TENNESSEE TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE VRABEL
(On the difficulty of the game) "We knew it wasn't going to be easy coming down here, coming on the road against a good football team. It's a talented football team, won a lot of games in the last eight months and so, we talked about making it a fourth quarter game. You know, this team has jumped out and really been ahead early, and it was important for us to weather the storm, which we did. Defense played great there in the first half to give us a chance. So, it was pretty much the keys to the game—making it a fourth quarter game and executing in fourth quarter."
(On the importance of being 2-0 in the division) "We think we have a difficult division like a lot of other teams; so, anytime you can get a division victory on the road, it's critical, it's huge, it's going to help you down the stretch. Now, we've got a big challenge ahead of us—next week coming back home, and we'll have to get healthy. But, it's easier to do all those things and make corrections and get healthy after a win than it is a loss."
(On QB Marcus Mariota performance coming off the bench) "Fantastic. You know, [they] gave me the game ball last week, which I wish [they] wouldn't have done, but it cool for me to give Marcus the game ball in the locker room, to be able to stay focused throughout the week. He cares about this team immensely and he wants what's best for the team and so—you saw him come in there to give us a spark, pick up some first downs, some huge first down conversions and, you know, really seal the deal for us at the end of the game."
(On QB Marcus Mariota's limitations due to his injury) "Again, you know, there are things that he can do and there are things that he can't. And, we'll move forward and we'll evaluate that tomorrow, and we'll see where he is at going forward and what he can do."
(On how he knew what QB Marcus Mariota could handle as the game progressed) "I think that you talk to him and there is feedback—what he feels comfortable doing and, you know, where his confidence level is. That's critical—and then, where [offensive coordinator] Matt [LaFleur]'s confidence level is in calling the game."
(On QB Blaine Gabbert's injury) "Well, yeah, I think he had a bunch of guys coming and hit him in the head. So, we've got to block them, we've got to do a better job and, you know, those things are unfortunate. I don't think it was anything dirty, I don't think it was anything malicious, I think that it was a quarterback—it was a blitz. And you know, we've got to do a better job of blocking it, and coaching it, and recognizing it and trying to make sure that those things don't happen."
(On whether QB Marcus Mariota was going to play regardless of QB Blaine Gabbert injury) "I wouldn't make that assumption. I think that, you know, it's always based on how things are going, and who you're going to play is based on production and how things are moving offensively—and playing guys defensively—if they're playing well, they should play more. If they're not, then you should probably find somebody else."
(On the performance over the last two weeks) "Listen, these guys, they prepare for it, they're locked in. And again, all the credit is to the players. They played great, they came out here and executed. You know, this is an offense that, I mean, I think they had 400 and some yards last—450 some yards last week. And they were really successful throwing the football. We did a great job, we were able to tip some balls. Special teams did a great job—they tried to fake and we were ready to go. And then, obviously, the offense just was able to grind it out and have some big huge drives in the second half. They tied it up, and we were able to come back with a six-and-half-minute drive to really—to ice it, and then defensively that drive coming back with four minutes left. We executed the situation right to where we needed to, and once we got the first down, they had one timeout and no 2-minute warning, and we got it down to 25 seconds. Punt team did a great job. Those were all situations that we practiced and you can see that they come to light in the season. And so, with that, we're going to play some close games. We've had three one-score games. And, so the guys understand that we're going to have to be good, you know, late in these games."
(On the defense not giving up big plays) "You know, you can win games if you have a couple of big plays, because you play well in the red zone, but, what you can't do is — then people are going to ask you about the yards, and this and that, and you go through that whole song and dance. So, you know, the best way is to not give up big plays and then still be good in the red zone. You know, we've given up some big plays, but I think we've been fairly successful in the red zone, so it doesn't show up on the scoreboard. What can happen is, a couple of big plays and bad red zone defense and so, today the guys were dialed-in on what they were doing. We communicated with the players, and the guys played well."
(On executing plays at the later part of the game) "We feel that our 4-minute offense are plays that are going to give us the chance to earn first downs. Sometimes that is going with two tight ends and a fullback and a tailback. Sometime that looks like it's third and 11—and you're punting on fourth—you know, it's fourth and eleven. Those don't really work. So, we try to pick out some plays, and [offensive coordinator] Matt [LaFleur] did a great job picking out some plays that we felt like could get us first downs and, you know, they were successful. All the credit is to the players for being able to execute in that situation—got 7 yards off first down, and then we were a little short and picked a third down conversion."
(On talking with QB Marcus Mariota before he went into the game) "You know, I have to say stuff to everybody, but, a lot of confidence in what he is doing. Like I said, he was excited to be able to help the team—and that's the most critical part—that he was ready to go in there, he was prepared, and he helped us win the game."
(On the Titans' defensive performance) "Anytime that you can play great defense and win—and not let them score touchdowns—you know you're going to have a chance in this league. So, credit to the staff and [defensive coordinator] Dean [Pees] and those guys getting these guys ready to go. Then, all the credit goes to the players by going out there. You know there were some third downs we'd like to have back, but all in all, I think they were dialed-in. It's never going to be perfect but we got our hand and we just have to finish, you know, [Harold] Landry [III] was close there, we knock a ball out—we've got to start getting those footballs when they're on the ground, and when we tip them up on the air, you know, we've got to start catching them."
(On what he has learned about his team) "That they're not going to quit, that they believe in each other—you know, they play hard for each other—and, you know, it's a fun group to coach. And, just lucky to be in this position to be able to do this."
(On linebacker Rashaan Evans) "I think that we all—we won. They all played well enough for us to win so, just going to have to take a look at. I'll have to circle back with you guys tomorrow as it relates to Rashaan [Evans], but just his availability is good to be able to start having him out here and start working him into, you know, our defense and special teams."
(On evaluating QB Marcus Mariota's injury over the past few weeks) "It hasn't been difficult. We've taken the approach—and think that all the players can see, and everybody around here can see that you just don't have any time to wait around for the next guy. God willing, I didn't come to work tomorrow, I'm sure that somebody would step up and the next guy would have to go in there and we would have to figure out what we're doing. That is just kind of the mentality that we've taken—that if guys go down, we want them to get back as soon as they can, but we've got to get the next guy ready because, you know, there is a game waiting for us, and there is another opponent. So, that is not a slight on anybody. I don't want it to be a slight, that's just the facts of life and of the NFL that I was brought up in. He is there, we prepare, he's getting reps, he takes reps, he runs the plays that he thinks he can run and then Blaine [Gabbert] goes and that's kind of how it is. They're all in a meeting and then they go on the practice field, some guys get some reps, another guy gets some reps, and that's how we prepare."
(On receivers dropping passes) "It's unfortunate. You know, we were able to overcome it, but that's one thing that—you know, that's half the job requirement—it's catching the ball. The other half is getting open. And so, we'll have to improve on that and I think that they will."
(On QB Marcus Mariota's toughness) "He is injured. I mean, I don't think that has anything to do with his toughness. You know, when he pulls the ball and he goes north and south on that defense—you guys ought to stand where we're standing and take a look at some of those guys they have over there. Wouldn't question his toughness, watching him do that because those guys are big and fast. It's a good football team. They're well coached, they play aggressive, and they have a lot of good football players over there—so, I wouldn't question his toughness."
QUARTERBACK MARCUS MARIOTA
(On what it felt like today) "Felt like a regular game. Got to give a lot of credit to the defense. They kept us in it through the game. Holding a team to six points is an incredible feat in itself. Just a great team win."
(On his mindset coming into the game and what went through his mind when Blaine Gabbert had to leave) "Well first and foremost, just worried about Blaine [Gabbert]. That was kind of a rough hit and you just kind of think about that, and then from there I was just trying to make plays. These guys around me are able to make some big third down conversions. We were able to move the ball and get in field goal range, and we just scored enough points."
(On the feeling in his hand) "It is what it is. I hope as we continue to go through this it will get better. I'm just taking it a day at a time."
(On if there was any change during the game on how his hand felt) "No. Not at all."
(On how it felt to step in and help this team win) "I'm just happy for this team. The work week in and week out that these guys put in, it's nice to see it rewarded. So again, we've got to continue to build off of these and we've got a big one coming up next week."
(On the last time he came into a game in relief) "Probably high school."
(On if the mindset is different this time) "Not at all. You prepare throughout the week. You're in the room and you've just got to go out there and play."
(On if it was important for the offense not to play conservative late in the second half) "Yeah. You don't want them to kind of get a bead on what you're doing, so I thought [Offensive Coordinator] Matt [LaFleur] did a great job throwing some changeups out there and, again, we were able to score enough points and that's all that matters."
(On what he saw late in the game on the third down completion to Corey Davis) "I knew we had an opportunity to Corey [Davis] and with Dion [Lewis] coming out of the backfield I thought maybe we had a chance with that, but once they brought the pressure I just tried to get the ball out of my hands and give our guy a chance."
(On the thought process behind his long run) "Just trying to make a play for the team, nothing more, nothing less than that."
(On if the 34-yard incompletion was about as much as he had in terms of distance) "Not sure."
(On the team not taking deep shots in the passing game) "Well, yeah, but again that just came down to what we thought we could do. [Offensive Coordinator] Matt [LaFleur] did a great job of finding ways to move the ball."
(On if he said anything to the receivers who had some drops to encourage them) "Absolutely, and it comes down to we're going to come back to those guys at some point in the game. They can't hang their head. I think Tajaé [Sharpe] had a great run after that third down. It is what it is. It's going to happen. You've just got to drop it and move on to the next one, because the next one is going to be a bigger play."
(On if it's weird getting a game ball) "Yeah, it's a crazy game. When it comes down to it, all that matters is finding ways to win. I'm really happy for these guys. Again, our defense played incredible. To give us a chance just to even win that game was huge, and again, as we continue to go forward, just have to continue to build off of these and just make a run at it."
(On some of his teammates calling him a dog and some a wolf and which one he prefers) "I don't. I'll leave it at that."
(On what his teammates said to him following the win) "There's no greater feeling than winning on Sundays. The process that you go through. The amount of time you put in throughout the week. It's nice to come out and get it done. That's all the ways, just a sense of happiness."
(On what it says about the offensive unit and this team that they find ways to win in the fourth quarter) "I think it says a lot about [Offensive Coordinator] Matt [LaFleur]. I think Matt does a great job of hanging in with a game plan throughout the game. It says a lot about our defense and special teams keeping us close, and then when it comes down to it, when guys have to make a play we do. If we can continue that formula, to have confidence in the fourth quarter, that will be huge as this season rolls forward."
(On how important it is to be aggressive when protecting a lead) "You just have to continue to play your game. No matter what, you don't want to leave the game out there and have regret. Call it how you want it and just go out there and try to make a play."
(On if he's been impressed with Offensive Coordinator Matt LaFleur) "I think that's this entire coaching staff across the board. Whether it's dealing with injuries, whether it's dealing with some unusual circumstances, you've got to give those guys a lot of credit. You know, it's still a young season, but at the same time, as a group we've got to continue to build off that confidence and see where this takes us."
(On what coaches told you about being ready and playing in this game) "You prepare throughout the week. You're in the room, but Blaine [Gabbert] does an incredible job of preparing. Being along with that, you felt ready to go, so when your number is called you have a lot of confidence in it. You've just got to come out and play."
(On if there was a conversation this morning where he expressed what he could or couldn't do with the coaching staff) "Yeah, and those were kind of conversations we had throughout the week. When it came down to it, we felt that Blaine [Gabbert] gave us the best chance to win. And that's just a collective unit and that's what we thought. If Blaine had stayed healthy, he would have given us a chance and that's what it comes down to. We stand by that decision, and no matter what, when your number is called you just have to go out there and try to make a play, and that's what I did.
CB LOGAN RYAN
(On divisional rivalry with Jaguars) "This is what we are, man. We have a good defense. We can run the ball. We do what Jacksonville does, but we do it better than them."
(On stopping the Jaguars following Jacksonville's win over Patriots last week) "We did what we did last year when we went 2-0 against them. We're not afraid of them. We challenged them. The offensive line blocks those guys up. We run the ball downhill on them. Defensively, we stop the run and we make it hard on Blake Bortles and put the ball in his hands.",
(On containing Jaguars receivers) "We did our job. We kept the ball in front of us. We tackled, and we made it an ugly game. This is how we win games in the league."
(On Jaguars scheme against the Titans) "We pretty much knew everything that was coming. [Defensive Coordinator] Dean Pees did a great job coordinating mixing man and zone, and our pass rush did a great job. It was honestly a team effort. We weren't surprised. They did the same thing we thought they were going to do, and we were prepared for it."
DT JURRELL CASEY
(On winning for the third straight time over the Jaguars) "We knew coming down here it was going to be tough. They were division champs last year and coming into this game, we knew the mindset was that we needed to play for four quarters in all three phases of the game."
(On the defensive game plan) "The biggest thing was stopping the run and we knew they were going to try and pound it. Once we showed them they couldn't run the ball, they started to throw the ball more and we did a good job in coverage."
(On containing Bortles) "We knew to put the game in Bortles' hands and that was our game plan coming in; give the game to Bortles. We found ways to get to him and last year they did a good job protecting him and picking up blitzes. We wanted to keep Bortles in the pocket and we knew he likes to scramble."
(On Jacksonville missing two offensive starters) "It was not a big deal and they are a good team and we knew they would play well."
KICKER RYAN SUCCOP
(On the low scoring game) "You never really know what to expect going into these games. Sometimes the games have been shootouts and other times just grit it out, low-scoring games, but I'm really proud of our team. We hung in there all day and fought really hard. Offense, defense, special teams all did enough and their part. That was a really good win for us."
(On converting three out of four FG attempts) "On the miss, their guy really got a great jump on us and made a heck of a play. I was really proud of our guys though. We were able to knock through three big field goals today, and I was really excited for our team that it ended up being the difference. That's what you prepare for in this league. So many games come down to three points, and even though I have a ton of confidence in our defense, I was preparing because I thought maybe we'd need another one late. You have to stay in it mentally and focused."
(On the AFC South division) "Our division is a really competitive division this year, so it's early. We have to keep battling and see how it plays out. You can't really think about the end of the year yet. All you can do is to try to get one next week. That is sort of our mentality, and I think if we do that all year we'll be ok."
(On how he prepares as a veteran kicker in NFL) "You kind of evolve, and I think I've gotten a little smarter on how I train in the regular season and offseason. Really I feel like I'm hitting the ball better now than five or six years ago when I was maybe lifting more weights or doing different things. So, it's a process that I'm still learning, and I enjoy the grind of trying to figure out how to get a little bit better each and every year."
OT TAYLOR LEWAN
(On the win) "It's as big as a team win as you will ever see man. The boys got after it and we are going to keep going. You got to play for the boys."
(On third win in a row over the Jaguars) "We knew it was going to be a battle and they have a lot of guys out there that can play ball and it's just a matter of us going out there and doing it."
(On being the division leader after week three) "It matters after week 17 in the division. Last year we played the cat and mouse game of being division leaders. For us we just got to keep playing ball and winning games. Marcus has to get healthy and get everybody healthy. We just need to put more points on the board and keep the momentum going. I'm excited to see what the boys will do."
(On returning after missing last week) "I was feeling a little weird in the first half and I felt like I was out of it. I was playing sloppy, but I felt better in the second half and I played better. I am very happy to play this game and keep it going."
LB WESLEY WOODYARD
(On shutting down Jacksonville offense) "Anytime we step into the arena with these guys we know it's going to be a defensive game. We just wanted to keep their offense point scoring down."
(On keys to victory) "We just played solid football. That's the only formula to it. Playing sound defensively. We can't give away too many tricks. Overall defensively, we answered the call."
(On the chatter on the field) "Their offense really doesn't do much trash talking. They come out and work hard and leave their efforts on the football field. You kind of respect that as a defense, but it's one of those games. Divisional games are always going to be chippy."
(On competing in the AFC South) "It's always up for grabs. Everybody is 8-8 in this league and it takes games like this to put you over the top. I'm just happy we got the win."
RB DERRICK HENRY
(On coming back home) "It's always special to come down here. It's home, and especially to get a win. I'm happy about that."
(On the fourth quarter drive to take the lead) "We just wanted to keep the ball out of their hands and keep the clock moving and get first downs. We did a good job making plays and executing on the drive."
(On getting yards on the last drive) "That last drive was important to get first downs and give us a chance to take the lead with the field goal."
(On going to 2-1 on the season) "It's a good win and now we have to focus on Philadelphia and getting ready for them."
TIGHT END LUKE STOCKER
(On the rivalry with Jacksonville) "We know Jacksonville pretty well. They are a divisional opponent and we knew it was going to be a physical game and every possession would matter and it would be a four quarter game, and fortunately, we were able to come out at the end."
(On the fourth quarter drive to take the lead) "We knew it was a good opportunity for us to take the lead and give our defense a good position to win it at the end and we took a lot of time off the clock and that was huge for our team. "
(On starting the season 2-1) "We have a lot to work on and we expect to score
WR TAYWAN TAYLOR
(On Titans-Jaguars rivalry) "We really stressed the importance of this game this week, especially with it being a divisional game. These games mean everything to us. We just tried to stress this week about coming in and being physical. That was our motto this week. The Jags have a great team, a physical team. We just wanted to make sure we were physical and competed and we came out with a win."
(On the game plan after Jaguars win over Patriots) "They did some great things on film. We tried to stress the importance of taking away those things they did well. We tried to do some different things on offense, defense and special teams, mixing up play calls and schemes. We just tried to get some momentum. It was a tight game. We stuck together as a team like I know how we always do. It was a great win."
(On QB Marcus Mariota replacing injured Blaine Gabbert) "We had a boost today regardless of who was in the game, whether it was Blaine or Marcus. Those are both our quarterbacks and we are behind both of them. They are both the engine to this offense. When Blaine went down, Marcus stepped up. That's what it's about in the NFL – next man up mentality when somebody goes down. That's what our team is all about – stepping up and coming in and making plays. We did a good job of that."
(On facing the Jaguars secondary) "That's definitely a talented group. They have some great guys in the back end. We tried to come in and bring the same energy that we knew they would bring. We had to match their energy, match the competition level, and go out there and play football. We know how hard we worked this week and it showed up. We were able to come out with a great win."
The Tennessee Titans take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3 of the 2018 season on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018 at TIAA Bank Field. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)
The Tennessee Titans prepare to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3 of the 2018 season on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018 at TIAA Bank Field. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)