TENNESSEE TITANS POST-GAME QUOTES
HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER
I want to start off by complimenting the entire Texans organization, the players, staff and administration, everybody associated with the organization for the job that they did really going back to as late as this past Tuesday. After visiting with a number of the coaches and some of the players before the game, it is hard to imagine what they went through. It is hard to imagine for us to imagine what basically the population has gone through there in south Texas.
And for them to pull together like they did and to fight to the very end I think the whole organization, players, coaches, staff and their fans should be commended for it. It was a tremendous effort. They are one of us. I just think, I want this to get out that they did one heck of a job today.
As far as the game is concerned, I think you saw that our defense, somebody told our defense that the field was five yards long, not a 100 yards long to assess our play inside the 5-yard line.
The defense made the plays when we needed to make the plays .We got the points, we got the turnaround. We didn't play the game I thought we were going to play. But, we will take the win.
The turnovers, those types of things have a direct effect on the ballgame and they did today. Our offense was in a hole the second half. We couldn't get going with the difficult field position. But overall I think we took a step forward. I think we got a little better, but we have a lot of things to correct.
(on Kerry Collins' performance)
We expect Kerry to do well. He didn't start out the way he wanted to start out but he settled right back down. That's the experience that he has. He made a bad throw and the defense made a play for him and held them to three points. We got on a roll, so he was able to just brush that off. He did a nice job. He put the ball where it needed to be put. They're a good defense and I thought we did a nice job protecting for him. We kept his jersey somewhat clean and he made good reads and good decisions.
(on the rushing attempts by Kerry Collins)
I don't think they anticipated him doing that. That's why we had it in the game plan. But yeah, he can still get it for an old man. He lost a lot of weight in the off-season. He runs around in practice. In the future it helps keep the edges honest.
(on being able to rely on the defense to help when turnovers occur)
What's important is the experience itself. You can talk in front of a defense and say, 'Hey look regardless of what happens, if there is a field position shift what-have-you, you guys need to go make the play.' Now they know they are capable of doing it and getting use to it. It was the longest interception return in franchise history. That's a great way to finish the game.
(on if he was surprised about the fourth down decisions made by the Houston Texans)
You know, I'm never going to second guess another coach. Gary (Kubiak) has information over there that we don't have. They don't call plays not thinking that they're going to work. I thought they did a great job with their play calling and you could see the chunks that they were picking up throughout the game. We had to play defense too and our guys made the plays.
(on if Jevon Kearse is hurt)
No, he's fine. We didn't really have any injuries this week other than just minor bumps and bruises.
QB KERRY COLLINS
(on the first interception of the game)
I sort of would have liked to have started better but that's part of it. It wasn't exactly how I wanted to start the game but I felt like I came back well from it and settled down a little bit. Tried to come back and make good reads and good throws. Like I said, it wasn't the best way to start off but, hey, acknowledge it, kick yourself in the butt a little bit and move on.
We ran some boots that were effective and I guess they forgot about me a little bit. I lost a little weight and picked up my 40-time a little bit. It was there and I took it. It was a good call by (Heimer)Dinger.
(on being able to run the ball too)
Well, hopefully it will slow a little of the backside pursuit. Obviously, its part of our game plan and part of what we do. I'll try to be as effective at it as I can.
(on being more comfortable in the role of starting quarterback)
I really tried to focus in on my preparation and really tried to have good practices, get the game plan down and get the mental part of the game ready for Sunday. I'm getting back into the flow. Certainly after a couple years of not doing it, there's certain things I've got to get back to doing but I do feel like my preparation has been very good. I feel like I've got a good plan heading into the game and trying to make good decisions when I'm out there.
(on one-on-one adjustments)
It can be difficult but also it can be effective. We saw a lot of bump man-to-man today. They got up in our receivers faces. When they do that, they've got their backs turned to the ball; there are opportunities for that to occur. I had one to Chris Davis and Justin (McCareins) in the second half so teams are going to load up the box and we've got to be able to win one-on-one on the outside. For the most part, I thought we did that pretty well today.
(on trusting the receivers)
I think we've got a good group of receivers. I certainly trust them. I think they're capable of being a good group and being an effective group and one that can make plays on the outside. I thought out guys stepped up today with (Justin) Gage being out and Chris Davis having to come into that role. I thought he did really well. I think they came out today and were ready to play and made some big plays for us. I think they are a lot better than people give them credit for.
(on running the next play before it could be reviewed)
We also had in the game plan that if there is a questionable call that we try to get the ball snapped. I was yelling it. I knew we were going to do it before it came in on the headset. I didn't see the play, I didn't know what happened. All I did know was that we practice it all the time and we're aware of the situation that if there is a questionable call, we want to get up and run a play and it worked out for us. Some guys said that it was questionable whether he was in or not. It was an effective tactic for us to get out there and get the ball snapped. Ultimately, I believe we scored a touchdown there.
(on how being the starter is a confidence builder)
I really kind of saw what (Coach Fisher) was trying to do and saw that he was giving me the keys so to speak. It is a confidence thing for me to know that I'm the guy and that I'm going to be in there week in and week out. I want to keep getting better and keep playing because you notice he said that as long as we are winning and things are going okay then I will be in there. That speaks loud and clear but at the same time, I'm really excited about the chance. I love playing and I'm excited about the opportunity and play on a good team.
(on reaching the 35,000 passing yards milestone)
It's a nice milestone and it was nice to do it here at home. I really appreciated the response from the fans I heard when they made the announcement. But at the same time, I excited about where this football team is going. I'm more excited about getting the win today but certainly it is nice. It's hard to remember where they all came from but it's a nice milestone and I'm proud of it but we've got a lot of work to do.
(on having the keys to a potential playoff contender)
It's nice to be on a good team that's got a chance to win every week. It's fun to be a part of that. If you play 14 years, you are going to have good teams and bad teams. I haven't been with a better group of guys, who play as hard as these guys. There's a lot of possibilities for us this year. I'm excited to be a part of that but we've got a lot of work to do. Second half was a little sloppy. I think we definitely need to improve on some things we did and there's a couple I'd like to have back but we got the win and that's the most important thing.
(on his weight loss)
I was 229 (pounds) this week so that puts it close to 15-17 (pounds lost), in that range somewhere from my highest point. Started loosing it last year and just kind of kept it off. Even dropped some more as we've been in camp and regular season. Within the last two years, I've dropped an easy 15 pounds.
RB CHRIS JOHNSON
(on being 3-0)
Most rookies don't come in and be on an undefeated team in the first three weeks. Being 3-0 feels good.
(on if he feels the offense has a lot of confidence)
I feel the confidence. It's not just one person contributing and making big plays. It's everybody working together and they keep helping us get a win every week.
(on Kerry Collins' passing performance)
It makes a lot of difference. He drops back five steps and just puts the ball in there.
(on the team using an effective rushing attack)
It always opens up when you've got a good passing game. It can open up your run game. The run game can then open up the passing game.
(on the importance of playing strong in the next few weeks)
It's really important. We are trying to stay undefeated and get to our bye week and get everybody else healthy and come out of our bye week ready to play.
WR JUSTIN MCCAREINS
(on the performance of Kerry Collins)
He's a great quarterback to work with. He throws such a nice ball. He's very accurate. We are lucky to have him.
(on receivers stepping up to make big plays)
We all did. I think Brandon (Jones) and Chris (Davis) made some big catches. Obviously, the tight ends were doing their thing. You can't say enough about the running game. If you are not running the ball well and making them play honest, then you're not going to be able to throw it.
(on if it feels good to have a 90-yard game)
It does. What makes me most happy is the fact that we won this game. We are 3-0 and we feel pretty good about ourselves this week in preparing for our next opponent.
TE ALGE CRUMPLER
(on Kerry Collins making a couple of big rushing plays)
I did some radio interviews earlier in the week talking about how we were going to keep him in the pocket. They collapsed the pocket and we got around on that edge. If you can get 15 yards in a keeper like that, that's great.
(on the receivers making critical catches)
Chris Davis made a huge catch earlier in the ballgame. Justin McCareins made some great catches on the sideline and one big one going into the red zone. We've got some balance that we are going to need to continue to do for the rest of the season.
(on winning two divisional games early in the season)
It's good because we are two up in the division. I don't know what everybody else has done. This was a very important game for us. This week coming up we've got an unfamiliar opponent in Minnesota and a lot of us haven't played against this team. It's important for us to come out and protect our home turf and see if we can put together four quarters of good football.
DT TONY BROWN
(on Titans defensive effort)
We just want to stop them. That's the big thing especially up front on the defensive line. We just want to take it upon ourselves, because if they can't get past us, they can't get any yards. I wouldn't say we feel invincible or anything, but I would just say we feel confident, especially as a unit and as a whole defense period.
They made some big plays themselves, but at the same time, it's on us to get them stopped. We're a defense and we're out there no matter how long their offense is out there, we still have to get them stopped.
We believe we can win every game. It's not like a cockiness or anything. It's like we feel if we practice hard, the way we practice, and put that on the field, we feel we shouldn't lose.
(on Texans rookie RB Steve Slaton)
We knew about him, even before we got on the field. He's a good guy and they did a great job in drafting him. We knew what he's all about, but at the same time he had a good game. And we just try to come out and stop him and make plays when we had to.
CB CORTLAND FINNEGAN
(on Titans defense)
You can't say enough about this defensive line,. They give you a chance to make a play out there in the corner position. You are going to get some balls caught on you, but at the end of the day, the defensive line is part of this offense. They threw everything in the kitchen at us. They schemed us well, and we withstood some flurries and as a defense I think overall, we played well.
(on late 4th quarter interception for a TD to seal the win)
No question about it, that I wanted to get to the *(end) *zone and make a play for my team. You know, I wanted to score. Like I said before, the defensive line contributes a lot to what we do on the outside. It's a great thing for the team, and we'll worry about the other stuff *(franchise record interception for TD) *a little later.
(on the Titans early won-loss record)
It means everything right now just to be 3-0 and on top of the division. It's a marathon and not a sprint, so definitely we want to take one game at a time. We've got a good Minnesota team coming in here, so we have to look forward to Minnesota.
DE JEVON KEARSE
(on first solo sack since returning to Tennessee)
It felt good to get the sack in front of the home crowd and they got kind of loud out there, This is only the beginning so I have to keep working hard at it. My coach has been really pushing me, trying to get me to show them what I really have. It's coming slowly but surely. I made the airplane wings with my arms after the sack to get some "Freak-quent" flier miles. I have to work on getting a whole lot more of those. I'm working on it.
(on Titans defensive effort holding Houston from scoring three times inside the 10-yard line)
It showed us that we'll bend, but we aren't going to break. I hate to say that, but anytime they get the ball down there at the goal line, it's out job to stand up and play defense and keep them out of the end zone. Personally, I feel we are just trying to send a message out to the rest of the league to not come into our home. You're not going to try to run the ball on us on third and fourth down. You better just punt the ball and be satisfied with that.
DE KYLE VANDEN BOSCH
(On Houston going for it on fourth down a couple times)
Hopefully we put that fire out. If teams go for it on fourth down and they convert early in the season, I think you see more of it as the year goes on. We did a good job of getting off the field today. Those were some big, big stops we made today. We weren't great on defense today but we stepped up when we had to. That is the type of defense that we need to be, a big-play type defense. We came up with big plays when we needed them.
(On slowing Steve Slaton in the second half)
He got some yards after contact early in the first half. I think we made some good adjustments defensively. He is a good running back. This is a good offense. He is going to get some yards this year. At the same time, we need to be better against the run. Like I said, I think we came in during halftime and made some adjustments and stepped up when we needed to.
(On the Houston offense not getting points a couple times in the red zone)
That is tough when a team gets down in the red zone and comes away with no points. Really, our red zone defense was good most of the day. We held them to field goals early and got a couple of stops late. It is really tough. That was a lot of fun. The crowd was into it chanting defense. We were all fired up. We really made some big stops down there. That is something we can build upon. As a defense, obviously we need to prevent teams from getting in the red zone but we need to continue to tighten up as a defense when teams get down in there.
(On the Texans 15-play drive without points)
It was big. We need to make some stops and not let teams put together long drives against us. We responded well. We made adjustments and we stepped up when we had to.
(on the Titans secondary coming up big)
Our secondary has been solid the whole season thus far. They are going to continue to make big plays. As a defense, we get pressure interceptions and we get coverage sacks. That is going to continue to be a good formula for us down the road. Quarterbacks aren't going to just throw it up for grabs because our secondary is doing a good job of going up and getting the ball.
(on the play of Jevon Kearse and especially his sack)
Jevon is going to make some big plays for us this year. I don't know how he got there so fast on the sack because I felt like I got there as fast as I could and he was there before I was. He is an explosive-type player and he is going to make big plays for us. I am excited to see the things he is going to do for us down the road.
(on if he thought the Titans could go 3-0)
I thought we could. I don't think anyone outside of our locker room really believed in us. I think we are going to continue to do some good things. I think we are a smart team, a no nonsense team. We are physical and that is going to help us down the road. This win today, it took everybody in our locker room. It was a good team win. Obviously, we can do a lot of things a lot better. We are going to continue to correct our mistakes, but we are off to a good start.
HOUSTON TEXANS POST-GAME QUOTES
HEAD COACH GARY KUBIAK
(On missed opportunities in the first half and fourth down situations in the second half)
In the first half we dropped a couple of touchdowns. You can't come in a place like this and do that. We had our chances in the first half to make some big plays. In the second half our defense played extremely well and gave us a chance to win. We didn't make any plays on offense. [We] missed on third downs, missed on fourth downs, overall very poor in the red zone. I think we were one for six. It's very tough to win that way.
(On having an opportunity to win in the second half)
I thought our guys played hard, extremely hard. We just didn't play very clean. I don't want to rehash it but look at the first half. We had our chances to make our plays just like we worked on them but we didn't make them. In the second half, give them credit, they did a good job. They know we were starting to throw the ball quite a bit and 93 is a tough guy to handle. They gave us all we could handle.
(On not going for a field goal on the first fourth- down attempt)
Even if we kick a field goal we are still two scores away. I felt good and we need to be aggressive as a football team and work through this. We called zone coverage and had a screen on and felt pretty good about the play. I think it was first and four. We didn't get one of our guys out, one of our linemen out. He got held up. That stuff happens and they made the play. I had to be aggressive there. Plus, I have to admit I was very concerned after watching the ball roll back there a couple of times where the snap standpoint is concerned.
(On evaluating Matt Schaub)
I know he struggled early. Now I am at the point, after I get through that, I've got to go back and look at the rest of the football game. Early in the game, there were some things that were uncharacteristic. We will go back and look at all four quarters and evaluate everybody and start from there.
(On considering playing Sage Rosenfels at quarterback)
You've got to let a guy work through things. He did not start clean but right there in the ballgame, it's a 12-10 ballgame and that's part of playing quarterback in this league.
(On the other dropped pass)
I think we had Andre [Johnson] in the left corner early in the game for a touchdown and the big ball down the middle of the field was the other. That's two touchdown plays right there. Those are hard plays to make.
(On Steve Slaton's performance)
I thought he was special in the game. He played a lot of plays. We were going to rotate him but he played so well, we kept going with him. I like the way he broke tackles, just kept going and gave us a chance to make some big plays. I think he ended up with 120 yards rushing. We probably got away from the run game too quick in the second half in all honesty. We ran the ball good in the first half. I think he has a chance of being a fine player if he just keeps going.
(On how hard it is to swallow the loss)
They are all hard to swallow. You work your tail off and you lose in this league, it's very difficult. I thought this team battled. I thought it battled extremely hard today. There's a lot of things we have to clean up if we are going to compete and win at places like this and where we are going next week. I thought they were ready to play and played extremely hard. We just didn't play very good.
(On the Tennessee defense)
They have a hell of a defense. They don't give up many big plays. They pin their ears back on third downs. Those two ends are very difficult to handle with those guys pushing inside. It's very difficult to make big plays against them and when you get one you better make it. Like I said, we had chance to make a couple and we didn't make them.
(On Houston's defense in the second half)
I think they played their hearts out. They kept us in the football game. They were excellent on third downs in the second half. Gave us a chance for some returns, gave us some good field position, we just didn't get it done.
(On not throwing the review flag on the Justin McCareins' reception)
We didn't see that one on the replay for some reason upstairs. We never got that replay. To my understanding it was very close. I thought on the first one, that kid maybe didn't have total control when his head hit the out of bounds line, but obviously not.
(On playing football after Hurricane Ike)
It was great to be back on the field. That's where we belong on Sundays, that's what we do for a living. It was a long week. It was a hard, long week. We were hoping to make it a good week by finishing it the right way but we're disappointed from that standpoint.
(On what bothers him the most about the loss)
They all bother me the same. If you get beat, you get beat in this league. I don't feel it's one thing over another. I thought we had a chance to win in the second half. The defense put us in position to win and we couldn't make a play.
TE OWEN DANIELS
(on the struggles of the passing game)
We really had high expectations based on the way we worked in the offseason and the way we played in the preseason. We were able to move the ball in every game. It is not like we didn't move the ball today. We just weren't able to punch it in when we got there. The red zone is definitely going to be a focus this week.
(on third down conversions)
If you only convert 11 percent of your third downs like we did today you aren't giving yourself a very good chance to be successful.
DE N.D. KALU
(on the reason the defense played better in the second half)
We were tackling better and we executed the game plan. They got us prepared all week to stop the run. We knew that rookie was explosive and we hoped to get them into third and long so we could put pressure on the quarterback.
S WILL DEMPS
(on the game)
They made plays in the first half and you have to give them credit. They make money too, they are professionals. You have to give it to them. We are 0-2, but it is not the end of the world. We have 14 more weeks to play and can't sit and put our heads down.
(on the start of the season)
It is football and things can change. Weren't the Giants 0-2? Yes they were. Did they panic? No. Yes we have distractions, there was a hurricane and there was no power, but we can't worry about that. We have to worry about us in this locker room.
QB MATT SCHAUB
(on the team)
For us to become the team that we want to be, we all have to play better. We squandered opportunities as an offense that we have to take advantage of. We expect more out of ourselves. The defense played well and gave us a chance.
It was rough going there for a little bit. It was hard to get settled down and get some completions, but once we did that we were able to move the ball and get some points on the board. I have to play better. I need to step up and play better.
(on the layoff being the reason for loss)
It would be too easy to easy to point to that and say that was the reason. We aren't going to do that as a football team. We were ready to play. We had a good week of practice and we were ready mentally and physically. We just didn't make the plays to help you win. The Tennessee Titans made the plays.
(on red zone struggles)
It wasn't anything different. They just made the plays and we didn't. That's on us. You've got to be able to find a way to get it into the end zone. We're there on fourth down inside the five-yard line, inside the ten twice and we weren't able to convert. We've got to stay out of those situations. We can't put ourselves in a fourth-down situation. We just have to convert on third down. That starts with me. I handle the ball every play. I've got to help my team find a way in the end zone.
(on team's 0-2 start to season)
This is two pieces of the puzzle. It's a long season. You look at it and you just got to keep battling week to week. We're hitting a couple of bumps in the road here the first two weeks but we've got to just rally around each other and come back stronger next week when we're playing another good football team.
RB STEVE SLATON
(on first NFL start)
I think it was a good game. I came out and tried to establish myself from the first play on.
(on his 50-yard run)
The D-end hit me and he didn't wrap up. I just got pushed to the outside and there wasn't anybody out there.
(on team's failure to score touchdowns on red zone drives)
For me, I pride myself on scoring in the red zone, just as our offense too. I had a few chances and I didn't take the opportunity to put it in there. Hopefully we work on it in the next few weeks. It's very frustrating. You work on that in practice. You want to put points on the board and not settle for just three.
DT AMOBI OKOYE
(on whether the hurricane-related layoff had a negative impact on team)
I really don't think so. I think we were well-prepared for them. I think we knew everything they were about to do. We'll go back and watch the film to see what exactly didn't work. Going through everything we went through, you can't wait to get on the field. All of a sudden, you had a bye week that you didn't know about. It was great getting back on the field.
(on defensive performance in game)
It was all about stepping up. We wanted to win bad. We just wish we could have gotten a little more turnovers in the second half as we did in the first. That's something we're going to keep on working on.
(on worst part of dealing with the storms in Houston)
Definitely, I think it was the power outage. We're so comfortable with having power 24/7 and all of a sudden you don't have a microwave and the fridge is not working. Those are things that reduce the comfort level.
WR ANDRE JOHNSON
(on offensive performance in the game)
We just didn't make the plays to win the game. I didn't make plays. Plain and simple, it ain't no big mystery.
(on personal missed opportunities in game)
The first one (a first-half pass down the sideline), I was just trying to hold the ball and get my feet inbounds. I had the ball in my fingertips, trying to bring it in. Didn't bring it in. There's no excuse about it. To be the elite receiver that I want to be, I have to make that play. I accept full responsibility for both of them. The other play (second-half drop), I was running when I thought I was by myself and instead of attacking the ball, I let it come into my arms. He swung at it and hit my arms and it just slipped right out.
(on troubles converting third and fourth downs late in the game)
One guy's not going to go out and get a fourth down. You have to have all 11 guys working together. As an offense, it's not a mystery. We just didn't go out and make any plays today. The defense gave us chances, they gave us turnovers, and we didn't capitalize off of none of them. If you don't convert third downs, you're not going to win. Today, we just didn't make it happen. It's real frustrating but, at the same time, we just have to keep working. We still have a lot of football games left.
(on potential criticism of QB Matt Schaub after throwing two interceptions for second straight game)
It's everybody as a whole. We just can't blame everything on Matt. There was plays I should have made today and I didn't make them. It's not all his fault. In the game of football, you have to have 11 guys working at one time. One guy can mess up a whole play. We just have to keep everybody on the same page and go out and execute our plays.