Titans-Steelers Postgame Quotes

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TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY**

Opening statement.

It was a disappointing loss. We made too many critical mistakes against a good football team, a really good football team. Obviously, it caught up to us there in the second half. I feel like we had a slow start, responded and then kept coming back. We had opportunities to make it more of a game, and we just failed to do so. The dam kind of broke in the second half because of all of the mistakes.

How critical was Delanie [Walker's] perceived drop in the end zone?

Well, that's big. It's hard to get that open. It's hard to get plays like that. It takes a little bit of momentum away from you. That was a big play because that was where we were still going back and forth with them at that point.

Was Marcus [Mariota] trying to do too much on some of those interceptions?

No. The first one sailed on him. There's no doubt on that. He could have used some help on the other ones, especially from some young guys. Some lessons learned from some young players.

Do you have to fight back to the ball?

Yes, in this league you always have to coming back towards the ball. Defenders are always closing.

How hard is it going to be to watch tape for some of the young guys on the team?

I hope not hard. I hope it's something we can learn from. There's no better tape to teach from. I can tell you that. I think they already knew the answer once the play was over, but now you have to sit live and get to have a discussion about it.

Re: Defense coming up with a number of big stops in the first half.

Absolutely. Yes, they did. Those were huge stops to keep them to field goals. They were huge stops for us.

What adjustments did the Steelers make in the second half?

Yes, they made more plays. They made a lot of plays. I mean I don't know how you defend playing Antonio Brown. I don't know how you defend that. It's a great play.

How did you guys plan to scheme for him or was it just a question of him making plays or was it a combination of both?

A little bit. Well, he made a lot of plays. He's a good player. He was contested first touchdown with two guys there, and he comes up. He's a good player. I thought the scheme trying to stop him, obviously, hopefully would work, but I mean, when good players perform like that, it's hard.

How good did you feel you were on the first play of the second half?

Good. That's something we put that play in at the half, actually we talked about it right before the half, and we came and put it in. We saw the coverage, and they hit it and thought this is good, this gets us right back in. We knew we had to score on the opening drive to keep this thing close and keep us in it and give us a chance to win. So as soon as we hit that everybody felt like we got a chance for this game to win.

Was the spot of the ball correct at the end of the second quarter?

No. The spot was not correct. The spot cost us a field goal. It cost momentum. It cost a lot of things.

Were you arguing with them over that? Was it challenged?

No, I didn't argue with them. They agreed it was the wrong spot. I'll be in trouble for that, but you know what, that's the way it is. Say it like it is. Quit hiding things. It was the wrong spot, and it made a difference. We lost three points because of it.

Four turnovers make it tough for any team to win, but for a team that has been based on winning by resiliency, is your guys' margin for error that much smaller too?

I thought, again, we showed some of that resiliency again tonight. You can't turn the ball over against anybody, especially when you're playing a good football team like Pittsburgh. You're really giving yourself no chance to win.

What's the kind of message leaving here to the team?

They saw what I saw. You saw. They know we can't make some of those mistakes. We can't miss opportunities that we had. Against good teams, it's going to cost you. You're going to get beat bad. But I think it's one game, and there's a lot to learn from this, especially for some of our younger players that hopefully take it a little personal and come back to work and get back to work on Monday.

Do you think, not that the stage was too big for them, but that it got to them a little bit being here in the night game?

I didn't feel that. I feel like we were right into it.

What about your younger guys that you said struggled?

No, I just think that's the nature of playing in these games, in any NFL game. They're all big games to young players.

In the second half the way the Steelers turned it up felt a little like the way you turned it up against Seattle and Jacksonville. Did you suffer the other side of that?

They did. They did it a little differently. They did it by throwing the ball more. We ran the ball more effectively. They just made more plays in the second half. I mean really made some plays. Ben threw some great balls. But that's the same result regardless of how you got to it, yes.

The last drive of the first half you went run, screen, run after calling the timeouts.  Were you just going to bleed their last timeout on that third down play?

Yes, we were trying to use their timeouts. And again, trying to get us the ball back, but we were trying to bleed the timeouts for them.

How did you come out injury-wise?

Kevin Byard had a shoulder that he came in and got checked out. He returned. Other than that, just some bumps and bruises. We really came out of it pretty clean.

Do you attribute some of Corey Levin's struggles to not playing enough or just kind of learning the game?

I just think he needs some experience. Most rookies have off-seasons and training camps and preseason games, and all those to give them some experience. His is live fire. Live fire, Thursday Night Football for your third game.

How does he get better on the fly since he won't be able to get that off-season regimen?

Learn from it and next time, come back to the ball cleaner.

You have 10 more days now until the next game. How do you deal with this loss over 10 days?

Just like we always do. Once we cover it, it's going to be over, and we're moving on. There's nothing you can do about this. Once we go through the film with them tomorrow, this one's done.

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QB MARCUS MARIOTA**

Re: How the turnovers affected the turnout of the game.

If you throw four interceptions, it's tough to win. A lot of credit to Pittsburgh, they made a bunch of plays and got the best of us.* *

Re: Your share of the responsibility.

Those are on me. When it comes down to it, I am the one who makes the decision to throw. It's just that simple.

Re: The interception to Coty Sensabaugh.

They played a coverage that would allow me to go that direction. It just happens. [Corey Davis] is a young guy. I have to do a better job if it's not there either tucking it away or throwing it out of bounds.

Re: Rishard Matthew's touchdown which cut the Steeler's lead to two points.

Rishard made a huge play. If you give yourselves an opportunity to get back in the game, that is a big play. That was all on him. He ran a great route, broke a few tackles and scored a long one.

OT TAYLOR LEWAN

Re: On whether the game was a measuring stick game.

I don't really like to talk about measuring sticks even if we won. I don't like dealing with measuring sticks or this or that or the other thing. It is a loss. I hate to lose. Last year it was the thing we wanted to be in the position we are now. Now we got a divisional opponent next week. Guys need to get healthy, and we have an extra couple days to get healthy which is great. Go in and get yourself a W. Like I said before, I think we are going to see these guys again and when we do, hopefully we will be ready and get a different result.

Re: Putting too much on Marcus Mariota.

That is literally an answer that I will never answer. I shouldn't be asked because like I said I'm a left tackle. The concepts I know are very little. I know what I have on each play, and do my best to be the best tackle in the NFL consistently. I try to do my job.

Re: The performance of the offensive line during the past few weeks.

I don't know to be totally honest with you. Like I said before, it's a team sport and we win as a team and lose as a team. That kind of situation, I don't really know. My job each and every game is to be the best left tackle I can possibly be, and to be a consistent blocker.

WR RISHARD MATTHEWS

Re: Thoughts about the game.

It was a tough loss. It's a good team over there, a good organization. The defensive came out and played a hell of a game. Offensively, we just have to figure it out.

Re: The game being a missed opportunity.

Yeah, I mean it's all good. It was a tough loss but we have a long season ahead of us. What are we, 6-4? That is still OK. Not great, but it's OK. We got plenty of games left to do what we do.

Re: The second quarter touchdown.

They said they were going to call a shot the first play. Marcus put a great ball out there, I just had to run under it and make a play. It was cool, but at the end of the day we didn't win.

TE DELANIE WALKER

Re: The play in the end zone.

I took my eyes off of it. I just thought it was a for sure catch. It's one of the things our coaches at practice told us not to do, was never take your eyes off the ball. I did that. I put that on my shoulders. That could have been a momentum change in the game if I got that touchdown. Those things I don't usually do. Unfortunately, I dropped the pass by not keeping my eye on the football.

Re:  The offense's performance.

We just can't get the momentum going early in the game. When we did, we put points on the board but it was up and down. It really wasn't consistent. Their offense was more consistent than we were, and ultimately they put up more points on the board than we did.

The Tennessee Titans take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 11 at Heinz Field. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

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