HEAD COACH ANDY REID
(on getting off to a strong start and Alex Smith’s play)
Listen, we’re glad to have him (Alex Smith). I thought Matt Cassel did a nice job when he was here, but we went with a change there, kind of a fresh start. I think Alex has handled that well.
(on sustaining success)
I don’t go there. You can’t go there when you’re in this league. You can’t do that, particularly when you’re playing a good football team. They don’t really care. The Titans aren’t sitting there caring about your record. They want to whip your tail, so you get yourself ready to play a good football team.
(on the team’s quick success after a 2-14 record last season)
You know, I never really got caught up in that 2-14 thing. I didn’t go back and analyze that whole deal. We’ve got good coaches, we’ve got good players, and we’ve got a good GM — it starts with ownership and how they set things up. Clark Hunt does a phenomenal job with it. I never really went back into that there. That to me is a bit negative. I guess the thing you want to do is keep moving forward, take care of the present, and continue to move forward away from that. I think the guys wanted that. They didn’t want to dwell on the past. They were right with me on that. The players said, ‘Let’s go. Let’s move forward.’
(on the team’s success on defense, particularly with the pass rush)
These coaches have done a real nice job defensively, and we’ve got some quality players there that are in positions to pass rush. They’re working hard to try and get even better. As long as you keep doing that, you’re going to be OK. You just got to keep working hard. That’s what they’re doing now.
(on what has made Justin Houston an effective pass rusher)
Well, he’s worked hard. I think both him and Tamba (Hali) would tell you they’ve got plenty of room to improve. You got to keep at it. Every week that you do something, the next team studies it. I’m going to tell you now that the Titans are fully loaded from the head coach to the offensive line coach with good line coaches, and they’ve got good players. We study those things, and they’re going to try to counter the things that made you successful before. So, you’ve got to keep working on your game. You can’t sit there and rest on it. It starts with hard work, detailing your work to make sure you’re not doing the same thing over and over.
(on preparing for
I have a lot of respect for him. I believe he’s had some success against the Chiefs, so the guys here know him and know how good he is. We’re preparing for a good quarterback and an experienced quarterback that has wins under his belt. We got all that. We’ve got to make sure we really put together a good week at practice.
(on whether he expects a different offense from the Titans given the quarterback change)
I don’t think they have to do much different. They’ve got a pretty good offense and I thought (Jake) Locker was doing pretty good, too. They’re similar in the things they do. Fitz (Ryan Fitzpatrick) can run now. It’s not like he can’t get out and run. He might not be as fast as Locker, but he gets out and goes; I’ve seen it firsthand. He knows how to sling it. He’s a smart kid, knows how to run an offense, so I don’t think they have to do much different. It’s not like they have to do this huge change for him coming in.
(on whether it’s tough to outsmart Ryan Fitzpatrick, a Harvard graduate)
Listen, it’s a tribute to him. As a young guy he went from California in high school to Harvard and made that happen academically and on the football field. I don’t think you’re going to trick him. I don’t think that’s going to happen. He’s a smart cookie.
(on what stands out about the Titans on tape)
I’m going to tell you that defensively they fly around. They’ve got good coaching and good players. I’m happy for
(on bringing in Tyler Bray and what he adds to the team)
Tyler’s (Bray) actually done a nice job. He’s so young in age, but he’s come in. He didn’t get picked probably where he wanted to get picked, and he’s worked through all of that. He’s been asked a lot of questions—that comes with the territory there. He’s been asked a lot of questions, and he’s handled that the right way. He’s handled it like a man—like a mature man—not like a young boy. I mean, he’s really handled himself the right way. He’s in a great room with Chase (Daniel) and Alex (Smith), and the two coaches both played at one level or another. It’s a good room for him. He’s handled it well. I mean, you guys know this from him being from Tennessee that he can throw the ball well. He knows how to do it and does it very well. He’s been blessed with unique tools. It’s just important that he continues to grow up.
(on initial concerns with Tyler Bray’s attitude and work ethic)
I know he’s handled himself the right way since he’s been here and that I appreciate. Whatever he did before, our scouting department looked at that and evaluated. John Dorsey had studied him—and really liked him—and his staff. John personally liked him and did some homework and all that type of stuff. So, I have full trust in John and what he does. I mean, he’s been doing it a long time, and he’s very good at it. But, the kid, for what he’s been here, has been tremendous. There have been no problems.
(on the two teams’ abilities to get takeaways)
I’m sure there’s an emphasis both teams put on that. The players have taken that to heart I would say. They’ve made some nice plays. Their coaches have put them in good positions, and they’ve taken advantage of it with their athletic abilities and skills.
(on the importance of turnover ratios in building success)
I would say that’s an important stat. I’m not telling you guys anything either. That’s one of the more important stats in the National Football League. You sure don’t want to turn the ball over, and you want to accumulate as many as you can.