TENNESSEE TITANS VS. HOUSTON TEXANS POSTGAME TRANSCRIPTS - Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017 **
HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY
I'll do what I usually do with the injuries. DaQuan (Jones) did not finish the game with a bicep and we'll check him out tomorrow, and then Logan Ryan with a concussion could not finish, and I'm sure he'll be in protocol with that. I thought it was a great win for this team. A lot of ups and downs in that one, but I like the way our guys kept on playing and didn't let anything affect them as in past games, getting down 10 early. I thought the crowd had a big part in our win, I really do. That's the loudest I've heard it. I think it had a big impact on their cadence and again, I don't know if people understand how much of an ally that is for our football to have fans here like they were.
(on finding a way to win with cornerback LeShaun Sims covering for defensive lineman DaQuan Jones)
LeShaun (Sims) played a quarter and a half and then Logan Ryan went out. You've got a tough duty when you've got to cover 10 (DeAndre Hopkins), and did a really outstanding job. That was a great play – I mean, as good a play as you can make on a ball that he made.
(on if he changed coverage much in this game)
We did. We did some things differently, we did. You have to do those things, you know, Coach (Shane) Bowen's been around for a long time and we readjusted.
(on if he was happy with LeShaun Sims performance covering Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins)
I don't know if he had another catch after. That had a big difference on it.
(on running back Derrick Henry's touchdown run and the play call)
It's a little bit of a risk flipping the ball out, but we just run the same play trying to crease them. I thought we had a crease first down and it came back second down and we saw - it was a third-and-one play designed - and saw the edge and Harry (Douglas) can block the corner. We had a chance for a big play.
(on if LeShaun Sims or Derrick Henry got more excitement out of him)
I'll say yeah. I was breathing the whole game. Again, knew this was going to be not pretty in some areas, but in some areas, it was pretty, pretty win.
(on the possibility of clinching the first division title since 2008)
We've been talking about it. One of the reasons we were where we were last year, we didn't win enough games in the division. It cost us a chance to go to the tournament. We knew this year we have to win games in this division, we have to win them on the road and at home. We've definitely got to win them at home. Our guys were coming through. I didn't know that – I'm sure they didn't know that – about that. It's irrelevant. They know that we have to win these division games.
(on why running back DeMarco Murray was so good this week)
We blocked a whole lot better. I wish there was more to it, it's as simple as that.
(on tight end Delanie Walker's touchdown play)
That play call was to get us in field goal range. That was not a third-and-long call, it was to get us in range, kick a field goal, and Delanie (Walker) – get the ball in his hands. He can make things happen. The other thing is Marcus (Mariota) continuing to take what the defense gives you. Just a little short throw you see it against us a lot of times – those little throws turn into big throws, so that was great by Delanie (Walker).
(on the impact Delanie Walker has on the team)
He's hard to defend. He's so into it right now. He's in the zone, he's got great energy. I love him.
(on if Delanie Walker was pulled down awkwardly after scoring his touchdown)
He did. He went back in obviously to finish the game. I wasn't sure if that was a horse collar or not, but that's how you get injured, a horse collar, that's why they have that rule. A very similar tackle and you fall on the back of his legs, just like Taywan (Taylor).
(on how he'd describe quarterback Marcus Mariota's performance)
Very efficient. Ran the offence well enough to get us in position to score when we needed to. Took what the defense gave us, I just think he played efficiently for us.
(on how the referees explained the Texans run that looked like it was short of a first down)
I don't even want to repeat it to be honest with you, I don't even want to repeat it.
(on how big that sequence leading to the missed field goal by the Texans was for the Titans)
It was big. We missed one too. The ball, since I've been here, hasn't always bounced our way. It's bounced our way this year. You need that to win football games, and it did.
(on what allowed the Titans to rush for 198 yards)
We just had a good week of work; we had a good week. We didn't have a good start last week in that game, didn't take a lot of pride in it, and I thought they were on a mission here to try to fix that. I'm pretty proud of that group up front, again, that's a good front we're facing.
(on how additional much time wide receiver Rishard Matthews will miss)
He's closer than last week, but still not close enough to play a game. We felt like by today, hold him back and not do anything, not even work him out prior was better for him to get him back for next week's game.
(on if there's hope for Rishard Matthews returning next week)
Hope for that, yeah.
(on wide receiver Taywan Taylor's status)
Foot. Again, came right back, thought it was more serious and fortunately it was not.
(on how important it is for Marcus Mariota to not turn the ball over)
Pretty important. I'm sure he didn't go into the game going, 'I can't throw one.' I'm positive that wasn't his mindset. He was going to win the game.
(on if he's pleased with how Marcus Mariota responded after an early mistake)
Yeah, I am. Especially when the emphasis every week is about turning the ball over, and usually the difference in the ratio is hard to win. Then we had a coverage later on that broke down that they had a big play on, he came back and, again, this game doesn't phase him. It's a mistake, he comes back and responds.
(on if wins like today build the team's confidence)
Doesn't hurt. It does not hurt.
(on if Delanie Walker played in another city if he'd be a superstar in the league)
Look, I'm just glad we have him on our team. I'm just glad he's ours and I love everything about him, not just what he does on the field. He's exactly what represents this organization and team, and his family.
(on mistakes that added up in the first half)
Turnover, missed field goal, broken coverage, all things that we were completely responsible for that put us down 10.
(on if this game was especially physical)
It's a physical game. It typically is against these two franchises, yes.
(on if first place looks good)
We're getting ready for the next one.
QUARTERBACK MARCUS MARIOTA**
(on tight end Delanie Walker making numerous plays for him today)
It's a privilege to play with that guy. He's a special talent, an unbelievable competitor. Man, he made a bunch of plays today that really helped us out.
(on if something was different about today's game that allowed the team to play cleaner)
Yeah, just executing the game plan. I did whatever I needed to do for this team. You know, obviously, we'd like to do better. We'd like to score more points but overall, I thought everybody played well and we were able to finish it off.
(on the noise in the stadium indicating the excitement stirring in the city about the team)
For sure, for sure. It's awesome to play in front of that. It's a special environment. I know the team and probably can speak on behalf of those guys, it's a fun atmosphere to play in. It's a privilege to play for those guys.
(on running back Derrick Henry's touchdown)
Actually, Taylor (Lewan) after the first play of that drive thought that maybe we had an opportunity to run that play. I thought it was smart of him to mention it to Coach (Mike) Mularkey and again, they just executed the play and Derrick (Henry) did it all.
(on scoring three rushing touchdowns this season against the Texans)
I'm not sure. I think it's just probably the way they are playing.
(on the team's rushing today)
Yeah, I thought it was huge. We were able to get some momentum going. We were able to make some big runs, get some first downs. I've really got to give credit to the guys up front. I thought they did a great job all day. When you have (Jadeveon) Clowney moving around all over the place and kind of hitting gaps. I thought the way that those guys handled it up front and were able to control the line of scrimmage was very important and key to how were able to run the ball today.
(on the challenge of getting good matchups with Delanie Walker in and Rishard Matthews out )
I think week in and week out, it is tough. Teams find ways to get double teams on them and we've just got to try to make the most of those opportunities outside. I can do a better job of getting those guys better opportunities. I thought (Eric) Decker did a good job of creating some pass interference calls. Delanie (Waler) brings a lot of attention, causes some havoc and teams find ways to keep double teaming him.
(on the identity of the team being one that finds a way to win, even if it's not pretty)
It's all that really matters. When it comes down to it, you can put these together, if you can win the games that you need to, it doesn't matter what the score is as long as you come out on top. That's huge. It's kind of funny, J-Mike (Titans quarterbacks coach Jason Michael) was talking to me, 'They don't have pictures on the scorecard.' However you get it done, however we can finish and find ways to get these wins, especially division ones, its huge and very important.
(on if early completions help him build rhythm and how important that is to his game)
I think its kind of game plan. I do my best to execute whatever the coaches are asking of us. It was just kind of one of those things that they plan a little off. They weren't really pressing our guys early on and we kind of dig and duck and find ways to move the chains.
(on the key to making clutch plays time after time)
Well, I think Coach (Mike) Mularkey and the rest of the staff do a great job of putting us in these situations in practice. When you're able to do that, when you're able to go through these scenarios, guys feel confident when it comes to the real game. You've got to give a lot of credit to those coaches for making practice that way and making practice hard. I think it's helped us in these situations.
(on the team continuing to mount comebacks)
When it comes down to it, I think guys just have confidence in each other. That's the atmosphere. That's the culture that's being built around here. For me personally, it's special to be a part of and something I won't take for granted.
(on what it did for the team to have CB LeShaun Sims come off the bench and contribute )
It's fun to watch. When you've got a guy that comes in that's kind of cold and hasn't played throughout the game, for him to step up and make a play, it really just shows the amount of depth amongst our team. When you have that and you can compete against each other every single day in practice, I think everyone around you gets better. No matter who gets called up, it's going to be the next guy up and we trust that that guy can make a play. All in all, defense played incredible and we've got to marry it a little bit and find ways to help out score some more points. It doesn't matter who comes out there on defense, guys just continue to make plays.
(on how it feels to be 8-4)
It feels good. It feels really good but it's not satisfying. That's just the start. Looking around the locker room with these guys, I think everyone feels the same way. In order to get where we want to go, we've got to continue to put these together. 8-4 is not going to cut it. We're looking forward to next week and hopefully, we can continue to win these games.
RUNNING BACK DERRICK HENRY
(on his success in the fourth quarter)
I'm just trying to finish, we needed a first down for us to seal the game. I broke and all I saw was grass, so I just kept going.
(on if he had any doubt that he could beat Texans defensive back Marcus Gilchrist to the end zone)
I wasn't even looking at him, I was looking at the end zone.
(on if he felt Marcus Gilchrist coming)
I was running towards the end zone, that's all I saw.
(on how important it was for the team to establish the run early)
Credit to our O-line, all those guys blocking. We wanted to start fast and be physical. We talk about (starting fast) as a team and we've got to start like that every game.
(on if offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie was saving the play that he scored on for the right time)
That's crazy, because Baltimore ran that (in the) game on Monday night and I watched that play live. We ran the same play twice, they were all in the box. Even Taylor Lewan, he was calling, like, 'We've got to run that play,' and they called it the next play and it was wide open. Glad we got the score.
(on if being 'a 60-minute team' has become the team's MO)
We don't want to have a slow start. But, we finish, that's the positive on it. We do want to start fast and finish strong. I'm just glad we got a win today against a good opponent.
(on the team's success at home)
That hasn't been the case in the past, but we definitely want this to be a tough place to win in and we've been doing a great job of winning here, so we want to keep that going.
(on what he's thinking we he sees open field in front of him)
Score. I just want to score. Credit to those guys doing a great job, it takes every man doing their job for me to have the opportunity.
TIGHT END DELANIE WALKER
(on team's continuance to find a way to win)
That's our identity, we ain't going to give up. There are tough guys in this locker room, seeing guys get hurt, come back in the game and play. You can't ask for anything more, you know what I mean. We going to tough it out, get the W. I love it, I am excited about it.**
(on the characteristic the team shows to have rallies)
In past years, I didn't think we had the fight. We got to fight to finish games. We start slow, but we finish it. That's all we can ask for.
(on the play where he made touchdown reception)
He horse-collared me, tackled me in the end zone, did not get a call. He landed on my ankle. I mean obviously it happened, but I am fine.
(on the play call that resulted in his touchdown reception)
Great play call, worked on it one time in practice, called it up, dialed it up. Jonnu (Smith) did a great job running the corner. We saw it was cover 2 and Marcus (Mariota) made a great throw and I got in the end zone.
(on how it feels to be in first place at this point in the season)
It feels great to be in first place. I have been here five years and I am just excited to be in this situation. This year, we got the guys to do it.
(on earning another home victory)
We always talk about we must protect our house and that's what it starts with. We have done that so far. Again, I think the fans have a lot to do with that. Without them, we wouldn't be as great at home.
LEFT TACKLE TAYLOR LEWAN
(on coming back to gain the victory)
To be honest with you, I have said it before, I will say it a thousand times. It doesn't matter, a win or loss, there is no asterisk by it. There is no this or that. We kept Marcus (Mariota) clean today and we ran for 200 yards.
(on in finding a way to win becoming the identity of the team)
My first two years here, it was the exact opposite. Anytime it was a close game, we would find a way to lose. The leadership today really makes that, what we are. The guy (Mariota) is a helluva of a dude. Having one two going into Arizona, they got some good rushers there on the side. I am excited about the opportunity to go back home. I haven't played in that stadium since the state championship game, so that's cool. I am excited about it.
RUNNING BACK DEMARCO MURRAY
(on establishing running game early)
I thought we came out running the ball efficiently. Obviously, could have done a little bit better, but looking at it now, looking at the stats, I thought we did well. The offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage, guys blocked downfield. So, it was a great day for the running game.
(on the running attack finishing game on a strong note)
We are about running the ball, setting the pass up. I thought we controlled the line of scrimmage from start to finish. We need to give the game ball to the offensive line for the way they blocked.
(on Derrick Henry making another long run in fourth quarter)
Yeah, man that's it, it was a huge one, a dagger. I think, I don't know the situation, but I think they didn't have any more timeouts. We needed a first down but luckily we got the touchdown to seal it. It's great, a great run by him.
(on if felt like he had more of a burst today)
You know, I felt good, I felt good. Obviously, just gradually getting healthy over the course of the season. Obviously, early on, banged up a little bit, but hey, you got to keep fighting, keep going.
(on if finding a way to win is the theme for the team)
That is what it is about. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how it happens. You get another check in the win column. We will take that any day.
OUTSIDE LINEBACKER BRIAN ORAKPO
(on the Titans defense giving up a lot of yardage, but not allowing the Texans to score)
A lot of garbage yards, we're not really concerned with the numbers per se. Keep them out of the end zone, number one objective. The scored 13 points and three points in the second half. I'll take that any day. They tried to neutralize our edge rushes, as well, with the two-back set chipping and trying to take us out of the game. But overall, we had a great effort getting after them, keeping the points at a minimum, having a 'bend but don't break' mentality, and I think we did a phenomenal job, especially in the second half.
(on the Titans winning nine of their last 10 games at home)
We are learning how to win these close games. We are learning how to win at home. We are learning how to win on the road. We've got all the tools needed to have a successful season, and we're that so far. Winning football. Playing at a high level. I can't say enough about this team. Great complimentary football.
DEFENSIVE TACKLE JURRELL CASEY
(on the Titans' defense getting numerous sacks today)
Like I've said, keep applying the pressure and the sacks will come. Everyone was asking 'where's the sacks, where's the sacks?' They are going to come. It is part of the game plan. Guys know the other team is picking it up, and they're picking up our game plan. They are stopping us from getting sacks, but we put the pressure there. And now the sacks are starting to fall in. We're getting quarterbacks to set back there, and our defensive backs are playing their part, locking guys down. They are locking guys down, and the QB is not getting to get rid of the ball.
(on the Titans' crowd playing a part in forcing three straight false start penalties on the Texans late in the game)
It was very unbelievable. I think in all of my years, I haven't heard the crowd get that loud and wild. It definitely was lovely. I kind of hate that we disappointed them a little bit and let them convert a first down. But the crowd played their part, the way we needed them to on that last drive. Definitely thank them very much for coming in, and stepping up, and doing their part. Looking for more of it. Definitely looking for more of it.
CORNERBACK LeSHUAN SIMS
(on going in for Titans CB Logan Ryan, when he got injured)
Logan (Ryan) is definitely one of the biggest leaders on defense for us, so to be able to go in and fill in for him was a big opportunity. So I just wanted to put my best foot forward and make some plays.
(on making a key fourth down interception in the end zone to preserve the Titans' victory)
I knew they were going to go to (Texans WR DeAndre) Hopkins, so when he broke inside, the quarterback threw it outside, so I just turned end around, and tried to make a play on the ball. He is a really physical player, so you pretty much just have to fight fire with fire.
SAFETY KEVIN BYARD
(on the play today of Titans' CB LeShuan Sims)
Real big play by L-Dog (LeShuan Sims) in the end zone. I mean, I was asking him, 'Where is that in practice?' Because he just made a helluva play and looked like a wide receiver. It was a big play. I was talking about a play that I messed up on fourth down where the tight end made the catch. I sent up to the Most High, and I guess he wanted L-Dog to make the play of the game, so I am glad he made it. We know from training camp to OTAs, we always talk about it, how everybody in this room is going to help us win games, and for L-Dog to be put on No. 10 (Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins), to have that kind of matchup with one of the best receivers in the league, he made a great play.
(on the Titans' defensive performance today)
Honestly, I felt like the entire game, everything that they got, we gave them. I don't feel there was any one play in the game where they just beat us, except on that fourth down late. As long as we keep playing like that, we'll be better, but we just had to stop giving them big plays. Guys call it 'bend but don't break', but I call it bowing your back when they are getting close to the end zone. I feel like that is what we were doing as a defense today. If we take away a few big plays and one busted coverage on the back end, it was a dominate performance by the defense.
TEXANS HEAD COACH BILL O'BRIEN
(on the Texans' last drive and interception in the end zone)
I thought we were moving the ball pretty good there, and we called a double move and it just didn't work out.
(on how injuries affected the game)
It was tough. It was a tough day. I mean that's no excuse. We've got to find a way to win, but it was definitely one of the tougher days personally that I've ever had trying to piece it all together, but I thought the guys battled hard. We just lost another close one.
(on what happened with kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn)
I'm not sure. He just missed them.
(on what happened on the final interception in the end zone)
I don't know, man. I have to watch the tape. That's what we called. I mean, there's no way I would know what happened on that play. I'm thinking about the next play.
(on if it was quarterback Tom Savage's best game)
I don't know, John. I thought he played well. Tom can sling it. Like I said to Aaron, you know we had a lot of injuries today, a lot of things we had to piece together on offense, and we just came up short. There were some bright spots out there.
(on guard Jeff Allen moving to left tackle)
He's comfortable on the left side. I thought that was a move we had to make. I've got a lot of respect for Jeff (Allen).
(on why quarterback T.J. Yates was warming up at halftime)
We were just checking some things out, Sarah, at halftime you know.
(on if he thought it was a game of missed opportunities)
Yeah, no doubt. That's a good way to describe it. We've had a lot of those this year and like I always tell you guys, we just try to figure out how to do better, you know. We've just got to figure out – we've got a great group of guys in there. It's just been a tough year.
(on Tom Savage being evaluated for a concussion at halftime)
I will find out more on that. I think he probably was, I really do, but I'm not sure because I was just told he was being evaluated for something. That's kind of what ended up happening at the end of the half. He got nailed and so that's what they were evaluating…whatever injury it was, that's what they were looking at in the locker room.
(on the performance of Tom Savage)
I thought he hung in there. I thought he made some nice throws. I could go down the list of…he had to tell, you know, we just signed Andre Ellington as a running back. He had to play slot receiver for us so on every single play Tom had to get him lined up and basically help him with what to do. He had never done any of that. He was playing in the backfield all week. So just an example right there, I thought Tom did a great job of that. We have a lot of respect for Tom. He hung in there today and tried to bring us back and it just didn't work out in the end.
(on how the defense matched up against the Titans' run game)
Our defense was good against the run. I think we're top five, top six in the league against the run. Our guys really take pride in stopping the run. We've got a bunch of tough guys on defense and they do a good job on that.
(on tight end Stephen Anderson's play today)
He came up big for us. He made some tough catches. He's a good player, he's a solid player, he's a tough kid, he's smart, really smart guy, it's just too bad that we couldn't find a way to win the game.
(on the 4-8 record and where the team is at this point of the season)
Yeah, not good, not good. I think these guys, like I just told them, we've got to stick together, we've got to keep fighting. I mean, it is what it is – I haven't been in this situation. I've never been in this situation so I'm learning on the job too as far as being in a losing situation right here. We've lost a bunch of games, a bunch of close games and just got to figure out how to continue to try to coach better and see if we can get these guys to execute a little bit better, but a lot of respect for the guys in the locker room. I know they'll show up and work every week.
(on tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz having three concussions in one year)
I really shouldn't comment on that. I really shouldn't. I'm sure you can come to your own conclusions on that.
(on outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney not being as dominant as he has been)
I have to watch the tape. He was around. He's very disruptive. I don't know what his stats were. I'm not sure if you can point to specific stats and say that he…I thought that he was very disruptive out there when I was watching what was going on on defense. I thought he was very disruptive.
(on dealing with injuries on and off the field as a coach)
I have confidence in our ability to coach. I really have confidence in our ability to put a team together, get a team ready to play, not put a team together, but get a team ready to play week in and week out and that's what we have to do. We've lost a lot of close games, that's what this league is. This league is…games come down to the fourth quarter like this one did today and we just have to find a way to get over the hump.
TEXANS QUARTERBACK TOM SAVAGE
(on the interception he threw in the end zone late in the fourth quarter)
I mean, it's just one of those things. I was throwing it out there, to the outside, and the guy made a good play on the ball.
(on whether or not he was evaluated for a concussion at halftime)
Yeah, I think. I mean, sure. It was quick.
(on if it was difficult to play in the second half after being evaluated for a concussion at halftime)
No, no, it was no big deal. I was fine.
(on putting up career high numbers in a loss)
Yeah, it's just numbers.
(on having to play with different receivers due to so many injuries)
Yeah, it was just a weird game, you know. I've never been a part of something like that with that many guys out. Those guys really stepped up and did a great job for us.
(on coming close to winning the game, despite so many injuries)
You know, it's one of those things – no one really cares. You can tell everybody in the world that we had injuries – no one cares. We have an 'L' on that game and that's all that matters. We have to find a way to win.
(on struggling with the crowd noise)
You know, it starts with me. It was loud and we have to figure out how to get on the same page. We overcame it and got some points on the board, but we didn't finish the way we wanted to.
(on the fourth-and-19 conversion to TE Stephen Anderson)
Yeah, I mean it was just four verticals and he cut across the middle a little bit, and the line did a good job of getting the rush past me so that I could step up and run up a little bit and make a play. I saw a window and just tried to rip it in there.
(on if today's setback was the toughest since joining the Texans)
Yeah, I think every most recent loss is the toughest game – I would say that. I mean, it stinks. There's nothing good about that locker room right now. We all got each other's back. That's the way this team is programmed and we're going to stay together, and we're going to find a way to get some wins. That's really all I can say about it, it stinks.
(on if he took a step forward today)
I mean, sure, maybe I did a little bit take a step forward. But, we lost and again, you said it best, no one cares.
(on putting up career-best numbers)
Like I said, it just doesn't matter, you know? We got to go out there, we got to find a way to win, and I'd rather be one-of-50 with a win than whatever yards I had – I don't know. But, it's just how this team is. It's frustrating because you see how hard everyone works and how much we put into this, and it's just not swinging our way right now. We'll find a way.
(on what the Titans did differently defensively in the second half)
They brought a couple more blitzes here and there. Dick LeBeau is a great coach and he stayed similar with what his plan is, and that's what they do. They do what they do and they're good at it. So, the guys made a lot of good plays for me out there, but like I said, it just didn't turn our way.
(on how committed he was to staying on the field to win the game)
I'm not coming off the field on my own, you know? That's just how I am now. I've been down that road and I'm not doing it.
TEXANS GUARD JEFF ALLEN
(on the last time he played left tackle)
My rookie year, I played left tackle one game in the last game of the season. That was the last time I had played it since college.
(on if he felt comfortable playing left tackle)
I felt pretty comfortable. Obviously, I still have some work to do. I was a little rusty out there.
(on what happened on the three false start penalties late in the fourth quarter)
There was just a little bit of miscommunication out there. That's all I can say about it.
(on how chaotic it was on that particular drive)
It was pretty chaotic. It got pretty loud, guys couldn't hear. Like I said, there were just some little miscommunications out there.
(on how tough it is to have false start penalties in that type of situation late in a game)
It's really tough, because the game is on the line. I get three false starts in one of the most critical situations in the game. It's really frustrating.
(on the mood of the team after losing so many close games)
A lot of guys are frustrated and it's not because of what we're doing or our performances. We're competitors. We work hard and we put the work in. We come in every day to work and we have great coaches, great players. We're just not getting it done right now.
(on if he sees games like this as missed opportunities)
The margin of error in the NFL is thin, you look at the film and you see that are about eight plays that you wish you could have those back. But, that's not the way it works. You have to capitalize when you have the opportunity.
TEXANS NOSE TACKLE BRANDON DUNN
(on the tough loss)
It's tough. It's a stressful situation, but every guy in this locker room is going to battle. We understand the situation that we are in right now. Nobody is going to tank. You aren't going to have that here, especially with our head coach and our coaches, and the way we care about them and they care about us. We're going to go back to the drawing board and everybody just wants to win. Just want to win. We'll figure it out from our first win, and then next thing you know we're hoping we can get things going back.
(on the mindset moving forward despite being 4-8)
Everybody still has personal goals. In the NFL, you still want to put good stuff on film. We know what type of team we have, I'm pretty sure everybody knows what type of team we have. Everybody is just going to keep on getting better. We are still young. [Coaches] preach on it all the time – "Next play. Next play." We're going to bounce back.
TEXANS TIGHT END STEPHEN ANDERSON
(on his ability to make big plays despite injuries on offense)
It's being sound with the game plan, and being sound with the matchups and who can do what. Just taking advantage of every opportunity.
(on quarterback Tom Savage's performance)
In general, he played better. He was real tough back there. He was getting hit and banged up, but he still got up for the rest of the team, and we were within a drive of going down to win it. He played real tough today.
(on the pass from Tom Savage on the fourth-and-19 play late in the fourth quarter)
It was kind of street ball, I had a deep route and I was just trying to find the hole. Tom (Savage) just happened to roll out right and threw a ball where only I could catch it. I just made a play for my team.
(on his confidence that the offense was going to be able to bounce back after three consecutive false start penalties)
We know we can make plays. We're just a little beat up right now. We are limited in some things, but we still have a lot of people out here that can make plays. We have the utmost confidence on every play that we'll be able to go down and score.
TEXANS WIDE RECEIVER DEANDRE HOPKINS
(on* Texans quarterback Tom Savage's play today)*
That's what we practice, man. We came out, did some good things, did some bad things but that's the way you practice.
(on cornerback LeShaun Sims' late-game interception)
I was just trying to make a play.
(on losing another close game)
It's football, man. You got to give your hats off to Tennessee. They played a good game, they're a good team.
(on Texans running back Andre Ellington's play today)
Andre (Ellington) did a good job coming in this week and making some plays for us and not really knowing the offense that well.
(on being 4-8)
We got pride. Everybody on this team got pride. We try to win every game. That's our mindset.
TEXANS OFFENSIVE LINEMAN BRENO GIACOMINI
(on his overall thoughts on the game)
We just got to finish better. It was basically 0-0 coming out of halftime and we just got to finish better so we're going to go back to work tomorrow and watch the tape and figure out how to get better.
(on the three consecutive false starts on the Texans' second to last drive)
The crowd got into it, that's for sure. We just got to communicate better up front. We can't do that. That's everybody's fault and it starts with me. We got to communicate better when the crowd gets louder and we'll go back to work tomorrow and try to get better.
(on why it starts with him)
You got to look yourself in the mirror, man. Win or loss for that matter, I got to do better. If I get a better block on one of those backside runs, if I don't get a penalty, I don't' hold, it starts with me every game, win or loss.
(on losing close games)
It sucks. We just got to keep getting better in these close games but in reality that's the NFL. It always comes down to one or two possessions, five or six plays that determine each and every game so we just got to go back to work, there's nothing you can do. I've been in this position before, I've been on teams similar to this, like I said, we just got to go back to work and figure it out and it starts with me, I can't get penalties, I can't take a bad step, I got to get better. If I get better the team gets better.
(on how Tom Savage played)
He played well. We went out in the first half and came back in here and it was 0-0 basically, go back out there with the guys going down and it's tough, man. It's tough as a quarterback like that so I thought he played well. I think he's getting better every game, so we got to continue to get better and we will do that starting tomorrow morning.
TEXANS DEFENSIVE LINEMAN D.J. READER
(on playing winnable games but not being able to finish)
That's life. Life's about failure. A lot of stuff happens in life. Sometimes you try and you try and you try and you still don't get there. In football and in life. Eventually we will overcome that. We just got to keep trying every day and what happens, happens. It's tough but like I said, it's life. A lot of things happen in life, like, you're so close to this or you're so close to that, you're so close to getting that job you wanted and you didn't get it. That's what happens. It happens in football too. That's what we're going through right now and soon we're going to get over that hump.
The Tennessee Titans take on the Houston Texans in Week 13 at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)