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Titans Postgame Quotes - 9/9/2012

Posted Sep 9, 2012

Tennessee Titans coaches and players comment on their regular season game against the New England Patriots at LP Field on Sunday, September 9, 2012.

TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK

(on if he thought the outcome of the game showed a gap between the two teams)

I think it just shows you, I mean, I think we are disappointed obviously how the game ended turning out. I think we are happy how it started with the offense taking the ball, making plays. Unfortunately (we got) three points rather than seven, and then when you play a good football team as we knew the Patriots are, as they have been for quite a few years now, you cannot not mistakes. You can’t blow opportunities. When you’re down there, you have to score points, and you can’t have a turnover and give them a touchdown, things like that, that are going to come back to haunt you in a game.

They are going to make plays. They are going to make their share of plays which we knew, we just couldn’t help them, and unfortunately along the way, we helped them. They ran the ball much better than we thought they would against us, which makes it easier for their quarterback. So, yeah I think overall, disappointed.

As far as measuring gaps, I don’t know. When you don’t play well, again, like I said it’s a loss and I don’t think it’s necessarily how far apart we are. It’s just a matter that it just shows you that you can’t afford to make mistakes, and it’s all about making plays.

(on Jake Locker’s performance)

I thought he handled himself well. I thought he came out and made some great throws early in the game. The turnover deal was a sack and a fumble. You wish those things don’t happen, which ended up being seven points. The kid threw well. He’s so competitive. He was fun to watch. If it wasn’t for the injury, he probably finishes up with a very strong football game.

(on Jake Locker’s shoulder injury)

He should be OK. We would rather him not go in there and tackle anybody. But he did because he is so competitive, I guess. But he wanted to go back in. It is his non-throwing shoulder. We just thought at that point we wanted to be sure he got checked out before we did something like that. And the way the game was at that point, we thought we would pull him out, which we did. Assuming that he will get checked out (Monday), he should be OK for next week.

(on the whistle not being blown on what proved to be incomplete pass to Nate Washington)

I don’t think it matters who the officials are as far as replacement, regular officials. I think there were some calls in that game that obviously we weren’t happy with. You know, you wish obviously that a whistle was blown there that the ball wasn’t completed. It didn’t happen and leads the something else. You can go through the game in a lot ways, things that we missed that were unfortunate and change games around. That’s the disappointing thing about the game in general, when you have things you think are missed in the first series, going down and scoring. I thought there were call their probably missed. It’s hard enough. It’s just frustrating when things don’t get called that probably should.

(on team’s rushing game)

I thought coming in, obviously we thought (Chris Jonhson) would have more than 12 or 13 carries, whatever he ended up having. There is no doubt, again, we knew they were coming in, they were going to make sure he didn’t get going the best they could, I would think. They did a good job with that. As far as some of the runs we had, they weren’t as successful as we hoped. We saw we were having success throwing the ball and Jake (Locker) was getting the feel for it. The receivers were doing some good things, so obviously we leaned more in that direction, and I think that is why his numbers weren’t large.

(on holding call on G Steve Hutchinson)

Yeah, that’s my point. You can’t do those things against these types of teams. The Patriots are a great football team, that’s a huge play of the game, on a draw for first down, it’s field position, it’s all kinds of things and we get the call and after that we punt and (they) score points on that drive. So, that’s how quickly a game … you talk about a gap, a team with the scoreboard the gap got bigger obviously, but those are the things that good teams don’t do and right now, we’re making plays like that, that hurt you, a holding call here, a turnover for a touchdown, a pick, a missed tackle, those are the things right now that they exploited, the mistakes we made. They didn’t make many mistakes; they didn’t turn the ball over, they didn’t do some of the things we did, have crucial penalties that hurt them like we did. That’s what the separation is, is us consistently getting better and making plays and not helping the other team, and that’s kind of where the gap is right now.

(on defensive players’ execution)

I think it was missed tackles. They ran the ball better than they should’ve been able to. That usually is all we talk about them running the football and made (Tom) Brady’s job obviously a lot easier when they were having success running the ball on the edges and making plays when they needed to. It was disappointing to see that, there’s no doubt and I know the players are disappointed, you want to play better in key spots. We got some stops but not…when we tried to get back in the game in the second half, we couldn’t get stops where we needed them. They were having success, and again, they make plays and they make tough catches and give them credit for that. That’s a very good football team, they’ve got some very good football players and they converted a lot. Our defense did a nice job on first and second down quite a few times, and they made some great catches and great throws on third down to keep drives going. We could’ve had a chance to change that game and credit to them. They played well, better than we did and you saw the outcome.

(on today’s performance going into the rest of season )

I think you just look at it that it’s one football game. Like you say, there’s no doubt you want to win every game when you play but 15 other teams are going to lose today also unfortunately. It’s how you handle what happens, how are we going to handle this one going forward, to how we take this to San Diego and decide what’s going to happen there. Disappointing? Definitely. Do you want to play better, especially at home? Yes we do. Were there parts that we looked like we were doing some good things? Yes, there’s a lot of good things in this football game, but not enough good things. So that’s the part, that again, you watched the tape and you find out what kind of team you are. You find out how you handle some adversity. Unfortunately we’re getting some in the first game. You don’t win your first game, there’s adversity to some of the things, there’s going to be some things that we obviously can do better, that could have made this game much closer and more competitive towards the end. We didn’t do that, we had some opportunities to do that and like I said, they made the plays and we didn’t.

(on injuries)

We’ll see. (Colin) McCarthy had the ankle, came back in, went back out, so we’ll need to see exactly where he is and how sore he is after playing the game. Nate (Washington) got the play — that the non-catch that they thought was a fumble — and got his leg hit there and I think he’s sore, but again, we’ll have to wait and see how he is tomorrow. (Javon Ringer’s) elbow I think was sore during the week, obviously we didn’t think it was a big deal, I think it gradually got a little worse and started swelling last night on him. Then this morning, it swelled up pretty good, so it could be some type of infection, so obviously he couldn’t play with that. That’s kind of something that happened unexpectedly and again, we assume he’ll be OK going forward but not able to play in the game.

(on turnovers by QB Jake Locker)

Yeah, I think that making a decision to throw the ball deep on the one again, we were moving there right about midfield, until you go back and see what he was really thinking when he threw the ball, you hoped that we could’ve roped that ball up. He’s trying to make a play there, it’s just off the drive. That’s another spot where if that doesn’t happen maybe again we have a chance to go down there and score points. The other one again, he’s holding it, trying to make a play, gets hit and loses the ball. We should protect a little better so that doesn’t happen or the time clock should roll off in his mind and run or get rid of that ball, especially when you’re down there around the goal-line area where something bad can happen if you do get captured – a safety, a sack, a fumble, and unfortunately we gave them a gift that we couldn’t afford to do in the game, at that time it’s 7-3. It’s a whole different ball game when you give up seven points to a very good football team. There are things that those couple of plays we just talked about really make a difference in a game. Those are things he’ll, as far as what he can do to prevent them, yeah, I think the more you do things, you can be a 14-year vet and do the same exact things he did though. You watch games today with a quarterback that have been around for a long time make the same throws and try to make plays. That’s just how quarterbacks are, they’re competitive, they’re trying to make plays all the time, they don’t want to take the check down sometimes and they learn from it. The more he plays, the better he’ll get at it. We are very proud of how he played. I thought he made some great throws on the run, moving in the pocket, buying some time, you saw his legs, all things that you should be really excited about going forward.

(on Jake Locker starting next week)

Yeah, I’m hoping that the injury is not something that would keep him out. I know how competitive he is, so it’s probably going to be hard to keep him out. It was hard to keep him out the game in the fourth quarter when he wanted to come back in. Yeah, we are hoping for the best obviously, we’re hoping he should be OK.



TITANS QB JAKE LOCKER

(on the shoulder injury)

It just got banged up a little bit, but it was something that I felt like I could go back into the game. I will get some treatment on it and feel good about being able to play Sunday.

(on coming back into the game)

I felt like I could go back in and I let them know that. The medical staff made the decision they did.

(on if they told him that he was not supposed to make tackles)

Nobody told me that. I thought it was football.

(on getting off to a good start)

I think that obviously, getting seven is a better start at that point. We moved the ball, sustained the drive and had a chance to put seven points on the board. It was a good way to start the game. It’s why we took the ball first and what we wanted to do with it.

(on his two turnovers)

The first one was a bad decision. They were just in a soft coverage. I shouldn’t have thrown it. The fumble, I have to take better care of the ball in the pocket.

(on how this game compares to his previous NFL experience)

It was different from the standpoint of knowing you were going to be playing going in. The preparation stayed very similar to what it’s been in the past. Overall, I thought that we were able to execute offensively and move the ball.

(on his frustration of not being able to get the running game going and having to pass more in the second half)

It was what was working for us and I think that week-in and week-out that changes. We were able to move the ball a couple of drives early in the second half. We obviously got the scoring drive and we were able to do that through the air. It’s just what was working for us today.

(on the offense not being able to run the ball)

I think that you guys know as well as I do, it’s always easier when you are two dimensional. It makes them respect that for sure. We did a good job of adjusting and finding ways to continue to move the ball.

(on if the shoulder injury will require a brace)

It’s really early and it’s hard to tell. I will just get some treatment throughout the week and make that decision closer to Sunday.

(on if it’s a shoulder bruise more than structural damage)

Yeah, don’t say anything like that.

(on if it bothers him that the play he was injured on never should have happened)

Again, that’s not something that I can control. The play went on as it did. I played it out as if it was live. Looking back on it, unfortunately, it was an incomplete pass. Just because of the circumstances, it’s tough, but you can’t control that.

(on if he won’t go to make a tackle next time there is a defensive return)

Like I said, it’s the game of football. I know that I play on offense, but I’m not going to let a guy run into the end zone.

(on the touchdown pass to Nate Washington)

We were on the other side of the ball to start, but we didn’t get what we wanted over there. I felt a little pressure so I was just trying to get outside of the pocket and I saw Nate (Washington) kind of slip in behind him. It was kind of a dangerous throw, I guess, but it ended up working out for us.

(on the two no-calls of pass interference on the Patriots)

That’s not something that we can control. We had opportunities down in the red zone and we didn’t take advantage of them and didn’t find ways to score. You can’t count on that.

(on the play that he checked to on the fourth-and-one conversion)

We just didn’t have what I thought was going to give us a chance to get that first down. They stacked everybody on the line of scrimmage and we had one-on-one coverage. I thought at that point it was our best shot. We got into a play that gave us that opportunity and we were able to convert on it.

(on what Kendall Wright brought to the offense)

I have said it before, he is a difference maker when the ball is in his hands. He caught a lot of underneath routes where he had the opportunity to run with it after he caught it, and that’s where he is dangerous. That’s what he was really able to help us with today.

(on if a game like this shows him that the Titans have a long way to go before they are on the level of the Patriots)

I haven’t had an opportunity to look at the film. Reliving it, I felt like we moved the ball on offense well today. We just have to find ways to put more points on the board. That will be our focus going forward, I believe.



TITANS RB CHRIS JOHNSON

(on having a tough day at running back)

Yes, tough day — especially after the first week of the season. We were trying to make some plays and trying to get a victory. We had some nice catches and things like that, but overall, a tough day.

(on what New England was doing that made it hard to execute)

I can’t say what they were doing, but we didn’t execute as a team. On the chances earlier in the game where we tried to run the ball, we just didn’t execute basically.

TITANS WR NATE WASHINGTON

(on the overall offensive summary plan when playing the Patriots)

You can’t turn the ball over and you have to get touchdowns. Of course, against a team like this, you have to make sure you are putting up points. Of course, they are going to make some plays. Unfortunately today, we came up short. You have to do a better job offensively to put some points on the board. This is not what we worked for all training camp. We were looking for a little better performance than we gave today.

(on Jake Locker’s first start at quarterback)

He did a good job. Of course, he’s a young guy so he’s going to learn some things from this and get better. But, I think he did a pretty good job all around. From now on, we have to make sure we’re making the plays for him. I think there were a couple of times we could have made some plays for him and we didn’t. So we have to make sure we are accountable for him.



TITANS QB MATT HASSELBECK

(on coming in later in the game)

That’s the nature of the job. You’ve got to be ready and be loose and ready to go. I kind of knew what the fourth-and-one call was going to be. It was a rollout. So I tried to get loose as I could, without giving it away. But CJ (Chris Johnson) made a nice play on that one. It felt good to kind of get in and get a rhythm and stuff. I’m disappointed we didn’t get more points, and score and win and all that stuff.

(on the Titans effort to make a comeback against the Patriots.)

I think that the lesson for us, really for all of us, when one of your guys, one of your good friends goes down, you’ve just got to re-focus and make it happen. We had a number of guys go down … You’ve got to re-focus and you can’t let it deflate you at all. You’ve got to execute and make plays and score touchdowns. The effort was great. We’re just playing one of the best teams in the world, and you can’t do the things that we did. They didn’t turn it over, and we did. They ran the ball, and we didn’t. All the things Coach Munchak says in the locker room — we’re not inventing anything new. It’s just the things we did today against a great team.



TITANS DT JURRELL CASEY

(on Titans defensive efforts today)

I don’t know what the deal was up front. We didn’t get to the quarterback enough. We had to get there faster and give our corners some time. Keep him from getting comfortable back there and not let him stretch out. Next week, that’s something we’ve got to work on — getting to that quarterback. We knew they were going to come out in a fast tempo. We practiced on it all week. Nobody was really tired. Just missed hitting gaps on the run, and not getting pressure on the quarterback in the pass. We missed hitting gaps, and they were executing. That’s it.



TITANS S JORDAN BABINEAUX

(on the Patriots throwing so much to their tight ends)

The challenge was there for us. It’s really hard to say what kind of coverage we playing against those guys. Half the time I was anticipating one to be in the game. We had a great understanding of what these guys like to do offensively. It’s not like we didn’t know our opponent today. We just didn’t do a good enough job of out-executing what they like to do, compared to what we were playing defensively. It’s kind of tough right now, because I’m kind of lost for words. I guess personally and obviously, I wish I had more opportunities to be out there and be a better contribution.

(on losing against a quality team like New England)

I don’t care. It doesn’t matter. The thing is, too, is we get caught up so much about worrying about our opponent and really, the only thing that matters is us. As long as we’re executing our checks, and able to play the type of technique the defense calls for, it doesn’t matter who we play.



TITANS CB ALTERRAUN VERNER

(on the Patriots completing big plays against the Titans defense.)

I mean, they are a good team. They went to the Super Bowl, and so we knew they had that capability. And we knew we just couldn’t get down on ourselves when things like that happened. There were a couple of times they did make those plays and we held them to a field goal, or we stopped them the next three downs. So there were a couple of times we did make some stands and there were a couple of times they made some plays on us. Overall, we did what we could. We tried our best against a very good team, and like I’ve said, we’re going to look at it, we’re going to get better and, you know, the rest is going to be uphill for us.

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