spain has no idea and he's blocking it correctly."
(Why does a physical smash mouth team that's effectively already running it down their throat, why do you need to do something like that?) – "You saw in the game that we gained double-digit yards on the play two plays in a row, that's why. We're trying to get yards, we're trying to score touchdowns and we're trying to do whatever we can to move the football."
(You were moving the ball well and Taylor (Lewan) sort of had a rough series and got emotional) – "Those are things he's got to quit doing. It didn't hurt us today but it's not going to be tolerated. He knows that and he's got to quit doing that. I didn't see the hands to the face, I don't know if it was purposely done because of the holding call. I don't know all of that but he's got to watch his temper."
(What would not tolerating it amount to because he's played so well?) – "I'll take him out of the game."
(Why were you so good up front today?) – "Our guys, they play well together, they do. They have a good feel for each other. It's a very close group and it's a good group. They obviously like running the football like most offensive lines do. I just think took a little bit of a challenge, kind of got wind that DeMarco Murray was going to get shut down today, so took a little bit of a challenge."
(Got wind of that from them saying it?) – "Yes."
(How so?) – "Just heard it."
(Do you feel like you guys did a good job of responding to adversity today? I feel like every time they had a run you had an answer for them.) – "I do, yes. A lot of things went right today, it did and after all that there's a lot we have to fix and still correct and get better at – without question."
(Three game home-stand coming up to come off this and be in position to you've talked a long time about reestablishing yourselves at home…) – "It's very important. We haven't won two games in a row since I've been here. That's important for these guys. We need to start getting over the hurdle with a lot of things and it has to start at some point, it has to start somewhere."
(After that series with Taylor (Lewan), what did you see from him? Did you see what you wanted to see on the sideline, on the field?) – "We had a conversation, actually Russ (Grimm) did, just calm him down a little bit. He's such a competitor, I'm not going to take the competitive, he's tough. He's having a Pro Bowl year. There's times that he has to tone it down a bit because it's going to hurt us."
(You look at the success you guys had at the end of the half on that scoring drive, I know it was a little bit of a hurry-up, but have you ever thought about incorporating that in a different part of the game, maybe letting Marcus (Mariota) be more of a comfort-zone?) – "It's a whole different scenario, two-minute is a whole different world. They're different, we're different. It's a different world. I know everybody gets frustrated, especially if you're on defense, 'What are we in, prevent?' It's not something you can go 60 minutes of and think your quarterback is going to be standing at the end of the day. We have a hurry-up offense, we did not use it today. We didn't feel like we needed to use it. It was all huddles, calls by Terry (Robiskie) and I thought it was effective."
(Austin Johnson standing out a little bit…) – "He did some things I saw, a couple plays. I mean, I didn't focus right in on him. I saw some plays that he made, I liked his energy after he made the plays."
(Is this how the play-action is supposed to work off this, even with Marcus (Mariota) on the run and the touchdown flowing one way?) – "Yes, you'd like to think that. We've had more success doing it than in recent games."
TITANS QB MARCUS MARIOTA
(Marcus, how good did it feel to get off to a good, fast start today? How much do you think it helped you guys?) – "It was huge, to just kind of get the ball rolling a little bit and keep momentum. All around, I thought the guys up front did a great job. They controlled the line of scrimmage and really allowed us to do what we want."
(Is this the blueprint for you guys, to start with the run and then build the passing game off of that?) – "Absolutely. Obviously it's going to change from week to week, but if we can run the football the way we did today, it will really open up some things in the passing game and help us out."
(You were able to run it seemed like when you needed to. What did you see out there?)– "It just kind of happened. Some of those things are the receivers getting downfield and blocking well. A lot of it was just the pocket kind of opened up and I saw some open lanes and took off."
(You completed passes to eight different receivers today. Is it important to spread the ball around like that or is that something you are going for?) – "It's just kind of how it happened. For me, I don't really try to key on one guy. That makes it tough on the defense. If we can be versatile and get everybody involved, it's going to really help us out to have more options."
(Do you feel like this was your most complete effort today, from beginning to end?) – "As a team? Absolutely. If we can continue this, hopefully we can build it for the rest of the year. All in all, I thought the defense played great. As an offense, we were able to move the ball and special teams did some good things as well."
(Coach Mularkey indicated that he thought that drive right before halftime was really important. Can you talk about that drive to get back down there and take the lead before halftime?) – "Yes, we practice the 2-minute (offense) every week. We're comfortable in it. I thought the receivers did a great job of finding some open holes in the zones and a couple of times just blocking down the field. We took advantage of some things. Delanie (Walker) ran a good route and was able to get up the seam and catch that for a touchdown."
(What's the feeling like in the huddle when you are having success running the ball, getting 8, 9, 10 yards a carry?) – "I know those guys up front love it. We all do. It's a staple of our offense and really gets us going. Like we talked about, it really opens up a lot of different things."
(With the no huddle (does it) get you in that zone toward the end of halves? You were 5-for-5 on that touchdown drive before halftime. Against the Lions, that game-winning drive where you completed all nine passes. Do you just get in the zone or does it have something to do with the formations and tempo?) – "It's hard to say. I think I've just operated in that kind of realm for a long time so I'm really comfortable in it. And a lot of that is just credit to the guys. They found ways to get open and we were able to just move the ball down the field."
(Did Rishard Matthews' ball just hang in the air? Did that one come off like you wanted it to? It seemed like it hung a little bit even though he was able to get it. What was your feeling when it left your hand?) – "Yes. We practiced that in terms of just throwing the ball to that back pylon because the defenders in that area are taught to undercut it, especially on shallow routes like that. I kind of anticipated it, I gave him enough room and he made a great play on the ball."
(You're 2-3 now with three home games coming up in a row. What are your thoughts on the opportunity that you guys have ahead of you?) – "For us, it's one day at a time. (We) can't look too far in the future and just got to continue to get better. There are things that we can correct. It's nice that we'll be home for a few weeks now but hopefully this will build into some momentum. Just take it one day at a time, get better and get ready for next week."
(Any sense of relief in the turnover free, efficient offense? Is it reassuring that things can click on all cylinders?) – "Yes. For me, it's important to get one of those under your belt where you're not turning the ball over; you're not putting the defense in bad situations. For me, it was important. All in all, I thought the guys did a great job of taking care of the football, especially in those 4-minute situations when the defenders are trying to knock the ball out and trying do whatever they can to get the ball back. I thought DeMarco (Murray) and the running backs did a good job of holding on to the ball."
(When the running game is working like that, what does that mean for the offense?) – "It's a staple of our offense. It's something for us that will open up a lot of different options, like it did today. When you've got guys in the backfield like DeMarco (Murray) and Derrick (Henry), they can really just pound it inside and get some yards going. We'll stay ahead of the chains and move the ball."
(How much does a game like this help your confidence where you guys are able to have success to do what you do on offense) – "Any time you get a win here in this league, it feels good. It's a tough league. We've been on the wrong side of a lot of these for the last couple of years, so every time we get a chance to enjoy one of these, we will; but it's going to really help us in terms of momentum for these next three home games."
(Do you feel like you needed a game like this to kind of help get you going as well too?) – "Not necessarily. I just try to do my job out there. I try to take it one play at a time, put our offense in the best situations and let those guys make the plays."
(How much does this set the standard for the offense going forward? How much do you expect it to look like this?) – "It is the standard and that is something for us to always improve on. There are things that we left out there on the field that will help us out. It's good to get a win like this. It's good to score points the way that we did; but again, there are things we can improve on, correct and get better for next week."
(Talk about the throw to Delanie, the 20-yard touchdown that he caught) – "He did a great job winning inside his one-on-one match up. It was a look the offensive coordinator felt that we could kind of take a shot there with that. Delanie did a great job of winning and he did the rest."
TITANS RB DEMARCO MURRAY
(DeMarco how fun is it as a running back when you're getting six, seven, eight yards a pop and you feel like you will on the next one?) - "Yes, it's just fun to win. At the end of the day that is all that matters. I could have had 50 yards out there, but we won the game and that is more important. It is hard to win in this league and it was a good team victory today."
(Is this the blueprint for this offense moving forward?) – "We'll see. I think it just depends on the opponent. We were able to run the ball (today) and Marcus (Mariota) did a great job in the red zone finding Delanie (Walker) and Rishard (Matthews). We've just got to continue to work hard and get better."
(To string together a couple of wins, how much does this need to be a momentum builder for you?) – "Definitely. We believe in ourselves and our coaching. We've got to continue to just work hard. We had a great week of practice this past week. It was the best week we've had up until now. We have to continue to make sure guys are on the field, make sure guys are coming to work and doing the little things right and it showed today."
TITANS CB JASON MCCOURTY
(As far as the secondary how strong have you been this season? Jarvis (Landry) barely gets anything today. Last week you guys did great against DeAndre (Hopkins). Can you just talk about how strong you have been this year?) – "We're just trying to work together and be able to make plays. This week Brice (McCain) really handled the challenge. He played out here in Miami last year so he knew Jarvis (Landry). I'm sure they had quite the battles in practice. Him being more of a slot receiver, Brice really stepped up, did a really good job on him today. Just overall as a secondary, we try to know who can hurt us and what type of situation. We try to go just out there and make plays."
(When you see Ryan Tannehill ineffective – he's just sitting back in the pocket, holding the ball and doesn't have anybody to throw it to and keeps dumping it off to these running backs – how big was that for you guys in the long run today that he didn't have his best weapons available, really?) – "It's huge. A testament to our d-line too. They were getting after him, coming up with sacks. As a quarterback, that play is in your mind. When you know those guys are coming hard off the edges, coming up the middle, you know you have to get rid of the ball quick and that you can't hold onto it. (It was) a total team effort on defense, especially."
(How to you simulate a guy like Jarvis (Landry) in practice? How do you prepare yourself for his skillset specifically?) – "You go out there, you obviously go over the routes with the receivers that we compete against in practice every day. When it comes to Sunday, I say week in and week out, you just go out there and compete – last week getting a chance to go against DeAndre Hopkins, this week getting a chance to go against Jarvis Landry. When you know the quarterback is going to get the ball to a guy and he is a talented receiver, all you can do is go out there, play your technique, and compete to try to make as many plays as you can against him."
TITANS WR RISHARD MATTHEWS
(Rishard, happy homecomings, so to speak, back in Miami where you started your career. A big touchdown in the second half and a win. What was the feeling? ) – "Yes, definitely. Like you said, the most important (thing) is the win. (It was) pretty honorable previous weeks we wanted to go get a W and try to get some more on the board."
(You said that there'd be some friendly trash talk between you and guys on the other side. Take me through that touchdown play and, maybe, what you said afterwards.) – "I didn't say anything afterwards. It was just a play drawn up, go motion across and comeback underneath Tajae (Sharpe). It was a great read by Marcus (Mariota). He just threw it up, and I made a play for him."
(Was this the ideal Titans offense – running game setups up the play action sets up the bootlegs, things like that?) – "Yes, definitely. That's what it has been. We just haven't been making those plays offensively. This week, we made those plays and hopefully, we can continue to keep going in the right direction and get some more W's on the board."
(Rishard, how does this team now build from this? This is a big win but it has been a long time since you've strung wins together. Going back home for three in a row, what kind of an opportunity is this?) – "I think it's a big opportunity. We've got a lot of momentum; a lot of guys feel good. We love this feeling, but we need to go and win next weekend and continue to win after that at home, especially at home. We haven't won one at home since I've been here. We have to win at home and get those fans involved and make it hard to come to Nissan Stadium and play."
TITANS TE DELANIE WALKER
(Talk about your strong performance today) – "I would just say we basically came out there and just played Titans football. It took every guy out there for us to get this win. (We had) some great throws. When you get great throws, it makes it easier for me for me to catch."
(Was there anything in particular you prepared for or was it just going out there and executing?) – "We always prepare to look at teams' defenses and see what their strong points and their weak points are so we can go into the game having a game plan; but we basically do what we do all the time. We ran the ball very well and that opened up the pass game."
(What do the Titans have to do to prepare for next week?) – "We are going to have to run the ball. For now, we are going to have to watch film. Once we watch film and get the game plan, then I'll be more sure of what we're going to do; but I think the main focus is running the ball."
TITANS LB DERRICK MORGAN
(You had the first (sack), didn't you? And then the two early. I know you have been close. How good does it feel for you guys to get six today and to kind of smother them on defense?) – "I think it was a whole team effort. We had great coverage. The quarterback was holding the ball. When he holds the ball like that, that allows us to get after the quarterback and get back there and be effective. So, it goes hand and hand – pass rush and coverage. Shout out to those guys back there in the back end."
(You don't get that opportunity that much. Quarterbacks are getting rid of the ball so quickly in this league. Did you know this would be a day when you'd have a chance to get back there?) – "We believe every game we have a chance to get back there. But when you have guys covering like they were today and giving us time to get back there, we're going to be able to be effective."
(You guys are probably feeling good now, but you have to figure out a way to string some together, I guess.) – "It's one game. We have to win back to back. We haven't done that in a while here. We're 2-3. We're below .500. We have a lot of work to do, but this is a step in the right direction. We just have to keep building off of this game and keep growing as a team."
(Is a team going to lose very often when all three of its top pass rushers get two sacks apiece?) - "I hope not. Like I said, it was a whole defensive effort. The back end was just giving us time. When you have time like that with the players that we have on defense, we're going to get home."
DOLPHINS HEAD COACH ADAM GASE
(Adam, G/T Laremy Tunsil – how did he get injured?) – "He was getting ready for the game. I'm still kind of sorting everything out right now. We're trying to get ready for (the game) and all of a sudden he lets you know that he's not going to be able to go so we had to make some quick adjustments."
(I know you're not going to want to make any excuses, but a lot of injuries – all seven inactives were projected starters coming out of training camp. How much did that impact the game?) – "I mean, it happens. It happens as far as week-to-week, usually you have a couple of guys down. You never like to have this many guys, a couple of them being some fluke-type of thing. We didn't think that 'B.A.' (Branden Albert) was going to be down at the beginning of the week, but he loses 12 pounds throughout the week and we can't put him out there. He tried to practice. It just would be wrong for us to try to do that. Obviously, those guys can help you; but I feel like we have plenty of guys that can fill the roles that we need them to fill. We just have to do a better job."
(Coach, you pretty much knew what they wanted to do coming in. There were a lot of three-tight, they wanted to run the football, and that's exactly what they did – 224 yards rushing at the last count for me – that's got to be a disappointing afternoon for you.) – "It was surprising considering that we were doing a pretty good job as far as fitting it – we weren't finishing our tackles. That'll kill you every time, especially with a running back like that. One guy misses, and they block it up well. Our guys were fitting everything right and it just takes a one-on-one match up, he makes him miss, now all of a sudden he's in the safety, and a lot of times he's going to make that guy miss. We have to do a better job as far as our tackling goes. It's tough because the d-line is doing their job, and now all of a sudden, they want to go try to make a play to help, and now we're moving out of our gap. It's one of those things where you spring a leak somewhere else and then somebody else tries to plug it and then another one springs. We have to make sure we go back and we've got to figure out a way to do a better job of tackling."
(Offensively – you look at the numbers, six punts, five of them three-and=outs, two of them interceptions…) – "We're inept right now. We've just got to figure something out. We tried to slow it down today, and huddle, and we only had 41 plays and eat up 23 minutes. We're not getting enough first downs. We had a chance there on the third-and-1, and the ball gets batted down. We think we're in the end zone to be down by three and we get a holding call. It just seems that we can't get out of our own way right now. We've just got to go back to work. We've got to clean up some of these things. There's nothing really great that I can point to in this game, especially for the offense. I know that Jay (Ajayi) ran hard. There were times where there were free runners in the backfield and I thought that there were going to be two or three runs that were negative plays and he found a way to get to the line of scrimmage and get positive yards. That was encouraging for me as far as having a guy who you can lean on to try to get positive yards. There were some bad play calls in there that put our offense in a bad position. We've got to go back to work. We've got to figure out a way to do a better job of consistently executing play in and play out."
(Coach, was there any point in the game where you considered taking Ryan Tannehill out of the game?) – "No. He's not coming out. You can ask me a hundred times. He's going to be in there the rest of this season."
(Adam, what do you make of the season now that you're 1-4? The big picture…) – "Well, the whole NFL is a mess, isn't it? How many teams have the same record or are one win above us? You've got to play the whole season. Everybody counted Kansas City out. The one year New England is 2-2 and the sky's falling and all of a sudden they rattle it out and go to the Super Bowl and win it. You better play this thing out. You never know what's going to happen."
(Adam, I know you have a lot on your plate right now after that performance, but what tops your priority list in terms of what you need to fix?) – "A lot of times, I look at it offensively. I know there's some fixes we can have there as far as we hold onto the ball, we get first downs, the time of possession changes, and it helps the defense. That's why it's irritating for me, as far as if we could figure out a way to be more consistent on offense, it's going to take a lot of pressure off the defense (and) keep those guys fresh. We built this defense to play with a lead. We just haven't come through on offense yet. We had some changes. We're trying to figure out some ways to get guys the ball, get the ball out quick, not put Ryan (Tannehill) in a bad position as far as holding onto the ball. It just didn't work out the way that we wanted it to."
DOLPHINS QB RYAN TANNEHILL
(Ryan, as tough a day as you've had out there – a lot of pressure on you, six sacks, trying to get rid of the ball seemed to be tough. How tough was it on you?) – "Yes, it was a tough day. I think all around, offensively, we have to be better."
(What do you do to get better? When you look at the points per game and three-and-outs and all that, it seems to be very similar numbers week in and week out. How do you resolve that? And you got to resolve it, obviously, in a short time here.) – "Every man has to be better, starting with me. We have to feel better. We have to block better. We have to move better. It's just (about) going back to work, there's nothing drastic. All we have to do is come to work and get better each and every day. Every man controls the things he can control, work at the things he needs to work at, and we'll be in good shape."
(Scheme-wise you're happy with it? When you look at tapes it's just one guy breaks down on one play and another guy another play. Are those the situations you're seeing?) – "It was a couple situations today where they did a good job on defense, caught us in a coverage. We hurt ourselves by getting to third-and-long and then you're playing the guessing game of what they're going to be in. We have to keep ourselves in third-and-manageable. Penalties hurt us. A couple negative plays hurt us and put us in third-and-long. Those are always going to be tough. We have to be consistent on third-and-manageable and then convert them when you get those opportunities."
(Obviously, you heard the fans chanting. How do you react to that?) – "I just have to keep playing. I have to play my game, keep my focus on the things I need to do and play for the guys around me. I love being on this team. I love the guys in the huddle with me, and I'm going to do everything I can to go out and play the way they expect me to play. So, do I like it? No, but it doesn't affect how I play or how I think about myself."
(Ryan, as far as this team, do you see progress being made or what do you think big picture?) – "Yes, I think big picture there's definitely progress. We're getting better. Obviously, we need to make a big stride. All it takes is one week, one good week for us to kind of get things rolling, and I think we'll be headed in the right direction. Obviously, that needs to be this week."
(Head Coach Adam Gase said that you'll be the quarterback the rest of the year pretty much no matter what. What's your reaction to that?) – "I know (Head) Coach (Adam Gase) has confidence in me – I have confidence in myself – and I think the guys on offense have confidence in me. We're going to go out and play. I'm going to go out and play. I'm going to push myself in practice, do anything I can to get better and expect to play better."
(Offensive line guys – G/T Laremy Tunsil misses, T Branden Albert misses. Frustrating? At the start of the week, it looked like there was a chance with C Mike Pouncey coming back that, that offensive line would be intact. Frustrating?) – "Yes, it's tough. You think you're getting 'B.A.' (Branden Albert) back and then he has an illness. Then you lose 'L.T.' (Laremy Tunsil) day of the game. That's tough. It puts those guys that are put in spots they're not used to playing in tough positions. It puts our offense in a little bit of a tough position, but things happen. You have to be able to adapt and find ways to move the ball and score points."
DOLPHINS C MIKE POUNCEY
(Mike, I know it's your first game back it's just a sense of frustration just how things went for the offense four sacks, got picked off twice Ryan.) – "We got to look at the film, see what went wrong. Obviously we want to play a lot better. We got to get some guys healthy and get back to our full strength."
(Is that the key because the offensive line is banged up and Ryan's [Tannehill] back there he's going to take a lot of the blame for this.) – "We'll see. We'll watch the film, we'll see what went wrong. I know we all have to do a better job. That's every player on the offense. It ain't just one person. It ain't one group. We all have to do better to win football games."
DOLPHINS DT NDAMUKONG SUH
(The run defense allowed 235 yards, what happened out there?) – "It comes down to tackling and execution. I think it's as simple as that. We didn't accomplish those two things. They have two great running backs and we didn't shut them down."
(What do you think of this season right now, 1-4 with a lot of football to play. What do you think of this team right now, overall big picture?) – "We're in a tough situation, like you said, 1-4. But there's a lot of football left. We've got two more home games before our bye. We need to finish out strong and get prepared for the Steelers."
(It seemed like last week you were getting outside run support and today they were able to get outside and attack the corner on the defense, why were they able to do that? – "I'm honestly not particularly sure, because the most of the time I'm dealing with double teams working in the middle where my space is. Obviously I understand when the ball is getting to our edge, I've got to rally and get over there to help get the running back down. But I'd have to go back and look at the film to give you a better answer."
(What do you guys have to do overall as a defense? Do individual guys need to look in the mirror and say you need to do a better job or is it as a unit that you guys need to tighten up) – "I think as a unit, we just have to focus on the task that we have at hand. (We) understand that stopping the run is going to be very, very important, no matter who the game is (against), whether it's two good running backs that we just played against or an average running back. We've got to stop the run and make each and every team we play against a one-dimensional team so we can rush the passer and put them in tough situations, put them in long-yard situations and go from there."
(You had no sacks and almost no pressure on (Marcus) Mariota, was it because they were running the ball so successfully?) – "Yes, no question. I mean they ran the ball very well and if I were them, I wouldn't stop doing that. You can run the clock out and also put up points."
(As a defense or as a team, do you see progress being made or do you see you guys being stuck in the mud right now?) – "I think we've just got to execute and focus on the things we've got to get done. We're going into the Steelers week and we've got to focus on the task that we have here and get prepared."
DOLPHINS WR JAKEEM GRANT
(Obviously, the moment that you've been waiting for, for a while?) – "Yes, it's definitely a moment I've been waiting for. But like I said, the return would feel much better if we came out with the W."
(Can you describe the feeling of crossing the end zone with the touchdown for you?) – "It felt great. It felt really good. But like I said previously, it would've felt a lot better if we got the W."
(You got a little dinged up in the first half.) – "(I) just got rolled up on my ankle. I came back in, because I felt like if I would've stayed out, I would've been letting my team down. That's just how I am. I'm going to push through anything I can to help the team out."
DOLPHINS RB JAY AJAYI
(Your team didn't do as well you hoped…) – "Yes, definitely. We lost. That's just the matter of fact, so we've got to go back to drawing board and figure it out and we got to get some moves."
(How frustrating is it now to be 1-4?) – "I mean, at the end of the day it's a long season. It's frustrating for the simple fact that we want to win games and this is not where we want to be at this point. At this point right now, it's still early and we're basically going to take it one week at a time, one game at a time, and see what happens at the end of the season."
(Jay, do you feel like you got into a little bit of a rhythm in the running game today. You seem to have more carries than you have gotten…) – "Yes, I feel like I was able to do some good things on the ground; but at the same time, we have to be able to execute and stay on the field longer and keep those drives moving. We're going to go back to work this next week and look to how we can improve, and come out next Sunday hopefully better."
DOLPHINS WR DEVANTE PARKER
(What happened on the interception?) "Which interception?"
(The one that was behind you?) – "Just behind a little bit, kind of bobbled it. Said I didn't catch it but, I caught an interception."
(Are frustrated right now about how this offense has been?) – "I'm just, I don't know what I'm frustrated about. I'm just frustrated that we need a win. That's it, just get the Ws."
(How do you feel like you are playing right now?) – "I think I'm playing pretty good. When they call the ball for me I just got to make the plays, but as a whole we just got to pull out the W.
(You think maybe if they went to you more this offense might be better?) – "I'm not sure. I just go with the flow. Whatever happens, happens."
DOLPHINS DE CAMERON WAKE
(Cam, the 200-and-something yards rushing that you guys allowed, do you have any idea why that was? Poor tackling or misfits?) – "In order to have that kind of production for them – or lack of production on defense – it was a little bit of everything. It has to be poor tackling. It has to be misfits. It has to be miscommunication. It has to be a lot that goes on to have that kind of day. I'd have to watch the tape, but there's no way that can happen unless there's a lot going on."
(Cam, what is the mindset of this team right now (with) having a team like that come in that you felt like was a good opportunity and come up in the short end? Where are you right now, and how do you guys get out of this rut that you're in?) – "I felt like it was a great opportunity. Coming into the game, you felt like things were lined up for a great day. One of our main goals on defense was to win first downs. And I'm pretty sure – again, I don't have the stats or film – but I'm pretty sure they won that battle. When you got a team that's in front of the sticks going second-and-short, third-and-1, that changes a lot of things that you have as far as the way the team is set up. We on defense, we have to do better from the very beginning. Third downs have been something that we do well, but you got to get to that point first. If we can't even get to third down situations, then that's going to be hard on our side of the ball. It takes a lot of different things that obviously need to be fixed in order to get that changed, but it was disappointing to say the least."
(How about this team as a whole – offensively, defensively, special teams – how do you guys get all on the same page? You still have a long way to go, and if you keep playing this way, it's going to be a long, hard road for you.) – "Even the first quarter of the season has been tough. I feel like we haven't played a full complementary football game, yet. There have been spurts where offense has been doing great and there's been spurts defense, but we have to play with each other. And it can't be just one quarter. It has to be the entire game. We have to go down there and stop the team and give the ball to the offensive, (so) they can go down and score and then we do it again. That hasn't happened. So, just getting on the same page, I feel like it … I can assure you, guys are frustrated. Guys are disappointed. Frankly, I hope that everybody is pissed off and uncomfortable with this feeling, because with the kind of guys and kind of team we have, this should not be happening. So doing whatever we can to get it fixed is our number one priority."
(It seems like you guys – both side of the ball – are still playing hard. Is that what you see from where you stand?) – "I don't really see effort or guys that are giving up. They stay there and they fight, but it's not the only part of the game. You've got to go in there and you've got to be fined turned. You have to have the details correct. You're straining hard as you can, 100 percent in the wrong gap. That's not going to help us. Each man has to be on top of his job. Whatever it is – offense, defense, special teams, all of the above – to make sure that you're doing your job every play all the time or else, as you see in this league obviously, it only takes one guy. It only takes on guy to miss a block on offense, one guy to miss a block on special teams, one guy to not to be in his gap on defense. That play can be detrimental to your team. I feel like, again, the frustrating thing is showing that you can do it. Obviously, we've done each thing as a whole, as a team, but doing it together and doing it for 60 minutes has been the trouble."
(Cam, how do you keep this team mentally focused – pushing, driven – and believing in each other?) – "I haven't sensed that that has been an issue. Guys have been out there. Guys have been fighting to the last snap (with) effort and (they) want to. I don't see that as an issue. Now, again, some of the details, obviously, have not been up to the standard that we probably want. Again, 10 guys doing (work) as has hard as they can … Even the eleventh guy, if he's going at it as hard as he can, but (is) in the wrong direction, offsides –there are a lot of things, obviously – (but) that one thing, one person can ruin the entire play. I don't think guys are out of it in that sense. It's the consistency in the details that probably need more attention."
(Cam, I know injuries are part of the game – I know you don't want to use them as an excuse – but seven inactive players today were all projected starters. Two linebackers, two offensive lineman. How much of an affect did that have on the game?) – "Football is a violent sport. I, obviously, have recently gone through such things. It's an unfortunate part of this game. It's the most violent game I know of. You're going to have those things happen. But I feel like it's not like we're not the only ones playing. They're out there playing as well, and I'm sure they have injuries that maybe could help them. To me, at the end of the day, it all ends up evening back out. Your second guy up maybe has to play against their second guy up, and you have to win that battle. There are no chumps. There are no bums that put on jerseys on Sunday, whether you're first, second or third team. It doesn't matter. You're the best at what you do on the planet. You got to go in and you got to achieve and step up to the same level as the guy you replaced. That to me is nowhere near an excuse. When your number is called, you got to go in and get your job done."
(Cam, how does losing affect you now maybe in comparison to very early in your career?) – "I hate it as much as my first high school game, the first time I lost. (It is) the same pain, the same disgust, same fury. It boils inside of you. It doesn't get any easier. Unfortunately, I've experienced it too many times. I still don't like it. Poop still tastes the same, I'm sure, no matter if it's the first time you've had it or the fifth time or seventh."
The Tennessee Titans take on the Miami Dolphins in Week 5 action at Hard Rock Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)