Titans/Jaguars post-game quotes

HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER

(opening statements)

I was asked the question this week would you prefer opening the season in the division against a common opponent or would you prefer something else. My response was there are no secrets about this game. We knew exactly what to expect. We knew we were going to be in a physical battle. We knew the scoring was going to be low and also knew the importance of protecting the football.

This is one of few games that I have been associated where everybody contributed to the win. Chris Johnson makes the big plays. LenDale (White) comes in when he needs to and makes plays, key plays in the ballgame. The tights ends, (the) receiver makes the big play at the end. We just had everybody contributing that would include, obviously the defensive line with the younger players.

Seven sacks in the ballgame speaks volumes of what you are doing up front. Turnovers, defensively was a huge day. We had to have that kind of day defensively to win this ballgame.

Injury-wise, we had a few minor things. Albert (Haynesworth) came out with a mild concussion but went back in the backgame. Jacob Ford has got a sternum issue. Probably the biggest concern is that I have right now, not knowing, I don't think it is serious is about Vince. We are going to do some studies, some tests on his knee. He is icing down right now.

As far as the decision to go with Kerry (Collins), Vince's hamstring was tightening up. We had put him on the injury report on Friday with a tight hamstring and there was some questions as to whether he thought he could go, we thought he could go. So, we started with Kerry and then Vince said let me try it and unfortunately he came out with the knee.

But we are fortunate to have Kerry, obviously in a backup role. It was a great call by (offensive coordinator) Mike (Heimerdinger) to (make) the little screen pass to Bo (Scaife). It was obviously the difference making play in the game I think.

(on Vince Young's status)

He's icing in the training room. We're going to try to make him available. He's icing in the training room. It eased up, really eased up once he got in so we'll just do tests and we'll see.

(on whether Young was hesitant to go back in the game)

Just regarding the hamstring. He said, 'It's tight' and I said, 'if it's tight, we'll go with Kerry (Collins) and try to talk him back into it and he felt good. When he got out there he moved, he didn't have any issues with the hamstring on the bootleg on which he was hurt.

(on whether it had anything to do with the interception he had just thrown)

No. That's a great play by the defensive end. If you're throwing a flat route, he makes the right read, it's a great play by the defensive end. Those things happen.

(on why he took off his headset to talk to Young)

I don't hear out of my right ear, so in order to hear him I had to take my headset off and it was, 'if you can go tell us, and if you can't we'll go with Kerry (Collins).' 'I feel good enough,' (Young said) so I said, 'well then we'll give it a shot.'

(on whether he was disappointed in Young's attitude)

No. He's very competitive. I've never seen him jump up and down and high-five his teammates after he throws an interception. He's very competitive.

(on how good it was to see Chris Johnson playing well in his first game)

We experimented there with him during the preseason but you can see what he's capable of doing. He's very explosive, he's got great speed and it's a good one-two punch. We've felt that way, we'll keep him healthy and he's going to be a great combination.

(on whether teams are going to be shy against Cortland Finnegan based on today's performance)

No. That's why he's here. He made those kinds of plays last year – it was a great effort. You have to credit the defensive line because of the pressure, number one to get the ball out and secondly they did a really good job of discipline their rush lanes. David (Garrard) can't see and got the situation where they had to throw the ball and when he did, we made the plays.

(on his animated conversation with Young)

Right. He was disappointed with the interception but that was over. The discussion was regarding the hamstring and whether or not he felt like he could use his legs if he needed to. So it's not an issue.

TE BO SCAIFE

(on the team's opening day win)

No one picked us to win this game. Everyone in this locker room believed. The coaching staff believed. The organization believed. We all knew what we were capable of. We didn't prove ourselves wrong, we proved everybody else wrong. It's a good start for us.

(on the offensive production)

It's the regular season. We've heard all the stuff they have been saying about the first team offense. We try to put that behind us. The only thing we can control is when we are out there on the field. We came together and we played as a team today. We had our ups and downs. Anytime we play Jacksonville or any of our conference games. It's going to be a tough game. We fought to the end. We knew it was going to be a tough game until the end and we prevailed in the end.

(on his catch)

It was an all-out blitz. It was a great call. Coach Hemierdinger made a great call at a great time. We repped that a bunch of times. I've ran that play since I was a little boy, but it has never been that open like it was today.

(on Kerry Collins entering the game in the fourth quarter)

Kerry is a vet. If he had any negative feelings about the play, he didn't show anybody. He came in there like a vet. Everyone looked in his eyes and he was ready to go. They called a great play for him on 3 rd and 10.

(on Vince Young's offensive ability)

I don't worry about Vince. I've known him long enough that he's a competitor and a winner. He's still growing as a quarterback. Everyone in this locker room believes in him and that's all he needs.

RB CHRIS JOHNSON

(on his first regular season NFL contest)

It felt good out there. Everybody said it would speed up once the regular season came. It does speed up, but I still felt good out there.

(on scoring his first touchdown)

I wanted the touchdown bad. I scored in the preseason, but that doesn't matter. I wanted to get on the board in the regular season.

(on his thoughts of being a offensive threat)

I know my speed can make a difference and things like that. Me being in the backfield is an extra dude that you've got to account for.

(on if he exceeded his expectations in his first regular season game)

I wanted to come in and have a good game, miss no blocks and make all my reads. I had a better game than I thought I was going to have. I didn't know how much I was going to play. I feel like I exceeded my expectations.

C KEVIN MAWAE

(on the performance of Chris Johnson)

I think Chris did a great job. At this point for us there is nothing surprising about him. We've seen what he's capable of doing. He showed it in the very first play of the game with two carries. I don't know how many yards he ended up with, but he had a good night and I'm happy with his performance.

(on Kerry Collins' play in the fourth quarter)

I don't know what Vince's situation is. If Kerry's in the ball game, nothing changes for us. We've got to block and protect just like we always do. Kerry is a proven quarterback. It's not like he's a guy that has been on the bench for 15 years. The guy has gone to the Super Bowl and has been in playoff games. He's a confident player. Guys believe in him as much as they believe in Vince Young. He came in and did a great job for us.

CB CORTLAND FINNEGAN

(on stepping into a bigger role this year)

I hope so. The coaches believe in me. I continue to work hard. I think, overall, that Coach Schwartz prepared us well for this game. I guess when we think about Jacksonville they're pretty simple in some of the route concepts that they run but a good football team nonetheless. We were just able to capitalize today.

(on how the sacks and turnovers helped the defense)

Defensive play is incredible. It helps so much of the secondary and what we do. I credit both interceptions to those guys. Coach Robertson does a great job. Overall as a defense today I think we really stepped up and continue that success we had last year on defense.

(on getting focused after the second pick)

We enjoy defense. That's what we get paid to do. We love what we're doing. As defense, we step up and we knew what we had to do. We knew that we'd probably have to win the game today. That's something that we embraced and we talked about it all week – if we didn't score points, we were going to play defense. Anytime that something like that happens, it's a team game and we're just going to out there full focused.

(on carrying the team defensively)

Absolutely. It's a team game, sometimes we're going to have to do it and other times offense will have to do it. Right now, defense is playing well, offense will get into their groove and we will be a good football team.

(on what the key was to slowing down Jacksonville's running game)

I guess the front seven. I think that's a big start. I think just knowing what they were going to do, tendency wise, gave us a chance to put some rushes together that really helped out defensive line and our secondary.

(on his first interception)

I was like, 'don't let him catch it!' Randy Moss. We talked about it in our defensive backroom and you definitely don't want to give up the deep ball. That's some of the things that we don't want to do. I just wanted to try to take it from him. It was a good play by our defensive line for him to throw that errant pass.

DE KYLE VANDEN BOSCH

(on if he was surprised by how the game went)

I thought this defense was capable of playing really well. I knew we would play well today, but I was surprised. We did well in all facets of the game today. We stopped the running attack. We've got a lot of pressure on the quarterback. We had good coverage downfield. It's something we could build upon. It's a complete game. We took the field, as a defense, in some bad situations. We made some big plays and that's what we are capable of.

(on recovering a fumble)

I had been saying through two quarters that is time to make a play. I was fortunate to get there. I didn't even know the ball came loose when I hit him. That's what I try to do. I keep going until the whistle blows. Fortunately, it was a big play for us. It was a big turnover and a good momentum swing for us.

(on if the defense is one of the best in the league)

I'm not going to call this defense a top defense yet. That's what we are shooting for. We played really well at times last year, but then we had some let up. That's we talked about today going into the fourth quarter. We've got to keep putting it on. Looking back at last year, we struggled at Cincinnati and that's where we are headed. I think scheme wise, we are ahead of where we have been. We are real comfortable with what we are doing. We need to take that and take the momentum we've got now and keep it going. We can't have any let up. There are a lot of good defenses in this league. I take pride in this defense in that I think we play harder than any other defense in this league.

(on forcing a lot of pressure on Jacksonville's offense)

To me, the impressive thing about what we did today was the pressure and the sacks. I think when you break down this film you can see they maxed out for a good part of the game. We kept trying to get to the quarterback. We weren't getting free rushes. We had to fight for every sack we got. With the four man rush, to beat some max protections and to get pressure on the quarterback continuously, to me that was the impressive thing we did today.

DT TONY BROWN

(on Titans defensive effort)

Jacksonville is a good team. They are known for being physical and they are still physical. We just wanted to come out and make a statement early and show that last year was not a fluke. Come out as a team, play hard and make plays… All these guys contributed and we're just having fun.

(on Titans defense getting seven sacks.)

We did not expect that at all, but at the same time we did expect to do something. We were going to put as much pressure as we could on Garrard, because we knew he is a good quarterback and you can't let him get started early.

We were just coming in there and trying to put pressure on him, because we know if we cloud the pocket up, he can't see. We kept the rush coming and we were successful.

CB NICK HARPER

(on Titans defensive effort)

We definitely made some plays today. We knew they were going to come in and try to pound the ball and we held them to thirty-something yards rushing. They couldn't get anything going. We didn't give up any deep balls, or long passes or long runs. You do that you can win. They try to use their running game to open up the passing game and try to get you to commit eight guys in the box and have single high coverage, and that's when they attack you. But we didn't let them establish the run, so it kept them off balance. If the line is able to get sacks, it goes hand-in-hand. Good coverage means they'll be able to get pressure and vise-versa.

(on the victory)

This is the NFL and this is just one victory. You have to come out and show your worth every week. Next week we play Cincinnati. We have to attack them, just like we did Jacksonville. We can't worry about nothing except what our defense is going to do that particular day, and we take it one play at a time.

LB KEITH BULLUCK

(on the Titans victory)

I think it's just sweet, because it's the first game of the year. It's always good to start the season with a win. We played great. We knew we were going to come out and play good football. It was just a matter of making sure we didn't make any mistakes. The miscues you make against a team like Jacksonville, they will defiantly take advantage of. I think everyone played good defense across the board. Defensive line, linebackers and the secondary.

(on defense getting seven sacks against Jacksonville)

I would have never guessed seven sacks. I would have given a number though. It would have been more than two, but seven, I didn't expect. Our defensive line is one of the best in the league. Especially with the rotation they have, not just two or three guys. It's about four or five guys. I think the secondary did a great job of holding their coverage and the defensive line did a great job of getting to the quarterback.

DE JEVON KEARSE

(on Titans defensive effort)

I say we did all right. There are still a lot of plays we wish we could get back. A couple of big plays here and there. But besides that, we did a good job up front. I can speak for my defensive linemen, that we did a good job of stopping the run and once we did that, we got some good pressure on #9 (QB Davis Garrard). We've got seven sacks to show for it so that's where it all begins. The team that's gonna win this game is the team who wins the upfront battle.

(on first official game back as a Titan, and playing old rival Jacksonville)

It feels good. This is always going to be a great rivalry that we have against those guys. I kind of had to tell myself before the game to calm down a bit, because I had a lot of anxiety out there. Once I calmed down, it's the same thing. Just have to battle up front, then you win the up-front battle and it's going to look real good at the end of the game.

JAGUARS HEAD COACH JACK DEL RIO

(opening statement)

A good tough, physical football game today. They did a little better job controlling our run game than we did controlling theirs and unfortunately they were able to win a hard-fought, close ballgame. We had a lot of chances to win the ballgame and it could have come out a little bit different. They made more plays and took advantage of those opportunities better than we did. So I'm disappointed merely because we put that much effort and energy into getting a fast start to not be able to come out here and get that done. Sometimes in life things don't go the way you want and it's most important on how you respond after that. We will get back to work. I saw a lot of good things that I liked throughout the game. A lot of good effort in a hard-fought game but not happy being unable to come out of here with a victory. So we will deal with that following our 24-hour rule and make some corrections and move on to get ready for our home opener against Buffalo next week.

We got a few injuries, a few guys banged up. We loss Maurice (Williams). We tried to play him but basically he pulled a bicep in pre-game. Two years in a row we ended up with a pulled muscle in pre-game, something I am not that excited about. It's just a freak deal. So he tried to go but wasn't able to be very effective. Uche Nwaneri, he got banged up a little bit and fought through it and returned to action. Vinny Manuwai got banged up and went down. He's got a sprain that we are going to reevaluate and make sure we take a good look at. Hopefully we will get good news at this point. All I know is he's got a good sprain. We're really depleted there obviously with what's going on with Big Rich (Richard Collier) and his situation. That position was hit hard today in the game and it was unfortunate. It's real tough. But it is going to be tough any way. That's a very good defense. Very strong up front. Its going to make things difficult for you any way. We had several opportunities in three or four possessions I can think of where we were down in the scoring zone, inside the 35, 30-yard line. Ended up in the red zone a few of times, I guess one out of two. In a scoring zone, where we were getting down there inside the 35 we really need to be coming out of there with points. We didn't and miss the one field goal. It made it difficult. It kept them in a situation where they could play the game the way they wanted to. Shrink it, run it, control the clock. It limited our opportunities to generate any offense late in the game. Our hats off to them, they did a get job. We will get back to work. It's unfortunate that we couldn't scratch a win here but we will go back to work tomorrow.

(on Williams' bicep injury extent)

It wasn't to begin with. I will know more when the doctors tell me more.

(on the play of the special teams)

I was excited to see Spoony (Brian Witherspoon) get an opportunity to do some things. He is an exciting young player. He did a nice job with his speed and his quickness setting things up and making some nice returns. He gave us some life. He did a nice job and I'm very pleased to see that. There were some things that were encouraging and good to see. It's just hard to pick out all the bright spots when you don't come up with a win.

(on Bo Scaife's ability to make big catches)

The third-and-15 we were aggressive coming after the quarterback and took our eyes off the receiver and let one get out on us. It was a pressure situation and we took our eye off the guy and they checked it down to him. They did a nice job. They did a nice job in that situation being able to handle that pressure. The quarterback made the throw and nice run by him (Bo Scaife). Nice execution by them in that situation.

(on the officials calling the game)

I thought the referees did a good job today with a hard fought ballgame. Sure I would like to have a few calls go my way, but I'm not going to try and sit here and pin it on them. Both teams played hard. A hard fought ball game. A couple of things, sure, I would like to have had but all in all it was good job.

(on David Garrard getting pressured )

Anybody that plays that position who gets hit that many times is going to be taken off of what they like to do, taken out of their comfort zone. David [Garrard] battled. We battled. Taking sacks, there's protection issues, there's timing issues. The quarterback wants to have his guy where he is supposed to be. The whole coordination.

(on the effect of the Richard Collier situation on the team)

I thought the energy level was good. I thought the guy's focus was good. Playing solid. We came in and played hard and fought. We had our chances. I think the team did a good job of dealing with the situation, a tough situation. You are talking about a family member of our football team in a tough spot fighting through some injuries. I can assure you, in no way is this football team looking for any type of alibis. We give the Tennessee Titans credit.

QB DAVID GARRARD

(on style of game)

We knew it was going to be a physical game. We knew if we could just be patient enough, something would happen for us and we were continuing to be patient. We had too many penalties, too many turnovers. We lost some guys on offense. All those things don't help you win. We just have to get back to the drawing board and go out and get a win next week.

(on handling the Titans' pass rush)

They have a good defense. If you don't have your top guys in there, especially to be able to protect me, it's going to be tough. I thought those guys that did step in did a decent job. It's tough. They have a really good defense and you can't really make too many mistakes and give them the ball back because they just feed off it. We just have to make sure we do a better job next time in protecting the ball and not having so many costly penalties.

(on how many times he got hit during the game)

I don't know, way too many times. I was telling Freddie (RB Fred Taylor) in the locker room that this is the sorest I've been in a long time. It's football and I'm used to it and that's what the position offer sometimes, but I don't like being this sore.

(on coverage by Titans' secondary contributing to pass rush)

We were trying to take some shots. Quite a few times, they didn't give us the right look that we wanted to take the shots on and had to end up checking it down or trying to scramble or something. They played real solid all day. They provided enough of a pass rush to kind of move me around in the pocket and get shots on me, even when I was getting the ball off. It just made it tough all day. We didn't capitalize when we got into the red zone a couple of times there. All of those things add up and they add up to a loss a lot of times.

(on Titans' taking advantage of defensive opportunities)

Right there before the half, we were in the red zone and (DE Kyle) Vanden Bosch had a great shot on me, put his helmet right on the ball, and surprised me, really. It's situations like those where I have to do a better job of protecting the ball and keeping my hands firmly on it. They are a great defense making great plays. We just have to be able to counter those plays. Whenever they have a good play, we have to come back with a good one ourselves. Those are things we have to work on for next time.

(on his overthrow of WR Reggie Williams in end zone on second-to-last drive)

I just missed him. We're always taught to keep the ball up throwing it through the end zone because you have a lot of guys underneath that will sneak in there and you can't see. I was trying to keep it up. I just kept it up way too high.

(on how the emotion of the week and the shooting of OT Richard Collier affected the team)

I think our guys came out ready to play. We faced a tough team. Defensively, we did a great job out there. But it's just going to be one of those games like that every time (when facing Tennessee). It's going to be physical, it's going to be down to the last minute. It's going to be who makes the most mistakes. That's how these games are.

(on whether the Jaguars were able to put the emotional week behind them)

I felt like it. I thought guys were focused on the field. I just felt like we didn't make the plays necessary on offense to keep advancing the ball down the field. When we did get the chance in the red zone, we didn't capitalize on it. Those are things that usually equal to a loss.

(on whether Collier was mentioned in pre-game speeches)

When we were saying our prayers, we were always mentioning Richard, saying prayers for him. We wanted to win this one for him. We'll just have to go out next week and win one for him.

RB FRED TAYLOR

(on losing the opener)

This is the first one. The only thing this game guarantees is that we don't go undefeated. That is it. We will be fine.

(on what happened in the game)

They played good defense. We are not going to sit here and make excuses. We have got to give them credit. They played well today.

(on the Titans defense)

We knew it was going to be tough. It is always a challenge when you play Tennessee. They have been known to have solid defense the past 11 years as long as I have been here, especially this year with the addition of bringing Jevon [Kearse] back. He is a presence regardless of if they are saying he has lost a little bit. He is still a presence. They have some pretty solid players across the board. We knew going into this game it was going to be a challenge.

(on what the Titans defense did to contain the Jaguars)

They put eight in the box. We run eight in a box all the time. They played well. They played very disciplined football today. They were rarely out of their lanes, if they were at all. You have to give them credit. They definitely prepared.

CB BRIAN WITHERSPOON

(on his first NFL game)

It felt good. It felt real good to be in my first NFL game. That is something you always dream about, so it felt real good to be out there. Hopefully I can do this for a long while.

(on the return game)

Those guys up front blocking for me made things real easy. It wasn't just me, it was a whole bunch of guys opening things up.

DE REGGIE HAYWARD

(on containing the Titans offense)

We didn't keep them in check long enough because they scored 17 points. They made enough plays to win. Vince (Young) didn't have a great game, but he did enough.

(on the Jaguars defense)

We definitely went out and played hard and tried to do our assignments. We still lost and allowed some explosive plays like screen plays and running plays. We didn't do a good job of stopping the run. Overall we didn't play that well. But that being said, we still put ourselves in position to win. We feel that if we do play well, we will be an explosive team.

(on the Titans running backs)

They looked strong. They ran hard. They caught the ball out of the backfield real well. They pretty much carried the entire offense. If we could have kept them in check, I think things would have been different for us. That tandem won the game for them.

(on the Titans fourth quarter drive)

Kerry (Collins) came in and did his job. I think Vince will be back. The screen was great call by the coaches and my hats off to them.

WR MATT JONES

(reaction to season-opening loss)

It happened last year to us. We lost the first game at home last year. We had our chances and we couldn't execute at the right time.

(on whether the Titans' pass rush limited plays designed for him in the offense)

It's tough. I can't really say anything until we watch it on film, but, yeah, I think there were a couple of opportunities where a couple more players could've had some chances for big plays. It's our first game and teams get better from their first to third game.

(on effect of the emotion of the week following shooting of OT Richard Collier)

Anytime something like that happens, that doesn't happen all the time. It really is a crazy deal. Our thoughts and prayers were with Big Rich and still are. We have a job to do and we have to come out there and do it. But I'm sure he's in the back of a lot of people's minds but that's not an excuse when you come out there.

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