NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Media had access to an open locker room as well as Ken Whisenhunt's weekly Monday press conference. Here are the top five things that came out of today's presser as the team reacts to a 19-17 loss to the Washington Redskins.
- Injury Update**
The Titans are already thin at some positions with the IR list filling up, and the team suffered a few more injuries on Sunday.
"Coming out of the game from an injury standpoint I know we had a couple guys who were nicked up," Whisenhunt said to begin his presser. "Shaun Phillips has a hip. I don't know the extent of how that's going to affect him. We'll know more as the week progresses. Quintin Groves has an ankle. A few other guys are nicked up, but hopefully we'll be able to get some other guys back this week."
4. Jake Locker's Progress
Whisenhunt told media the plan for Locker this week.
"We're going to throw tomorrow (Tuesday) and see where his hand is on Wednesday. That's the plan right now," said Whisenhunt.
Whisenhunt also said that Locker threw last Thursday but then felt soreness Friday that ultimately kept him out of the lineup against the Redskins. He noted that when Locker gets healthy he is still atop the team's depth chart at quarterback.
- Defensive Improvements**
The Titans recorded three sacks and another interception on Sunday. Tennessee's 18 sacks are tied for 18th in the NFL, while the team's eight interceptions are tied for third. In addition, the Titans defense held Redskins running back Alfred Morris to just 54 yards on 18 carries (three yards per carry).
"We're working at it. We've gotten better in a lot of areas. If you look at the game we played, yesterday was a very good defensive football game with the exception of two big plays – a 70-yard play (touchdown to Pierre Garcon) and a 50-yard play (pass to Niles Paul)," said Whisenhunt. "If you take those two plays out, then we have an outstanding defensive performance and we probably win the game. From that standpoint, you can't tell me that that's not progress."
2. The Need to Finish Strong
Three games. Three fourth-quarter leads. One Win. That was the focus of everyone who spoke to reporters on Monday. As frustrating as it is to come up short, everyone says it's an indication that this team isn't far away from stringing wins together.
"We've had three games that have come down to the end that we could have won and we've only won one of them," said Whisenhunt. "We've had opportunities on both side of the ball in each game, at the end of the game to get a win and we haven't accomplished that except once. There are a lot of things that we need to get better on. To me that's encouraging, too, because we're going to continue to work."
Whisenhunt noted the failed fourth down attempt against the Browns to ice the game and the ability to convert in a similar situation Sunday versus the Redskins.
1. Plenty of Belief in this Team
Whisenhunt was asked about the pessimism throughout the media and the team's fan base. The Titans head coach didn't shy away in his response.
"I understand," he began. "I understand where that's coming from. I think I've noticed a sense of pessimism ever since I've gotten here. The only thing I can say is I really believe our guys are working hard. We're getting better and we're going to be a good football team. That's the thing that's important."
He went on to say that he's not looking ahead to 2015. The focus moves ahead to Tennessee's Week 8 opponent -- the Houston Texans.