TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MURLARKEY
(Opening statement on injuries) "Alright, start off with the bad news, other than the game, Marcus (Mariota) has a fractured fibula. We will know more how to handle that when we get back and he sees a doctor. LeShaun Sims ended up with a concussion and those are the injuries of the game."
(On the way the day unfolded) "(We) don't want to lose Marcus because he means a lot to this football team. He is so well respected and loved by his teammates. The loss takes that (the AFC South title) out of our hands. It's not in our hands anymore and we have to rely on other teams to do things for us we wanted. I give them credit, they beat us. It's the first time this season that I can say we have been beaten like that. Bad timing for it."
(On if Marcus Mariota got his foot caught up on his injury) "Yeah, the way his foot was planted and the way the defender landed on him. It was a bad position."
(On if he could describe the way they played today) "Not good. Not good enough. All areas. Hate to say it but the punt team probably did the best and that is not a good sign for your team for the day. We didn't play well enough to win against anybody."
(On if there was any indication of a letdown coming) "I felt a little bit of a drop-off from energy. I had that feeling in the locker room before the game. But no matter what you say, it has to come from within. Hopefully your feeling is not what is going to take place, but it did."
(On why he felt that way after the last two wins) "I don't know. The way we won last week, did it take a lot out of us? I'm searching myself for answers on the way we played like that. It wasn't like we were going to be caught off guard because we knew the way the Jaguars were going to play. That was never a question. We didn't play with the energy we normally play with. For whatever reason that is, if we ever figure it out, then we need to bottle it up. "
(On if he was stubborn with the play calling) "No, I don't think so. We were relying on what we do best and what has gotten us into this position, so no, I don't think we were stubborn at all."
(On if Mariota missed a couple of passes he normally hits) "Yeah, I'd say he missed a few of those. A few we didn't win the routes very well; tightly covered and not a lot of separation. A combination of everything."
(On Blake Bortles play) "He played well. The receivers played well. They have a couple of receivers who are tough to cover. He made some very good throws. Some of the throws were only where his guys could make them and he made them. They had a good game plan to get the ball out of his hands quick. The screen game was good early in the game for them. They screened us and had some big plays. He played well about as well as I have seen him play."
QB MATT CASSEL**
(On injury to Marcus Mariota) "You never want to see anyone leave the game because of injury and Marcus is such a competitor. He works hard and does everything right. I have nothing but admiration for someone like that, and for his season to end abruptly due to injury is tough to swallow for everybody. Everybody is disappointed for him. We all wished him well and will all be praying for him. I know he's disappointed more than anyone else. He wants to be out there with his team."
(On stepping in as a backup QB) "When you get in on those first few series, your adrenaline is going a little bit and it starts to calm down. Then it's about going out and executing. I haven't had a lot of those reps during the week, but it felt good to get back out there. I wish I had one of those throws back. I thought the guy made a great play on the ball on the interception. That's part of my job description, to be ready at any time and unfortunately it happened today and I had to be ready to go in and play."
(On giving credit to Jacksonville) "We wanted the result to be a little bit different. I thought we had a good game plan and I thought the guys were ready to play. You have to give credit to Jacksonville. They did a tremendous job on both sides of the ball. We were not able to accomplish what we wanted. I'm not worried about our team."
(On playoff hopes) "You never know. We're going to have to have some things fall into place. Our team is a bunch of fiery guys who are going to be resilient, and go out and do their jobs. They are a bunch of professionals. I'm not worried about this locker room. The guys are going to come out and give their all and we'll see happens."
(On Jaguars' performance) "I'm never surprised in this league. This is a quality football team with a lot of good players. If you look at that defense, we knew we were going to have our work cut out for us. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get it done today."
(On starting next week) "I'm excited to be out on the field and play with these guys. I'm not excited on the circumstances. At the same time, it's part of my job to be ready. I'll be ready next week and we'll go out and try to win a ball game."
RB DERRICK HENRY
(On coming back home) "It was nice to come back and there was a good crowd today. It was nice to have family and friends in the stands, but the outcome wasn't what we wanted. I didn't have a lot of ticket requests and a lot of my friends got tickets on their own. I probably had 50 or 60 family and friends out there today."
(On playing a team with a nine-game losing streak) "They're still a good team and I don't know what their record is. We just didn't play well and get the job done."
(On his performance) "I just try to get in there and do whatever I can. As an offense we didn't play well and didn't do what we're capable of doing. We just need to regroup and get ready for next week against Houston."
(On Jags coming out inspired with new coach) "They played with a lot of energy today and came out ready to play and their defense played a great game. They came out and played well."
DL DaQUAN JONES
(On playoff hopes) "We're going to be rooting for the Bengals, obviously, but whatever happens, happens. All we could do is sit here and wait and see what happens in Houston."
(On if Jaguars do anything differently from first meeting) "Not really and they did what we thought they were going to do. We just didn't execute and it's really disappointing. We just didn't get the job done."
(On Bortles' strong performance compared to last week) "He came out and played well and we knew he would bounce back. They came out on top today."
(On Jacksonville coming in after coaching change) "Any situation when a coaching change takes place, that's going to fire them up. We just didn't go out and do our job and play our game."
(On the loss) "We didn't come out here and execute at all and get the job done. It's really
JAGUARS INTERIM HEAD COACH DOUG MARRONE
(Opening statement) "We had a meeting, this group here—some of you guys were there, some of you guys weren't—where I was able to express my feelings about the professionalism and how you've handled things. I call upon that again. Make no mistake about it, this game wasn't about me leading this football team out there. That's not the story at all. I hope that we understand that. Gus Bradley was a major part of what we did today. I think that it just goes to show we weren't able to make some of the plays today in the past. It helped us win this game today, but when you go into that locker room, it's not my team, it's Gus's team. I'm going to do the best job I can to get this team ready.
I thought that going into the game we had some keys, both defensively, offensively and special teams. We'll start with defense first, one of the challenges for us was our running game with [DeMarco] Murray and [Derrick] Henry. They've been a team that they've been averaging over 4.5 yards a rush, obviously winning a high percentage, I don't know the exact amount but about 90 percent of their games. If they were held between 4.0 and 4.5 (yards-per-rush, they were) about .500, 2-2, something like that. But if they were held under 4.0 yards per carry; they were over 3.0. I think defensively, it's either going to be 2.9 or 3.0. We knew they were going to challenge us going over the top, we missed on it a lot. We knew that we wanted them to throw the sides, we were okay with that. They had some completions there, but they were tight windows, they were tough completions and good plays by their players. We knew that in the red zone, they were going to go—we knew that [Delanie] Walker was a big part of their game in the red zone, so we wanted to make sure that we had him. Obviously, he scored a touchdown, which is disappointing from my standpoint, but I think that defensively we did a heck of a job. Jalen [Ramsey] made a great play on a ball. He's been playing at a high level. Prince [Amukamara], for some reason it looked like they were going after him a little bit. He came up big and being able to win those battles. I thought the d-line played well, obviously stopping the run. I think that's where we're set on defense. I think as far as where the game goes when you look at hey what are some situations in the game, what were some game changers, obviously the defense goes on the short field and holds them at that point -- that was a big, big stop for our defense. It's a very difficult situation to be in, it's a mentality that you have to work on. I thought our guys really stepped up and did a heck of a job.
Let me get to the offensive side of the ball, we were working on running the ball. We ran the ball early and had some good plays and then all of sudden they started doing a good job of stringing some things out. We had some minus plays, things of that nature and that got us out of sync. I thought you saw today, Blake [Bortles] played an outstanding game, he really did, and it's a credit to him. We knew early in the week we only had two tight ends that were going to be active, so we pretty much played this game with mostly three receiver set the whole game. So I thought our coaches and our players did a good job of that. We went in there thinking that we had a pretty good matchup with our receivers. We knew that we wanted to take shots down the field, we knew we wanted to get them matched up one-on-one. Our receivers obviously lost some battles, we could've had a touchdown early on; we didn't make that play. We thought that we were able to take advantage of it if we ran our receivers down the field and they were conscious of playing over the top. Tried to run some intermediate stuff where there was a screen and take a screen for a big long run. We had the one, missed out on a couple, but that was our thought process going in. So from an offensive standpoint, we were able to do a good job of the things that we wanted to accomplish, in other words, what we had to do in the game. There was obviously some things that we can do a better job of. You go up by 12, you don't want to be up by 12 you want to be up by two touchdowns. You're very greedy, I'm very greedy, as far as wanting to go up by two scores in those situations and not keep it under a two touchdown game.
I think we need to talk about special teams. I think a player that will probably get overlooked when you go across the game, Jason Myers did what we wanted him to do. We didn't want them to have any returns, we wanted to make sure that we were able to win the field position battle, which is something that when they've done that they've had a high percent chance of winning the game. I don't know, I haven't seen the stats on if we won that or not but a big play in the game was when our punter was able to flip the field with that punt, I thought really, really helped us out as far as winning the field position battle."
(On what made Marqise Lee's touchdown pass the right time) "Well, I'll give you the thought process of what was going into it was -- on the headset we weren't sure if they were going to be in their base personnel or their nickel or their dime because we said that they've had numerous packages. So we knew that that was part of the game plan when we were able to get him in there. We were hoping that they'd went to their subpackages, knowing that they do play more man coverage out of those subpackages, so now we have a way to get out of that play if they're not in man coverage. So as soon as they went to man coverage, we know that play is going to work and we ran that play."
(On how much Bortles benefitted from the momentum of the first drive touchdown) "I don't know, I think when you get in a rhythm, you want to stay in that rhythm. That's probably a better question for him to answer, as to how he felt. I know when there was about six minutes left before we scored that touchdown, there was a thought process going in of, 'Hey, should we slow this thing down a little bit right here?' But my philosophy is, I wanted to keep the offensive rhythm because there was a still enough time, possession-wise, to gain an advantage and maybe win the game, so I wanted to make sure that we scored in that possession. But we had conversations about that on the offensive headset."
(On how he felt with this win because he didn't look happy after game) "I can tell you this one, if there's an opportunity to be happy despite this situation, the first thought process, the first person that went through my mind was obviously Gus (Bradley) and his family. The second process that went through my mind were the fans. When you're sitting there in the third and fourth quarter, and we really haven't given them a lot to cheer about, but I think that the end of the day, the holidays are around, sometimes you sit in this room and you think to yourself, I really don't feel comfortable telling anyone that I'm a Jacksonville fan because what we all did, we're all a part of that. But to be able to hear the crowd, see a smile on their face, maybe more tomorrow morning with the holidays coming up, maybe feeling a little bit better than they've been feeling, I think that's important. I take that same approach for our players, for our assistant coaches, for our organization as a whole, has been through a lot. I think people missed that. There are people in this building that work extremely hard and really don't control the outcome of the game, but they're in it 110 percent with us. I think it's a great challenge for the people in this room because you might have to change your style of what you're going to write about. But I really think about those people that are going through this very difficult season, very difficult situation. I don't really get that excited. I'm extremely excited during the week in preparing the team, I'm extremely excited, heavily involved in what's going on in all three phases, but at the end of the day I'm usually so exhausted in playing the game through my mind. My wife could probably better answer that question."
(On Corey Grant going through a crash course in protections after Yeldon and Ivory left the game) "I wouldn't say it was a crash course, we had him prepared. Obviously, our coaches make sure our people are prepared. It was a crash course as far as throwing him in and saying, 'Okay, can he hold up in it knowing that the different packages and it was a difficult team?' We talked about this during the week. Coach [Dick] LeBeau does an outstanding job of packages and pressure packages, so for us to stand up there and go—and I think one of the things that people don't really see is Blake being able to stand there in the pocket, take the hits and be able to throw the football. That's something that I think we all know but sometimes we don't really appreciate and I'm not saying that, I just think in general, but that's something that I appreciated today. He held in there pretty good."
(On what made this sequence of plays successfully for the Jaguars) "I think the level of focus from a player. I think you have to ask the players that. Every game we go in with that type of attitude to try and do that. We got into a good rhythm, we got off to a good start and you always want to start fast and I think that contributes to the game and having to play with a lead throughout the game. That's an important thing in this league. The other thing is, the players that know this, I talked to the coordinators about this, but if Tennessee had the lead after the first quarter, you're pretty much not going to beat them. So to be able to get up first, get a little bit of the lead and keep that behind was a big point of the game."
(On how much did the talent of this roster show up tonight) "I talked to the players about that tonight before. I think that we have to be careful as players and coaches when people are talking about talent and potential. A lot of times what that means is (that) you haven't created any results yet, and I think today you saw the players going out there and having some results."
(On how he felt being able to be a head coach again) "I probably felt—my wife asked me the same question. 'How do you feel?' I said I feel great. I really do. I feel alive in practice and not that I wasn't before in my other position. I feel comfortable. I've been a head coach for six years, four in college and two in the NFL. For me, I don't want to say it's like riding a bike because that would lessen that position as a head coach, so I'm not going to go there. But I felt great. I thought the communication was outstanding. Again, the challenge for me was the communication with defense, the communication with game management, the communication with special teams. Trying to get the coaches up to speed on how I communicate and how I want to run a game, I thought they were great."
(On if was the same working with Nathaniel Hackett as previously in Buffalo) "Nothing is ever the same when you work with that cat. I'm just telling you now, okay. I will say this – you know it's a little bit different for me. I don't get involved heavily in the small details of the game planning, but kind of the things I said before when I came up here, 'Hey, this is what we have to do. I don't think they match up with us well. We have to go ahead and throw the football. Okay, we may throw a little bit more than what we did before.' So for me, I sit there and talk to Todd Wash about the things I told you about, about the rushing, Delanie Walker in the red zone, how they are 6-1 if he has more than 50 yards receiving. Things like that. So basically, I sit down and look at all three phases, tell them this is what we have to stop, this is what we have to do, and I kind of rely on the coordinators to go ahead and make that run. Then, during the week I just sit there and make sure, 'Hey, what are we doing here? Make sure we have these edges.' You know, early on they got to our edges a little bit. We didn't have the edges closed well enough, made an adjustment, made sure everyone knew what they were doing and shut that down, so credit to the defensive staff."
(On if the defensive was motivated by the loss to Tennessee earlier in the year) "Great question for them. I just go across and try to show leadership to the assistant coaches and players and get them to understand that you have to put the work in during the week to get the results you want on Sunday and those aren't guaranteed either."
(On how this game compares to the 15 he had in Buffalo as head coach) "I went through a tough time early on in the second game in Buffalo. One of my good friends passed away the night before, Rob Edson, who was an assistant AD at Syracuse. When I was a head coach at Syracuse, he would always be the one in the locker room after the game sitting with me and we'd talk about the game and he'd always drive me back to Manley Fieldhouse. He passed away the week we played Carolina. It was a very difficult game. I don't know if we won in overtime or if we won in the last drive type thing. We went down the field and scored. That game, to me, really meant a lot. It was important. I think it's not as extreme in this game, but to have spoken to Gus (Bradley) during the week and his enthusiasm and his excitement for the team in a very, very difficult situation, I would say out of all the wins, this is probably number two because of that and his support and what he wanted, the picture in his mind of what he wanted for these players to come together, his assistant coaches. I would probably put it in that category."
JAGUARS QB BLAKE BORTLES
(on what felt right about the opening drive) "It was good to kind of get in a rhythm early, and it kind of started with the first play, getting A-Rob [Allen Robinson] involved early, picking up six or seven yards on the first play, whatever that was. It was kind of, just getting rolling, and we found a groove. It felt good the whole game. I thought Nathaniel [Hackett] did a really good job putting a plan together and then calling plays. The guys just kind of rolled with it, and we were able to execute for a while."
(on if this performance reminded him and Robinson of last year) "Yeah, definitely. I was telling somebody earlier that of the two or three inches we seem to be missing on all season, it kind of came together today. He made some unbelievable plays, had some unbelievable releases at the line to get open and get off of press coverage and did a really good job. So it felt good for him. I was really excited for him to have a big day."
(on if this week ever felt normal) "I think it was definitely tough. There were a lot of guys this year who've never been through a coaching change before. I know I haven't. I think as tough as it was for everybody to go through what we went through, I think Doug stepped in there and did a really good job of kind of bringing a sense of calmness to the team and kind of laying out what our objectives were and how we were going to accomplish them. I thought he did a really good job in a tough situation."
(on if there was a different message this week that helped him play looser) "Not necessarily. From the first play, it was 'Let's be efficient.' That was kind of our thing this week – 'Let's be efficient, let's take the completions and when they give us a shot let's take it when we can.' I think we were able to do that, and I thought for the most part, we were pretty efficient throughout the game."
(on his touchdown reception) "Unbelievable throw by Marqise [Lee]. It's kind of funny. We actually called that play like five times and never got the look, and then finally that one down there we ended up getting the look to run it. Marqise did an unbelievable job. He was fired up. His eyes got really big in the huddle when I called it, so it was cool for him. I think it's the first pass he's ever thrown. It's the first pass I've ever caught. So it was cool. It was cool to have that at the end of the game."
(on if he's ever caught pass in his life) "I think you'd have to go back to pop warner, maybe, pre-high school, there could have been something there. I don't know though. It's definitely the first one that's ever meant anything."
(on what Doug Marrone said before that play) "It's kind of funny. We were talking about it. Nathaniel said I think we have a chance here, let's go for it. We knew even if we didn't get the look we wanted, we still could check to a good play. We'd done that all game. He called it. It's kind of funny because Doug asked if that was the touchdown pass to Blake and Nathaniel said yes, that's what we're going with. It was cool to run that. Like I said we got the look we wanted, and we were able to do it and Marqise did a really good job."
(on why we were able to excel with limited personnel) "We didn't ever have a choice with our tight end situation, so from the beginning of the week, we were going to have to stay in 11 (three WRs, 1 TE, 1 RB) with some tight ends banged up. I thought we did a good job. We went through a rough patch there kind of in the middle of the game. We were running the ball because they came out and played nickel and then went to base, so we struggled with that a little with their bigs out there and 11 personnel. And then kind of found creative ways to run the ball, and the offensive line did a really good job, kind of creating holes and moving guys around."
(on how long they've been running the passing play by Marqise) "We ran it every week. It was by far my favorite play every single week of practice. I think for as long as it's been in, we go through our red zone and talk about plays with Nathaniel every single week, it's my number one play. We finally got it called in Week 16, so it's a cool feeling."
(on how it felt playing with a lead and starting fast) "I think more so it was similar to last week. We got a lead. Although it is, let's not act like this is the first time we've been there. Let's find ways to continue to score touchdowns. I think we did a good job getting down the field, kicking some field goals. Jason [Myers] did a good job. I think I'm just proud of the guys on keeping their foot on the gas pedal, something we haven't shown a whole lot, and we were able to do that today."
(on the team looking like it was having fun on offense) "Guys enjoyed it. They had a blast. Unbelievably proud of that locker room and kind of handling everything that's gone on this week, and really this whole season. To come out and play, I think it speaks to the character of the team and the guys in that locker room to play that kind of inspired football. It's fun to see, guys flying around having a good time, the fans into it. That stuff doesn't happen a whole lot when you were 2 – 12, so to be able to see that is special."
(on what it means to get this win at EverBank Field) "I think it's huge. It's not been the season that anybody wanted or expected, but I think we had one more chance to come in here and play a divisional opponent at home on Christmas Eve for the last time until next season. So I think it was really cool to win, win in front of our home crowd and in front of the city of Jacksonville and for this organization. I think it was a good win."
(on what kind of confidence the aggressive play calling offered) "I think it's huge. It was kind of a similar situation last week, go up early and you kind of talk about it. I think to be able to go out there and do it this week, I think [last week] helps out a little bit, unfortunately obviously losing, but I think to go through that last week, being up, giving it away, I think helped out. I think guys kind of took note of that and made sure it didn't happen again when we got a lead this week. We went up 10-0, and every time we got in the huddle to start a series it was let's go score, let's go score, let's continue to put up points and not leave this up to the defense to make a stop. They played unbelievable, but let's go finish this on our own."
(on what he'd like to say to Gus Bradley) "I think Gus Bradley is, obviously, an unbelievable man. He brought everyone in this building together for one reason or another, and I think I speak for everybody in the locker room on the gratitude and appreciation that we have for Gus Bradley. As long as this team is here and assembled, we'll always, in some way, play for Gus Bradley."
OL KELVIN BEACHUM
(on what the game means to him) "Merry Christmas. Now I can be happy for Christmas. My wife doesn't want to see me sullen when I'm at the house. So to get home and spend time with them and enjoy Christmas, it feels great."
(on the game) "We had a great opportunity in front us to knock a team off, to be a spoiler. It was a great opportunity for us. They embarrassed us on national television, so to be able to give our fans a win on Christmas, I think that was a gift we all wanted."
K JASON MYERS
(on making two 50 field goals, but missing two PAT's) "I want to be the best, so to do that, you have to make everything. It doesn't matter if it is a 50-yarder or an extra point. We'll get it corrected and finish strong next week. That's all you can do."
DT MALIK JACKSON
(on if his incentive was embarrassment from the first meeting or rallying around the coaches) "I think it's all of the above. You know Gus (Bradley) got fired this week, so you have to move on. Coach (Doug Marrone) stepped in, so we wanted to win for him and they beat us down last time. So there were a lot of things that sort of came at us, but we wanted to be consistent, be methodical, keep chopping wood and that's what we did today."
(on the fans) "The fans did an awesome job, the ones that came. I mean God bless them. It was huge. I don't think they realize the noise they make really hurts the offense, so we really appreciate you guys and we're going to keep trying to get this thing going, win next week and go into the offseason with some wins to build on for next year."
CB JALEN RAMSEY
(on how did he grade himself on today's game) "Well, I'm always self-critical so I'll say I should have ended up with another pick. But its kind of a dream come true, especially a pick-six against my hometown team that I grew up watching and loving, so it's a blessing and I can't do anything but thank God."
(on what did he see on the interception) "They line up in a formation that I knew from some previous plays that they ran and completed on their sideline, so when they lined up in it again I just broke on it and didn't think twice about it. I was ready to do the primetime dance but someone was right behind me so I had to get in the end zone first"
OL KELVIN BEACHUM
(on his thoughts on Doug Marrone) "He's been a head coach before."
(on if he wants Doug Marrone to be the Jaguars head coach in 2017) "You've got to talk to Shad Khan about that, that's above my pay grade. I'm here to block for Blake Bortles and those big-time decisions are for our owner and GM."
DT SEN'DERRICK MARKS
(on his thoughts on the win) "With everything that went on last week I think this win is big for everybody who is a part of this organization. We haven't given the fans nothing to cheer about here at home and to close it out at home against a team who embarrassed us on national TV I think it was huge for everybody. That's a part of this organization."
(on how competitive the Jaguars played) "Players always keep that in the back of their heads, not only if a team embarrasses you or a single player embarrasses you. We've got that mindset, so for us it was news at the beginning but once we got on the field it was about executing the game plan and making sure we have something to move forward to as an organization."
(on if this type of performance was what he expected all year) "This game was who we are. I guess we kept shooting ourselves in the foot all year and it seemed like today, we didn't. We did everything that was asked, stuck with the game plan, moved the ball and stopped them on defense. I think we just had a better understanding of what they were trying to do to us compared to what they did to us last game."
(on if this was more of a revenge game or rallying around Gus Bradley) "I think getting blown out on national television was the biggest one. I think the whole playing for Gus, playing for Doug thing was cool at first, but once you got on the field, that was not a part of your mindset. Our mindset was that we go out and execute the game plan. Lastly, it wasn't really a payback game. They straight up embarrassed us on national TV, but the best thing about that was we got a second chance to play them and we came out and did what we had to do. "
DE DANTE FOWLER
(on if he felt today was his best day as a pro) "I think it was my best day kind of rushing as a pro. I had some pretty good rushes. I could have done a lot better just to be able to be comfortable in a game that you know that's going to be a shootout. It allows me to get comfortable and do what I do and pin my ears back."
(on what was the turnaround from the contest) "We honestly took it personal and they smashed us in the mouth the first game. And we took it personal and we knew it was unacceptable and embarrassing, so we just wanted to come out and show who we really are."
The Tennessee Titans take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 16 action at EverBank Field. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)