HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK
(on the team’s mindset heading into the second half of the season)
I think they’re excited. You know, you get a break, and you kind of get everything behind you. You come back with a fresh start, and I think they’ve done that. I think they had three good days. Monday was a good practice, (and) the last couple (days) the energy was really high. They know the challenge ahead of them. They know where they stand, where the other teams are in the AFC, what our situation in the division is. We know we’re playing Indy a couple times coming up in the next five weeks, so it’s all in front of us. There’s no reason to worry about what we didn’t accomplish—it’s more or less realizing how close we were to being in a much better position than we are right now. You can look at it more as a positive than a negative and then know it starts this Sunday. We have no room for error these next few weeks.
(on whether he talks to the team about how many wins they need to make the playoffs)
Not really that way, more or less that we need to keep getting better and be more consistent. If we do that, we know now, I think these guys know now, that they can play anybody on any Sunday. (We can) win against any team we play against if we do what we’re capable of doing. That’s what they’ve learned these last several weeks—some of those in an unfortunate way by learning by losing. But, I think they realize that’s how close the NFL is, and we’re a good enough team now to beat anybody on a Sunday. We got to take that approach. I think they’re excited about the opportunity. That’ll work its way out how many (wins) we get in the end and how it all works out, but I think it’s a matter of we just need to get some wins and make sure we’re relevant in December.
(on preparing for a win after a bye week)
You always look at the schedule to see what you did a year ago, what you liked, what you didn’t like. I do it now, you take notes through training camp and through all the different types of schedules of things you liked and didn’t like about it. My first two years we lost the opener. We looked at different things to see what we could do to win the opener this year. There’s no magic way to change it. Teams change so much year-to-year, and it’s hard to put your finger on it. All you can go by is feeling that the team is at a good place mentally. We’re at a good place physically for the most part other than (Moise) Fokou being out and Griff (
(on today’s weather and Halloween)
I heard the kids might get a two-for-(one). I heard I think it’s a rain day, so I’m sure there will be kids fighting. I know I did. I’d fight the rain and go today knowing I may get an extra bonus day tomorrow. Hopefully the weather is going to hold up for the kids. I know as a parent it’s tough to go out with the umbrella. I know it’s a big day, a big night. The good news is I’ll be home both nights in my house Thursday and Friday, so hopefully I’ll see a lot of kids.
(on whether he passes out candy on Halloween)
To me, when they come to our house, they have to have a trick to get a treat. That’s how it was in Scranton (Pennsylvania). Most people here (in Nashville) have never done that. I said, ‘You know what? That’s why it’s called trick-or-treat. You have to do something to earn your snack.’ They (have to) tell a joke, sing us a song, say you’re a Titans fan, something. I enjoy it.
(on the craziest thing someone has ever done to earn candy)
Jokes really—the kids are amazing. I think here I kind of caught them off guard. They were kind of like, ‘What is that Mr. Munchak?’ I said, ‘You know, give me a joke, give me something.’ The kids come up with something, and then when kids come back next year they’re more prepared. I’ve had fun doing that, but the last couple years it fell on a bad day, so I wasn’t home for it. I’m looking forward to tonight or tomorrow just to have some fun with the kids.
(on whether trick-or-treaters dress up as Titan players)
No. In the past I think kids dressed up, but now they can just buy a mask with the bag. It’s way too simple. I expect more when they come to the house, but these kids are pretty creative.
(on the Rams’ running game)
They just did a little bit of everything; it was more of a zone than anything. I think they did a couple man schemes where they jumped outside, but they did a nice job of sticking with the run. There were a lot of runs that were two and three yards. (Zac Stacy) had 25 carries I think, the running back had at least 25, 26 carries. They had a lot of short runs, but then he busts maybe three or four 15-yarders which is what made the difference in the game. It kept them on the field. I think even though they didn’t score the points, the time of possession, the amount of plays, they had a lot more than Seattle had. It’ll be similar what they’re going to try to do against us but nothing special. They were plays that we run, that most teams run. It’s just that the back ran hard, found lanes, and Seattle missed tackles. That’s usually what happens when something is working that the defense isn’t playing as well as they normally do. They struggled some, and I thought the Rams did a nice job of converting first downs.
I think it’s going to be hard. He’s questionable, and he obviously hasn’t been practicing. Projecting forward it’s hard for that, but I think it’s going to be hard for him to play this week.
Oh, yes. Colin (McCarthy) will be playing.
(on Michael Griffin’s status)
We’ll see how he is tomorrow. The power of positive thinking, I think he’s hoping it works out like it did for Jake (Locker). So, it’s hard when you don’t practice until Friday, but we just got to see where he is tomorrow.
He was excused for personal reasons.