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Coach Munchak's Dec. 4 Practice Report

Posted Dec 4, 2013

HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK

(on preparing for the weather in Denver)

Well, we can’t really prepare for it with it being this condition. You can’t let it bother you. These guys have played in the cold before. Whatever it is, it’ll be it for both teams. I think you just got to go there and play and not let it factor into it.

(on the Titans not playing well in cold weather)

I don’t know. Again it’s hard to compare because the teams are so different now. A lot of these guys we have here now…Ryan (Fitzpatrick) used to play in Buffalo, so he’s very comfortable with the cold. Hopefully, that’s an advantage for him. You can go down the roster that way. That’s why I don’t really play much into it. Maybe in that one season it may affect a team a certain way, but most of those games were years ago; most of these guys weren’t here. It’s kind of a new start, and hopefully this is a game where we’ll say we’re 1-0 in the cold weather.

(on game planning around playing conditions)

You do. Again, our problem is health at the tight end spot not knowing exactly where we’re going to be. We carry those packages anyway, but, yes, you definitely have to especially with wind like today, if the wind is blowing like it is today. To me, it’s not really the cold, it’s the wind. It could snow, but I think the wind is more of an issue. When you play in the cold, I don’t know if it’s necessarily as bad as when the wind affects the ball with throwing the football. We’ll be prepared to do whatever we think we need to do to win the game. We know we have to stay on the field on offense, so obviously you’re going to have a certain strategy to be able to do that. The only way to slow their offense down is to give them the least amount of opportunities you can, least amount of possessions you can give them. That would be the goal going in to keep this thing close so we can find a way to win in the end.

(on Peyton Manning’s offensive weapons)

I don’t know if it matters. It seems like he (Peyton Manning) makes all the players around him better. There’s no doubt that he has good weapons this year. The running backs are running well also. That makes it even scarier, the fact that he’s comfortable handing it off if he has to five times in a row because the running game has really picked up quite a bit. He looks at the coverage, and he has a good feel for how to get them in the right play. You can see it on tape over and over again. You think you pick up something on him, and he figures it out. He will adjust himself in the second quarter, so it’s going to be a great challenge for our defense. Our defense, again, is having a good year also in a lot of areas. This will be a challenge to see how we can matchup against a very, very good offense and a great quarterback.

(on whether Visanthe Shiancoe will play)

We have to limit what we have him do so he can help us. There may be a package that we have him…not learn the whole offense, not (learn) everything we’re going to do, but just learn a phase. Obviously, he’s a guy we can run some good routes, some good passes. He’s not necessarily known for his blocking ability or being an on the line guy. We’ll try to use him in a limited role to where he can be effective depending on how Delanie (Walker) is and (Craig) Stevens. We’ll see more about that by the end of the week.

(on players unable to practice today)

No, neither (Delanie Walker nor Craig Stevens) practiced. (David) Stewart didn’t practice either. (Brett) Kern didn’t practice. I think they were the four that didn’t do anything today. (Kern’s) back has been sore, so we just rested him today. (David) Stewart’s shoulder is still acting up, so we rested him today. Both tight ends didn’t do anything today. We’re hoping to have (Craig) Stevens do something tomorrow. I think that was about it. Everyone else was out there.

(on whether he is concerned about Brett Kern returning)

He’s been sore the last few weeks. It comes and goes, but it’s nothing that we felt he wouldn’t be able to play in a game.

(on slowing down Peyton Manning)

I think you go into this game knowing he’s going to make plays. That’s the biggest thing for the defense, not to get frustrated knowing that he might make some plays. You may feel like you’re doing a great job on him, you’re shutting him down, then all of a sudden he explodes a little bit for a couple of series. I think, again, our offense can help our defense probably more than anything and the special teams can. In a game like this where you have an offense that’s as potent as they can be and score points so fast, we have to be successful on offense. There’s no way around that. We can’t have three-and-outs and give him more time with the football. That’s where we have to be smart with our game planning as far as how we’re going to handle getting 10 yards at a time and getting a big play when it’s there. This is going to be a team effort. It’s about the defense against Peyton. It is at points, but overall it’s going to be the offense doing its share to make this thing an easier ride for both phases. 

(on whether Craig Stevens and Delanie Walker will play Sunday)

Well, (Delanie) Walker would probably be by Friday. He’s on a progression where he has got to work out tomorrow. If he does well tomorrow, then he gets tested Friday morning and could practice Friday. (Craig) Stevens is ahead of him because he missed last week. Now Stevens is ahead today, and he’ll get tested today. He may be able to do something tomorrow. That’s the reason. They both seem to be doing pretty good, but we got to follow the procedure there. Hoping to have both of them on Friday.

(on whether the team would carry four tight ends on Sunday)

We may have to think about that and see how that would affect another position. They (Craig Stevens and Delanie Walker) would have to both be doing really well in our mind and not take a chance to lose both of them in the first quarter and be without someone we feel can help us in the passing game. If you see them both suit up, then we feel really confident about both of them, as good as you can. If we’re not, then we would probably put one of them down and keep the other kid up.

(on whether altitude is a factor on Sunday)

I don’t know that it will be a big factor. We talked to a lot of people about that about whether we should go early or should we not. A lot of people say it’s better just to go there, play, and be out of there because the less time you’re there, the better. There’s a lot of opinions. You get a lot of opinions on everything. It’s just something that we’re not going to talk a lot about. We’re going to do what we need to do as far as hydrating, doing all the smart stuff, and things about how to eat, how to drink, rest, all those things going into it. Other than that, you just got to go play. We’re going to have more cold games than this one, so we can’t get caught up in all that and let it affect our play.

(on whether the team will fly to Denver on Saturday)

Yes. We’ll go in Saturday. We’ll practice here in the morning like we normally do and leave a little earlier. We’ll have a normal Saturday.

(on adding Quinn Johnson to the roster)

That will help us a lot. That was fortunate that he’s familiar with what we do, same thing with bringing Kevin Matthews back. You have guys in a week’s time that can at least suit up. He can go from not playing for all season long to getting 12, 15 snaps. You’re talking about the weather. There’s a case where if the weather’s poor, you obviously may do a little more with two backs. He’s a big fullback that can help us and has a good understanding of our offense. Losing (Collin) Mooney was a tough blow for us, but having Quinn (Johnson) available definitely makes it a lot better.

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