HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER
It is kind of nice to get off to a start like we did in all three phases, I have to say. What I expected to see today, we really challenged our special teams throughout training camp and especially this week. We kicked well, we covered well. You know, the additions of Patrick Bailey and Tim Shaw certainly helped us and some of the younger guys coming on. So, I was pleased with the special teams' performance.
Offensively, we carried balance into this game and C.J. (Johnson) made the play. Vince (Young) I thought played well, made good decisions, used his legs and we converted some third downs.
Defensively, the difference in the ballgame was 0-for-7 on third downs in the first half. And I thought overall it was a pretty good effort and now it is officially Steeler week.
(on the pass rush and if he was encouraged by the defensive line play)
Well, Wash (Jim Washburn) did a great job all week with the rush plan. We kept them fresh. Our plan was to go four or five plays then rotate. That is pretty much what we did throughout the game
(on if he was given explanation on first half call against Derrick Morgan)
Bill (Leavy) said he went low. I felt like he was blocked into him or fouled into him. He said he went low and he was going to protect the quarterback. And when in doubt, they are going to err on the side of caution. It is about player safety.
(on applying pressure on Jason Campbell and Darren McFadden)
It starts with them having difficulty hearing and they had difficulty hearing because of our fans. And they were a huge part in the start of that game. When offenses can't audible and all of sudden there are some false starts, that's the difference. We so appreciate that. It allowed us to get some things going and get into sync. We knew they were going to protect the quarterback and with different guys in passing situations and they did.
(on Oakland's early focus on Chris Johnson)
You just have to be patient, try to keep getting him the football. They did a nice job. Their plan was to shut him down. So we felt like in some passing situations that Vince (Young) would be able to use his legs and he did. He got two key first downs for us.
(On how it feels to win the first game of the season and get on the right track)
Well, we expected to win that game last year. We didn't. We expected to win this and fortunately we put together a good effort in all three phases. We came through it in great health and now we're going to move on to number two.
(On Javon Ringer's first career touchdown)
Javon's not doing much for us on special teams, not because he can't but because we've chosen to keep him off that. Just keep him and keep him ready. If C.J. (Chris Johnson) gets tired or needs a break, then Javon can do it. Not only did he hit the hole very, very well on the touchdown run but that first down there to end the game was huge for us. That's what football is all about, be able to get that first down when you need it and then kneel down.
(On if he was tempted to use Ringer more late in the second half)
(On Jason McCourty playing instead of Alterraun Verner)
I think he played well. I mean, A.V.'s (Alterraun Verner) played well, had a great camp and a great preseason. A.V. was ready to play. We had A.V. because of the circumstances, the very, very unfortunate set of circumstances that Will Witherspoon faced this week. We had to make some changes defensively. So our plan was to go in with and play some dime and use A.V. in that sub-package. So because we used him in that sub-package we felt like the sub-package and the play of corner was going to be a little bit too much for him today.
(On Will Witherspoon)
You go through a lot of things over your career but this was one of the most courageous days I've ever seen out of a player, Will Witherspoon. To not have practiced all week and to have buried his mom with his family late yesterday and come in last night and play the way he did, my hat is off to Will Witherspoon.
(On concerns about Witherspoon's ability to play today)
No concerns whatsoever. That's the kind of character, the kind of man he is. We're very proud.
(On preparations for the Steelers being different without Roethlisberger)
We'll look at Pittsburgh and we'll see what they're doing. Just the glimpses I've got out of Dennis (Dixon) is that he's very, very dangerous quarterback who's got great legs.
QB VINCE YOUNG
(on his overall impression of the game)
We expected them to play a little more man today, but they played a lot of zone today so it was a couple of throws down field to make but mostly it was a lot of check downs and our guys did a great job of staying with me. The offensive line did a great job of blocking and giving me some time to go through my reads and check the ball down to our guys.
(on the touchdown pass to Nate Washington and on the Raiders keying on Chris Johnson)
Yeah they bit down pretty hard on it, great fake by me and CJ in the backfield; Ahmard (Hall) did a great job of coming out in the flat and drawing their attention and leaving Nate wide open. So that was a great run by Nate; great read by myself, and that's one of those plays that Coach (Mike) Heimerdinger is smiling at right now. We want to keep that smile on his face.
(on the long run by Chris Johnson)
I know everybody was waiting on it; definitely I was waiting on it. But in the same time, that's a good part about I, that's what they preach. Offensive coordinators and our coaches always preach just taking it one at a time, one play at a time…three yards, five yards and then eventually CJ is going to do what he does. That was a great play, great call by Coach Heimerdinger. Anytime me and CJ flow away, everybody is going to flow automatically and that's what happened and we had a change of direction play for him and the offensive line, tight ends, receivers did a great job of blocking and then you let CJ do CJ.
(on starting the season with a win)
Very nice, very nice. It's going back to what we said from OTA's, to all the way to camp to up to the first day to opening game and that's one of the biggest games of the season. It's getting that first win on the first week and we did a great job of keeping the plays today, our defense did a phenomenal job of putting a lot of pressure on him (Jason Campbell) and we did what we did as an offense. All we have to do is put up points. That's pretty much the basis of our game. Kickoff teams and special teams do a great job of stopping them guys, defense does a great job of stopping them as well, get the ball to us, all we have to do is put up points and that's what we pretty much did today.
(on early fumble)
Hands off to him just making a play. Mike (Roos) came up to me and told me that he got me, while I was sliding up, I was getting ready to check it down to CJ or run the ball and he just made a play. That's why they get paid, to make plays too. So much respect to them and our defense did a great job of holding those guys to three points, I think, and that's the way of the game. It happened, but at the same time we have to keep playing.
(on moving past fumble)
Yeah, just moved on. Can't let that play go on to the next series or nothing like that, just put it in the past and get ready for the next series. So, that's pretty much what happened.
(on Javon Ringer's first career touchdown)
Javon is a terrific running back. I have a lot of respect for him, quiet guy, he just goes about his business every day at work, asks questions and he knows his role. He knows he's going to back up CJ and what we get out of Ringer, that's what we get out of Ringer – a big run, very explosive on the four minute with the first down, being strong, getting that first down for us. That's his role, that's his game and he accepted it. That's the type of players we need here and I have a lot of respect for Javon.
(on deciding when to run and when to pass)
I'm definitely getting more comfortable with the offense, knowing where to go with my eyes. They drop back in zone and left me and CJ underneath, either I check it down to him or if I get a little bit of pressure, move my feet and make a play with my legs. It's not to the point that I am looking to run, it's not to the point. Whatever the defense does, that's how I react, I just go off my instincts and just go out there and play ball, that's basically it.
(on crowd being an effective 12th man)
Much respect to our fans. I think they got a delay of game, a fumble. Our fans did a great job today and coming down to Code Blue, much respect to our fans today, they did a wonderful job when the defense was out on the field.
(on Will Witherspoon's play after tough personal weekend)
Will is like you just said, basically what he's been going through, after what happened to his mom, that was very sad, but it takes a lot of heart for him to come out here today with his teammates. I know he wanted to win the game for his mom today, we gave him the game ball, that's just the respect that we have for him as a teammate and especially with all the things that are going on for him off the field, for him to come in and stay in tune, in the right places for us, making some big plays for us. That type of guy you like that on your team, you've got to give him a lot of respect too because of the fact of what happened off the field. We will always remember that; that'll be a memory for us to cherish the rest of our life, how much heart he showed and the leadership role that he did to come back and play with us today.
RB CHRIS JOHNSON
(on his 76-yard touchdown run)**
On that play, it was basically like a draw play, sprint-draw play. Anytime you're in the game when they're playing so many people in the box, eight people in the box, it's going to be like that. I felt like that's why we were able to go over the top in the passing game to Nate Washington. So it's going to be like that a lot of times this year.
*(on having another game with over 100 yards rushing) *
Basically just going in and focusing on trying to get wins and doing my job. And I feel like if I do my job and do my situation that in any game I can get over a 100. I'm really not going into any game right now thinking about any records, making sure I get over a 100 and this and that. My main focus is winning.
(on how much frustration he had with running the ball before he busted the 76-yard run)
Of course, I was getting frustrated but you know I kept improving and know that eventually that it's going to work out. Anytime you put in an eight or nine man box, it's going to be like that.
(*on starting the season off with a win) *
It's always good. Last year, we started off with a loss and went 0 and 6. Basically, we're just trying to start off fast and have a good year.
(on the game being over after his long touchdown run)
No I wouldn't say that. Even though I busted that run, I still wanted go out there and just get better. That was just one run. All the runs before that run weren't really that successful. So I just feel that as a whole team, we still need some work in winning the game. As the year goes on, we'll get better and better.
(on being surprised by staying in the game late)
No, I wasn't surprised. Like I said before, I still feel we need work. When you first start out the season, you're not going to be as good as you're going to be at the end of the year. So we're just still working right now.
(on his physical standpoint after only 19 carries in the preseason)
I feel good. I feel like Coach Fisher and the whole staff, they're doing a good job on holding me out and getting me carries in the preseason. They did a good job on having me 100 percent coming into the first game.
(on facing the Steelers and their defense)
Yeah, they are a very tough team. I feel like we had a little success against them last year. It's going to be a tough thing to run the ball against them. So we've just got to go game plan and get focused, just keep doing the same things that I've been doing.
(on Javon Ringer's first career touchdown run)
Ringer, he is a good guy, great running back. I just feel comfortable anytime I need a rest or a blow that I feel comfortable with Ringer coming into the game and doing his job. And knowing everything he's got to do.
(on if he thinks that he ever celebrates too early when going into the end zone)
No, I don't feel that. It's probably something that the coaches feel that way but I don't feel that way. I'll be all right.
(on his offensive line receiving enough credit)
I don't think that they get enough credit. I think last year we had one or two guys in the Pro Bowl. I feel like them, my fullback (Ahmard Hall) hardly doesn't get enough credit. As this year keeps going on and we keep doing our job, I feel like the credit will come.
(on this win carrying the momentum from finishing strong last year)
I feel like carrying the momentum anytime you go 0 and 6, being so down on yourself, and coming back to win eight out of your last 10 games. That's momentum just carrying on to this year and hopefully it can carry on throughout this year.
(on Will Witherspoon's performance today)
I feel like he is a great guy and that no one knows how he feels when you go through something like that. Me I've never been through anything like that, that's just something that I don't know. My hat is off to him.
WR NATE WASHINGTON
(on play action fake to Chris Johnson that led to Washington's huge play)
It was a play action. A lot of teams in this league are going to be fearful of what he (Johnson) can do. When he (Young) faked it to Chris, I was able to see the safety and corner bite down. I was just able to run right by them.
(on Chris Johnson's impact on the field)
We just have to be prepared to play off of him (Johnson). A lot of these teams are going to come in here prepared to stop Chris Johnson and not the Tennessee Titans. So we just have to be prepared for that and ready to answer the call when we need to.
TE BO SCAIFE
(on the 38 points raising eyebrows around the league)
It might. People still really don't give us the credit that we deserve. We noticed that the year we went 13-3, we still didn't get that much respect. We are not looking for respect. We just want to settle everything on the field.
S MICHAEL GRIFFIN
(on Titans team focus)
We can't worry too much about what's going on around the league. Last year we tried to depend on this and this and that happening, and who was beating who. We can't worry about other games. This year all we can do is worry about ourselves, and take care of ourselves. As long as we win and continue to play well, that's all we need to worry about.
(on Titans defensive effort)
I think the "Code Blue" thing probably got the crowd going into it early. We have to continue to get them into it. Outside of that, we just continued to feed off of the crowd noise and continued to play. Once we jumped on them, we didn't let off. Something I said going into the second half was I remember a year ago, when we were up on the Houston Texans, one deep ball led to another touchdown, which led to another touchdown. So that was one thing, to continue to play hard and play a four-quarter game and not a two-quarter game.
One thing (Defensive Coordinator) Chuck Cecil said today was that the pass defense last year and those touchdowns we gave up, well it's the D-line, the linebackers and the secondary all together. It's a defensive stat. He told us 'secondary, you all cover and D-line get to the quarterback.' It's all around. We've got healthy guys up there, giving it all they've got.
(on his near-touchdown fumble recovery, when he was tackled just short of the end zone)
Man, I blame that on myself and field awareness. I got the ball, jumped on the ground and rolled. I questioned whether or not it was a fumble, because I saw the ball come out but thought he was down when it came out. So I jumped on it, then sat there and noticed the ref was looking at me like "what are you about to do." So I got up, and started running, the crowd was yelling, and I'm still running and running and I'm like 'OK, this is about to be a touchdown.'
DT JASON JONES
(on pressuring the Raiders QB)
When the quarterback is getting pressure from up the middle and from all over, it throws him off his reads. I think just getting off the line and getting hands in his face, hitting him, and just being around him all the time kind of frustrated him a little bit. He's a great player and I'm sure he'll pick it up next week.
LB WILL WITHERSPOON
(on playing during this emotional week for him following the loss of his mother)
I'm honoring what my mother would have wanted me to do. I've had to focus on my family and make sure they were OK. That's what I did first. And all of them were pushing me to say 'You know, it's what she would have wanted you to do. You get out there and do what she would have wanted you to do.' It's just a great thing that it came out so well. I dedicate every game and every day. That's what it is and what is has to be.
She had never held me back from anything, and she's always supported me 110%. I think it was just one of things that it's her wish for me to go out and get it done, and play this game. This (team) is another part of my family. These guys know it. I told them that today, and she always wants me to support that, too.
(on what he would call the Titans defense)
We're the Titans defense. That's who we are. We're guys who get out there on the field play after play. We work to get the job done. It doesn't matter who is out there or what is being said. It doesn't matter what name is on the back of our jerseys. We are all Titans. We are the ones who are going to get the job done.
CB CORTLAND FINNEGAN
*(on Titans defensive motivation) *
Everyone needs to play well in the secondary and from last year, everyone has a chip on their shoulder. We gave up 31 touchdown passes, and 63 passes were for plus-20 yards. We've got a lot riding and we've got to rock-and-roll with the defensive line, and it goes hand-in-hand. When we look at film we'll realize we could have made some more plays. We can't be satisfied.
(on getting the first win after last year's start)
It is very important. The fact that we came out and set the tone on defense and the offense did their thing. But we can't be satisfied. We've got Pittsburgh coming up. It's a big game for us. It's at home and the fans were great today causing false starts. It's a big game for us.
HEAD COACH TOM CABLE
We had six guys that did not finish the game. (Robert) Gallery with a hamstring, (Yamon) Figurs with a stinger, Hiram Eugene with a lower leg issue, Michael Huff with a knee issue, Chris Johnson with a stinger and Richard Seymor with a hamstring.
As I just told them in there, I'm very disappointed in that this is one game we didn't perform the way we wanted to. We felt like we very hesitant, in all three phases particularly early in the game, and never seemed to get out of it. In this league they don't give you anything, you have to take it. We have got a ton to grow from. I mentioned to them, when you talk about attention to detail, I thought we really lacked that today and we played like it. So we have got a ton of work to do. We will handle this the right way. Tomorrow will be a very important day for us in getting at this film and looking at what our real issues are as we move forward.
(on being shocked with the opener )
It's the whole key. That's what we just talked about in the locker room. You can't sit around and feel bad about it or be shocked about it. You really have to deal with it. This is unexpected but we will fix it and get it right pretty quick. It's a lot of work and a lot of time invested to come out and not fire up that shot.
(on the frustration with the offensive line giving up sacks, false starts, etc.)
I think it is just an example of, really, in all three phases you can find something like that, offensively, the play up front, with special teams. They're kicking off to us and they had a guy we didn't block three or four times. Defensively, being that we get lined up right and not give up a big run, little things like that to me are disappointing but we can fix them.
(on what was learned about the offensive line)
I learned that we have to stay on schedule. We have to play the game in a mode that does not allow us to be in third and long so much. We were 0 for in the first half on third downs and it really showed in terms of being able to stay on the field, extend drives and the opportunity to score points is never going to be there if your off on third down all the times.
(on Jason Campbell getting hit)
I felt like we were catching everything instead of taking the fight to them.
(on Darren McFadden's performance)
Well I thought he was a real positive for our football team. I thought he did a lot of things that we needed him to do. Catching the ball, blocking, running with the football, he was able to convert some plays. So that's the kind of player we envisioned him being. As I have said all along, if he is healthy, that's what he is capable of.
(on Rolando McClain's performance)
Until you see it, we're all in it together and it's not good enough defensively with just one.
(on Campbell's letting the play go dead)
We had some issues thinking we were catching them being a little early on the snap and sometimes we thought they were in the neutral zone and that's the center's rule to snap it when he feels as such but we only got two of those called.
TE ZACH MILLER
(on the game)
Obviously when I woke up this morning I didn't think is how the day would go. Each man in this room needs to be accountable and we each have to look in the mirror and see what went wrong tomorrow when we see the film.
(on the team)
You don't want to start the season like this, but we have confidence in our team. We know we can be good. We just have to see where the breakdowns were. There were too many breakdowns as an offense whether it is penalties or not blocking guys, but we will fix it.
(on the defense getting good jumps)
The crowd noise was a little bit of an issue. They were really jumping the count, but you have to find ways to get it down and we didn't do that early and we fell too far behind.
(on adjusting to a new quarterback)
You are still getting used to a new quarterback, but that is no excuse. We still have to be on top of it. We have had enough time with Jason. It is not an excuse we should be relying on.
RB DARREN MCFADDEN
(on the game)
They came out and they wanted it more than us. They came out there fighting hard and when they were swinging we didn't swing back.
(on his performance and how he was used)
I feel like I just did the best job that I could out there as far as how the coaches use me. You want to go out there and play hard and I feel like I did that today.
(on being the feature back)
It felt good, but at the same time you want to come away with a W. We didn't do that. We are going to keep fighting hard and getting better every day.
LB ROLANDO MCCLAIN
(on his performance)
It is always good to do good on your own personal goals and stuff, but at the end of the day it is just wins and losses and we lost so what I did doesn't really matter.
(on Chris Johnson)
He is a great running back. That is all I can really say. Everything as advertised. He came out and played good. We kind of shot ourselves in the foot on some of those runs, but you have to give the guy credit. He is a great running back.
(on the speed of the game)
No different. It is the same. Playing against those great guys everybody is fast. A lot of people say the difference is the running backs and the linemen because everybody can move, but I played against that day in day out in the SEC. Then I get to practice every week for the last month and a half, two months against it, so the game was the same speed.
(on the excitement of coming close to home for his first game)
It is just a football game to me. It is good to come back home since I am so far away, but it was just a football game, that is how I treated it. Coach Saban told me never to get too high or too low about any game. That is just how I took it. It is all the same. People run the ball and people pass the ball. At the end of the day you tackle the people with the ball.
WR DARIUS HEYWARD-BAY
(on disappointment of loss)
As a team, we wanted to go out here and compete and win. Every team wants to win that first opener. But we'll go back to the film, regroup, and get it right. We have 15 more games left.
(on tendency to throw dumpoff passes during game)
You have to take what the defense gives you. When they're playing cover 2, the running back has to get open underneath.
(on comparison to last season's offensive struggles)
I don't know. I'm not sure about that. I just know that it's a new year, new issues, and we just have to go out there and fix those.
C JARED VELDHEER
(on his first NFL game at center)
It's a new experience, obviously. We definitely have to get better. We have some opportunities to keep working at things and getting better at things. I just look at this for myself as an opportunity to get a lot better for the next game.
There are challenges at times, which I knew going in there would be. Like I said all week, they were going to be a good challenge. I thought at a lot of times we did some good things but some other times, I need to be quicker with things.
T ROBERT GALLERY
(on his hamstring injury that forced him to leave the game early)
I felt something, but we'll see what it looks like tomorrow and evaluate it from there.
(on offensive line's performance)
We just put ourselves in bad situations and didn't do the stuff we have to do to protect the quarterback. We were in long-yardage situations and we're no good when we get to that. We have to evaluate it and fix it. It's definitely fixable but it wasn't good enough today. We'll see it on film. We all have to get better.
QB JASON CAMPBELL
(general thoughts of game)
Obviously, we're not proud of how we played today. We take our hats off to Tennessee. They came out and they did what they had to do to beat us. I thought they were more detailed today than we were and more physical. We have to get back to the drawing board, eliminate the penalties, and we can't turn it over.
It's deflating. Today but not tomorrow. Today because all of the things we put into camp, all off-season, all training camp, pre-season – we had a good preseason. Today, we just came out flat. Everyone has one game a year that this happens to them. Hopefully this is our one game and gets out of the way early.
(on Titans' pass rush affecting their offensive scheme)
It's tough. A lot of our plays are designed to go downfield. It makes it a lot harder, those guys getting a good rush the way that they did. Sometimes you just check it down. We'll all learn from it, we'll watch the film. There are plays out there that can still could be made and we still could have.
(on failure to score touchdown following early Titans turnover)
It's frustrating. We wanted to get a touchdown out of it. There are some young guys on this team. We'll continue to keep working with them and continue to keep pushing them. They'll continue to come around. But it's all of us. We all had a foot in this today and we'll get better.
(on plays where Raiders thought Titans defenders were in neutral zone at snap)
It was early in the game. We had used our cadence and he jumped off. I thought his hand had touched our tackle, so I was thinking it was a five-yard penalty. A lot of times, you give a reaction and the ref will see it and make the call. But he didn't and we ended up getting the five-yard penalty. I definitely wasn't happy about that. I was talking to my center and said that anytime that you see a guy jump like that, let's get the ball and get our five. There are things to continue to work on and keep moving.
(on Darren McFadden's performance)
Darren definitely looked quick today. I thought he caught the ball well out of the backfield. I thought he did a good job running the ball, also. He got some tough yards. He's a fighter and he's going to continue to keep working and get better, especially when his second mate (injured RB Michael Bush) gets back. We'll have that one-two punch.