PACKERS VS. TITANS POSTGAME QUOTES - NOVEMBER 13, 2016
TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY**
I usually open up with injury reports and I have none to report. At least right now, I'm sure there's bumps and bruises but I just walked in the training room just now and there's nobody in there. It's a good sign for our team.
(on what the opening run did for DeMarco Murray)
Gave him a lot of confidence because he has to make just one cut, which we didn't block it exactly right, but he made somebody miss and I think that gave him a lot of confidence.
(on the aggressive approach starting the game with an onside kick)
We felt like this was a game we had to make a statement about our team. I told them last night, I said, I can't think of a better statement than an onside kick in the first. Try to get the ball, try to score a possession, try to show our team that the ball can bounce to us. Obviously it didn't, but I was trying to gain momentum immediately and our team wanted to see it, the team, they obviously did good. We got off the field defensively, it didn't hurt us, but we need to be aggressive against this team. They score a lot of points and we had to try to steal a possession.
(on rebounding with the three-and-out defense to a touchdown for DeMarco Murray)
It's a nice sequence. We'd like to script it like that, but our defense knew last night we were going to onside it, they knew the chance that they would have to take a stand midfield and I like they way they did. They didn't even blink. They liked how aggressive we were trying to be, and I think the game gave them some confidence as well when they stopped them on three-and-out.
(on winning against a team that has been to the playoffs for seven straight years)
I think it was an important game. It's at home, it's against a good football team, a consistent playoff team, and we've played well enough to win more games than we have, but the turnovers and some other things we've done have not allowed us to. This was a game our team wanted and needed, and I just like the way the team… we had a good week, it transferred from a week of practice to the game field and we had a lot of good energy all week.
(on the game officials who had a record of throwing out five players leading into this game)
Yes, I talked about that to the team. Every week I give them an official breakdown of what they do, they had the most fouls on people and have thrown out five players to this point, and now six.
(on Taylor Lewan's disqualification from the game)
I think it's the right call. He should not have been where he was, I don't care whose hands he thought he was swatting down, he should not have been in that area. He should have been back in the huddle. And he will be in the huddle. No excuses, he shouldn't have been there.
(on how Dennis Kelly did filling in)
I love the way Dennis Kelly played for this football team today. Again, they've got some guys outside that are a threat and I thought he did an unbelievable job stepping in there. Jon (Robinson) getting him here with that trade was as big a trade as we had this year. He played well.
(on what has changed for the offense to get the team to average 34 points a game over the last six weeks)
We're making less mistakes, the drives where we're scoring we're making less mistakes, we've been very good in the red zone and I think the biggest thing we've done is our third down, we've been very good on third down which has allowed us to put some of these drives together. We feel like we're very hard to defend based on all the things we do and when it comes time to put points up, we're putting points up. Today was a good sign. We knew we had to keep the points up, we knew it was going to be one of those types of games.
(on if it was an exhausting game)
Yes, it was a very exhausting game. Yes.
(on when he was able to relax)
Probably with the last three minutes, three and half minutes to go in the game.
(on if Marcus Mariota completing his first 10 passes was an improvement after he struggled in last week's game)
Well, I thought last week's game was one of his best games he's played as a pro. Other than the turnovers, I thought all he did was continue the way he played. That's the way I look at. I watched him, I thought he had a very good game last week, I thought the way he started gave us a chance to get up and stay up for this game.
(on Marcus Mariota outperforming MVP Aaron Rodgers)
He's a young quarterback. He's playing well for us right now. He knows the things we can't do with the turnovers, but he's the reason we have a chance to put the points up. He's the reason why we can move the football as effectively as we can, throwing it or running. The threat of him running helps in a lot of ways, more ways than you know.
(on the five sacks against Green Bay)
You have to have that pressure against this team, against this quarterback. You saw when we did not put pressure, he's got a lot of time, he's got a lot of guys that can get open, and it's not good. So it was good to give the pressure that we did. Not just the five sacks, I thought we had some pressure on him other times that affected some erred throws.
(on playing aggressively no matter who the opponent is)
We're going to give it an effort, I can promise you that. That's what we believe in. That's what we're good at. That's what the players are good at. That's what helps us to win the games that we've won and I think it's a just a mentality.
(on the resiliency of the team)
There was a lot of energy on the sideline. They wanted it bad and you could see it on the sideline. The body language and just the offense pulling for the defense, being up there when they were coming off the field, it's great. These guys pull for each other more than you know, and it was fun to watch that today.
(on if there were still teachable moments from today's game)
There's a lot of things to teach from this, some of them are things that you wouldn't think you'd have to, but a little bit of excitement, especially for Tajae (Sharpe), big time, big score, but he's got to keep his head in the game and understand that this is going to go down to the last minute of the game, which I knew it would.
(on Rishard Matthews' touchdown streak)
He's making really big plays. Again, that route was designed to put the free safety in a bind. We believe that if you're even with a defender, he's beaten, so you've got to make a play. You should make those plays, and he's making those plays.
(on if Delanie Walker exhibited smashmouth)
Yes, he had a very good game. We wanted to get him involved early and it came through for us a number of times. Big third downs, big runs after a catch.
(on how critical it was to take advantage of the muffed punt early on in the game)
The ball has not bounced our way a lot of times. That's a fact; it has not bounced our way all year. It was nice to see it bounce our way. It happened a couple of times with some of the turnovers; it bounced to our guys. We were on the winning end.
(on if this is a springboard for the final six games)
I think it just helps our confidence in ourselves and what we're capable of doing. Two of the last three games we played very good football, and our guys have recognized that when we do that we can score points and we can win games against a team like a Green Bay.
(on how many Packers fans he thinks were at the game)
I'd rather talk about our fans. There were a lot of our fans there too and our fans were really loud, and I thought they were louder than theirs and better than theirs. I'm not sure where theirs were at the end, but ours were still there and I appreciate it, we appreciate the support. They have a big following, we knew that, that didn't affect us.
(on how chunk plays impacted the offense)
A lot. It's not four yards and a cloud of dust like everybody describes football. There are other ways to produce yards and possibly touchdowns.
TITANS QB MARCUS MARIOTA**
(on efficient use of weapons with six different players accounting for scores)
We have playmakers all across the board. It's really about giving those guys opportunities to make plays. They came out and we were able to do that today.
(on understanding on how big a win today is)
I think it is a high stepping-stone, you know it is getting us in the right direction. There is still a lot of season left, a lot of things we have to go and accomplish. Hopefully, we can use this as momentum going into the rest of the year.
(on how crucial was the play of Dennis Kelly)
Huge, huge. I thought for him to come in and step in and play the way that he did, he played unbelievable. A lot of credit goes to him for being prepared and he just went out there to execute.
(on the importance of getting in an early groove)
It was combination of a lot of things. I thought the guys up front did a great job of giving us time. The receivers did an unbelievable job all day of creating separation, winning their one-on-one matchups. So for me, I was kind of dinking and dunking and those guys were making plays.
(on how he liked the aggressive approach)
I love it. I think that has kind of been the mentality week in and week out. So, those things don't change and we will be able to continue as we move forward.
(on what he saw when DeMarco Murray broke open for the touchdown run)
Once he got through the first level I thought he could take it all the way. You know, he's that type of player. Give him a slight hole and he is going to take it and run with it. It was a great way to start the game and really set the tempo for the game.
(on DeMarco Murray's passing skills)
I thought it was pretty good. That's something we have been working on for a couple of weeks and it was a great job of him executing it.
(on when he knew DeMarco Murray's pass would result in a touchdown)
I thought early when it left his hand it would be a touchdown. Delanie (Walker), from where I was, you could kind of see Delanie opening up and DeMarco did a great job of keeping the ball to his back in the end zone.
(on if Delanie Walker set tone with his being physical after receptions)
I mean, physically his ability is something special at the tight end position. What he is able to do I think is very underrated. He can go in there he can block, he can do kind of everything. For him to have a big day really is a combination of a lot of things throughout this year. He's that type of player. Like you said, with him being physical, stiff-arming guys, getting first downs, breaking tackles along with DeMarco's (Murray) running, I thought that was a tempo setter.
(on if he had a moment with Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers during the postgame)
You know, it was awesome. It was somebody I have kind of watched since I was a little kid and somebody I have admired from afar. To play against him, someone of that caliber, you know was a lot of fun. I don't play on that side of the ball but I thought our defense did a great job of making plays throughout the game. It was nice to come talk to him a little bit and he just kind of wished me luck the rest of the year. That's kind of cool, that's one of those good experiences I think a lot of young players get to have and it's special.
(on mounting drive after ejection of Taylor Lewan)
You know, I thought the guys up front did a great job of keeping their composure. You know a lot of things could go the wrong way there and everyone kind of kept a level head and we were able to get some third downs and keep the chains moving. You know, I think it kept the momentum going, kept it in our favor and really allowed us to kind of keep playing the way we were going.
(on the regret displayed by Taylor Lewan with ejection)
You know I told him I appreciated it. I was kind of giving him a bad time. That's kind of how this team is. I think everyone is pretty close. No matter what, I think everyone has each other's back. In that situation, in that scenario, I think it was unfortunate because he didn't know who was behind him and the ref grabbed him, but we have to kind of all do a better job of keeping our heads. But again, I appreciate the fact he went in and took care of it.
(on after racing to big lead, the importance to being able to match Green Bay with scores)
Definitely, sometimes you get off to those big leads and especially with someone like Aaron Rodgers and that offense, you get nervous. You question what you're doing out there. You are not sure what we should be doing, let's not mess up, but again the guys did a great job of staying composed. It didn't matter what was going on the other side of the ball. We kept a rhythm going.
(on if he has established rapport with Rishard Matthews)
He makes it easy on me. Like today for instance, being able to beat his one-on-one defender, gives me a chance to throw that ball up to him. He's that type of player for us. He has the abilities to win those one-on-one matchups and create a lot of matchup problems for other teams.
(on his thoughts of becoming the first Titans player to throw for 20 touchdowns in a season since Steve McNair in 2003)
You know, that's an honor. That's something that was a combination of a lot people. Like you said, stats and all that stuff don't really mean anything to me as long as we continue to win. But to be mentioned with Steve McNair, especially around here, is an honor and credit goes a lot to guys around me for making plays and getting it going.
(on if it is time to call the Titans a big-play offense)
That's up to you guys. We are going to continue to do our best to make those plays, make those explosive plays. They do change field position, they create momentum, gives us an opportunity to ride on some momentum and get things going. So again leave that up to you guys and hopefully we can make those plays week in and week out.
TITANS DT JURRELL CASEY**
(on the play today of the Titans defense)
When our offense put up points on the board, we definitely know what time it is on the defensive side of the ball. Especially with our front seven. That's one thing we love, to get after the quarterback. And we knew once we came out and stopped the run game, that's what they were going to do. Drop back 40-plus times. And you do that against our defense and we're definitely going to get after you. We send a message. That's what we do as a defense, week in and week out. We are going to send the pressure and we're going to bring the blitz.
(on coming back today after last week's setback in San Diego)
It gives us a lot of confidence. I think that it shows that we can compete with these top teams. We'll come back and go on the road for two games and we are a good team on the road. So we need to make sure we win these two games going into our bye week coming up, and hopefully then come back out and get another win after the bye week.
TITANS S RASHAD JOHNSON
(on the Titans' victory)
It was a great job the way we started this game. We knew we had to come in with a lot of energy and we knew we had to be focused in on our keys. We understood what we were going against and we started fast. We got a lot of help from our offense, scoring as many points as they did, because we knew that Aaron Rodgers was going to get in a groove and make some plays. But I love the way we came out with energy and passion to start and we carried it all the way through regardless of the plays that they made. It was an overall team win.
TITANS OLB BRIAN ORAKPO**
(on the Titans convincing victory today over the Packers)
We don't want to get behind the eight-ball. This definitely was a must to stay in the thick of things for this playoff run facing another team that's trying to fight for their lives, as well. And a very talented team. So we knew we had to bring it, or it could have gotten ugly for us. We started very positive, with a lot of great intensity and being very physical. Getting off the field when we needed and the offense was scoring points. And we kind of carried that until the end of the game.
(on if the Titans were surprised about the outcome today)
You all have been seeing this since day one. This is a different Titans team. This is not the typical team where you play so good for a half or three quarters, and they just fold in the fourth. We are going to be in it for the whole entire game. If it's positive or negative, we are going to be in it. And today we had a lot of positives. So definitely a great game to be a part of. Because we get to go back to .500, and we beat a very good team in the Green Bay Packers. And they travel well. They damn near had a home game, as well, with all the Green Bay fans I saw out there, and all those cheeseheads. It was good that we were able to keep them level, and keep them quiet somewhat the whole game, and for us to go out there and execute.
(on sacking Packers QB Aaron Rodgers today)
It's an awesome feeling. You work so hard throughout the whole game, and you finally wrap up Aaron Rodgers, and you get him down, and then you hear him moaning and groaning. It is definitely satisfying.
TITANS WR TAJAE SHARPE**
(on the play of Titans' QB Marcus Mariota)
He played outstanding. He came out on fire. Every time I looked up at the scoreboard he was perfect with his completions. So, you know he's doing a great job leading this team on and off the field. Especially these last few weeks, where we've been putting a lot of points on the board. That's something we want to continue doing. And try to get better, week by week. That's what we want to do.
(on the Titans' offense being very productive in recent games)
We know what type of offense we can be. We have a bunch of playmakers on the field, no matter if it's running the ball, passing the ball or whatever. We know we have guys who can make plays, so that's something that we pride ourselves on. Obviously we want to be a smash-mouth team and run the football first. But if teams force us to pass the ball, we can do that as well. We have no problem adjusting to that. We just want to keep rolling.
(on presenting the football to his dad after he scored his first touchdown today)
It was a little bit crazy because they (parents) weren't actually supposed to come to this game. But I found a way to get them out here. I always love their support they have for me, so I'm glad they could be here and witness my first touchdown.
TITANS TE DELANIE WALKER**
(on Titans' fast start and aggressiveness in the first half)
We came out here expecting to win the game, and we played that way. We talked about it and that was something we wanted to do (onside kick), and it was close. We almost got it. That was the type of game we were going to play. If they got the ball, we knew our defense was going to stop them. We had confidence in our defense. And you see the first play on offense, we take it all the way to the house. We played fast and aggressive. We basically did what we wanted to do. We ran the ball well, we passed the ball well, and we put points on the board.
(on how the team rallied together after the first-half ejection of OT Taylor Lewan)
I was pretty pissed off. That call with Taylor should not have happened. I can't speak on the referees. They made a decision, and he got ejected … But that was shocking, and everybody came together. And we were all upset about the call, because Marcos (Mariota) got hit. And it felt like we didn't get any penalty for that. It was first-and-twenty-five after that play. So we had to make sure we answered with that.
(on getting the home win today against a quality opponent like the Packers)
I think we've always been confidant. You know, that was a setback last week in San Diego, and we were very upset about that. I think you could tell today how we came out and we played smash-mouth football.
PACKERS HEAD COACH MIKE McCARTHY
Well, I will start with this was a disappointing loss today. I'll state the obvious, the margin in the first half is something we clearly couldn't overcome. We started off with the first play of the game recovering the onside kick and didn't covert on third down. After that, I think Tennessee's offense scored four series in a row, four touchdowns and we didn't score until our fourth series. We dug ourselves a huge, huge hole and frankly it comes down to the basics of football, and we weren't nearly to the standard we expect from one another. We had numerous injuries in the game. I don't have those for you right now, but I thought our guys fought back in the second half and got it to a two-score game there in the fourth quarter. When they got it back up to a three-score game we never really—it was something we couldn't overcome. We are disappointed in our poor performance overall. With that, we need to go back, correct, get healthy and get ready to go beat Washington.
(on how the defense played)
I mean, the first play from scrimmage that they run, they score a touchdown, so that's poor run defense. Coming into the game, our run defense, I thought it was going to be a pretty good matchup, but we didn't hold our end up today.
(on how to get the team going in the right direction)
Well, you have to win a game. That's the reality. We can talk about the big picture and the drama of things all you want but that's really something that we're not going to focus on. We understand how poorly we performed today as a team. We're disappointed. We have higher standards than that. We have higher expectations of one another. So that's what we'll tap in to and grab on to, and we'll be real honest with one another tomorrow and every day. We'll improve on that for as bad as it was on our end. We'll apply it to Washington.
(on WR Davante Adams' performance and 46-yard catch)
Davante (Adams) got more opportunities. Once again we were out of our game plan there, probably until the third quarter completely. Yes, Davante is playing really good football for us.
(on the team's rough stretch and getting back on track)
I think it's important to…I reflect daily because you're always trying to learn as you go with different people. You do have past experience you can draw from, but this stuff about having a blueprint based on what happened before and what's going to happen next, those are the intricacies you look at. We've been in tough spots before. We're 4-5, so everything we want to accomplish big picture-wise is still right there in front of us, but the reality is that we need to get a little healthier and we've got to prepare and play better. We've got to play better to win the next game.
(on seeing enough fight from the team)
We had too much fight today. Obviously, we had 12 penalties, so we knew coming in this officiating crew was very high and as far as personal conduct, focus and so forth, we had 12 penalties today. It definitely didn't help us.
(on being worried if jobs are on the line due to high standards for the team)
We're focused on winning the game. We're all signed on for our commitment to one another and that's as far as it goes with us.
(on long-term concerns with G T.J. Lang's health)
Couldn't tell you. I was told it didn't look good but I really don't have a feel.
(on if he has a sense of T David Bakhtiari's status)
I do not. No, I do not.
PACKERS QB AARON RODGERS
(on an explanation of how the game started today)
We got a great field position there and then I missed Randall (Cobb) on the third down and didn't start well. It took a little bit to get going.
(on what it will take to get the team back on track)
We've got to get back and work on ourselves. Today was definitely a winnable game. We just didn't execute as well as we wanted to on offense and obviously in the other two phases as well. Minnesota lost again. We're a game back. We're kind of right where we were last week. Obviously love to be standing here after a win, but right now, we've got to work on ourselves and get this thing turned around.
(on the team standards being high with the organization and if games like today put jobs on the line)
I mean, I think that's the nature of the league. You know, it's a young man's game. We're always knowing that we've got to make sure we're playing well every week. There has to be that healthy fear as a player that if you don't do your job, they'll get rid of you. I think we've all got to go back and the urgency's got to pick up, the focus has got to pick up and we've got to play better.
(on how it feels being the only player with a rushing touchdown so far this season)
Just kind of the way it goes this year, unfortunately. But we'll figure that out. James (Starks) did a good job for us today and getting him back was a big boost for us. Great job on the screen for a touchdown. I thought he ran well. There was a holding call on one of his big runs but I thought he ran the ball well and it was good to have him back.
(on if he feels he has to do anything differently from a leadership standpoint)
I'm going to keep doing what I've done up to this point but obviously I've got to play better. We've got to find a way to score points. It starts with me. We've got to be more efficient, especially early in the game when we get good field position. I felt we made some good plays at times. Davante (Adams) had a great game for us. Jordy (Nelson) very solid. Randall (Cobb) playing through a frustrating injury did really well for us. Hopefully, we get Jared (Cook) back at some point. It's good having James (Starks) back but obviously we've all got to play better and that starts with me. I've got to play better too.
(on changing the way the team wanted to play based on the start of the game)
I mean it's a reaction to obviously starting slow. We got James (Starks) some looks early. We've just got to convert some third downs and kind of give us some more opportunities for him.
(on if he thought the team came out fighting this week)
I was proud of our preparation; we had a great week. Ha Ha (Clinton-Dix) had a great speech in the locker room. He's a great leader for us. We just didn't execute well. Guys are ready to play but it comes down to execution. You can say all the right things and be prepared as possible but it comes down to executing when you get out there and we didn't execute as well enough on offense to kind of give us momentum early.
PACKERS WR DAVANTE ADAMS
(on if this game is deflating to the team)
This is definitely not where we thought we were going to be or want to be. We just have to bounce back from it and we have to figure out what is going on. We can't sit here and cry over spilt milk. It is what it is.
(on the slow start to the game, especially with the first three-and-out)
I say it every week—we feed off the big plays and the things like that. The chunks that we get and the energy is contagious. When one guy makes a play, we get a big bounce off of that. But when we come out slow, that is the type of start you have.
(on if there was an energy issue to start the game this week)
I don't know. Guys were ready, we just didn't come to play early.
(on his high level of emotion after catches and trying to lead a comeback)
I try to get there every week. It's just a matter of the opportunities and the way people are playing. Aaron (Rodgers) was finding me at different times and I tried to make the most of those opportunities, and I try to do that every week. It's not something that I just try to put on film today because it was the Titans. It doesn't matter who we are playing, I try to do that every week.
PACKERS DB MICAH HYDE
(on if the secondary could play better)
I think every single game this year we could have played better. Today we just gave up too many big plays and some miscommunication on the back end and no one really made plays back there.
(on Titans TE Delanie Walker)
We knew what (Delanie) Walker was doing. It wasn't something that we hadn't seen on film. He is tough to beat. He is a competitor. He's a big guy, a fast guy. We knew what he was capable of doing, we just didn't execute against him.
PACKERS OL COREY LINSLEY
(on if having so many different rotations on the offensive line had anything to do with the sacks)
We'll have to look at the film. Give credit to [the Titans]. It's not all our fault, it's their fault, too. They produced well. They are a good team with great coaches and great players.
(on losing three offensive linemen during the game)
I think it would be hard if we had a bunch of guys that weren't committed to this team. It's hard emotionally. It's difficult to right the ship anyway but hard emotionally is what I am referring to. I think we have a level of trust in our locker room with a bunch of great guys that work hard. I'm confident that we will get back.
PACKERS DT MIKE PENNEL
(on falling behind 21-0 in the first quarter)
Things didn't go the way that we wanted them to. Our confidence never wavered. We came out and they got up on us and they won the game.
(on if the slow start was due in part to the way the Titans played)
They just played a good football game.
(on where this team goes from here)
Our confidence is still intact. Everything is still in front of us. We are back to the drawing board and on to Washington.
The Tennessee Titans take on the Green Bay Packers in Week 10 action at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)