HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK
(on whether the team got a good workout in despite being forced to move inside)
Yeah. I’m hoping (David) Stewart will be able to practice tomorrow. Damian (Williams) may be able to practice tomorrow. (Shonn) Greene will be more maybe individual and things like that to see how he’s running. But, yeah, we’re still hoping all of them will be available to play Sunday.
(on the likelihood of dressing five receivers this week)
It’ll obviously depend on the running back position and what’s going on there if Shonn’s (Greene) healthy and where Damian’s (Williams) at. If Damian’s not healthy, then there’s four and someone else is suiting up for the fourth and then you go from there. The running back position will probably be the pivotal spot deciding on the health of Shonn and if Shonn’s ready.
(on how Shonn Greene’s getting around)
He’s doing well. He’s moving good. He’s getting better every day which is the positive sign. He hasn’t had any setbacks from what he’s been doing. We’re encouraged by that, and I think he is. Now it’s just a matter of seeing if he can rally here by tomorrow and feel like he can start cutting and doing things like that. If not, obviously he won’t play.
(on who the fourth receiver would be if Damian Williams can’t play Sunday)
It probably would be (Justin) Hunter. He’s our next best receiver. I mean, he’s a guy we’d put down I assume if Damian (William) is out. Now if Damian’s active, then it just depends. From there I’m not sure. If one of our receivers is hurt, there’s a good chance it would be Justin.
(on whether Ed Reed’s status as day-to-day affects the Titans’ game planning)
Not really. I think when the game develops, you have an idea of what you’re thinking anyway by what they do schematically. But, no, I think it’s more of see how the game plans out and see how he’s playing and what he’s doing and go from there. But, no, it won’t change what we’re doing.
(on the importance of linebackers staying “clean” and keeping blockers off them)
The big thing is just for the guys to stay up. There will be a lot of cut-blocking going on in this scheme, so we’re used to that. The defensive line is going to have to do a good job of being physical so we don’t allow those guys to make it to the second level as fast, especially the center, the guards, that type of thing. The D-line’s going to have to do a good job of keeping them off the linebackers so they can make the plays. Guys have to stay up. They have to use their hands well. It’s a technique game, no doubt about that. Like I said, I think we understand what they’re trying to do in the run game. I think it’s a great challenge, but it’s something we’ve done well in the past. If we’re going to be able to win, we’ve got to shut down the run game.
(on the Texans splitting carries between Arian Foster and Ben Tate)
Well, I know (Arian) Foster’s been hurt a little bit. I think that’s when Ben (Tate) started getting more reps over the years. He’s a good back. He’s been successful. It’s a good problem to have two good backs. It’s a little different style running wise, but they both run the zone game very well which they run. They mix some other things. They do some counters. They do some powers. Not as much as we do, but they do a lot of those things also. I think they’re like we are. They think they can run the ball. They’d like to run the ball. They ran the ball the third or fourth most last year. When you do that, you get two backs. I think they feel they have that. It’s a long season. I’m sure there’s going to be games where one guy gets more carries than the other and so on. It’s frustrating probably for them because they all want the carries. They got two good backs that can hurt you.
(on whether Arian Foster’s absence plays to the Titans’ advantage)
Well, some teams it would be, but with (Ben) Tate running as well as he’s running, it’s not. He runs well. A lot of teams have those two backs, and we’re hoping we have the same problem for people. If CJ’s (
(on what makes the Texans’ tight ends hard to stop)
I think they just get lost in the run game. They’re smart in their run game and with the boots and play action coming out. Those guys do a nice job. They develop tight ends over the years that fit their system kind of like Denver did and Washington does. It’s the same type of offense. I think they get guys that are tough guys, smart guys. With their body language they can sell the run real hard and escape, make good decisions about when to get open to where there’s places to throw the football. They’ve done a nice job with that and tied in nicely the run and the pass. Houston’s done a nice job with that. Like I said, we’re used to seeing it from Houston. We’ve seen it from Washington earlier in preseason with their very similar system.
(on Matt Schaub as an offensive threat)
You’re not as concerned for him running the football. I mean, if it’s there, just like Manning will run if it’s there, but he’s not looking to run. He pretty much knows what he needs to do. He knows that ball needs to get out of his hand, and he makes good decisions that way. He’s very adequate when he’s on the edge. He’s very accurate when he’s on the edge. The thing there is a lot of times guys are wide open, too, because of the run game. Linebackers and safeties get so excited about stopping the run. Like I just talked about with the tight ends, they find a way to get free. If he’s got a guy wide open, he’s going to make good decisions on the move. That’s one thing he’s done well.
I mean, we’d like to. We thought we were going to last week. We thought ‘Let’s get Kenny (Britt) early, and we did. We gave him the ball first or second snap the first play. I thought we’d continue, but we got going with other things. Every game there’s plays in for them. There’s plays we feel we can go to them to hopefully get them the football. We did a lot of three tight end packages, and a lot of one receiver packages last week. That’s why Kendall (Wright) wasn’t in the plays as much. I’m sure this game is going to be much different than that, so he’ll have plenty of opportunities. Again, the good thing is Kendall got a chance to rest his knee. It wasn’t deliberate that he played less than 20 snaps, but here’s a guy that his body’s a lot fresher than it would have been. You have to look at the positive. If those guys aren’t playing as much or being as active as much that means more in the tank as we go into the season. Hopefully this week or next week or whenever he’s needed these guys will get their five, six, seven catches, and it’ll be a different type of game.
I just think to play his game. The biggest thing for young guys in the league, I think the NFL in general, is you start worrying about one guy. But, then you have a problem because they’ve got 10 other guys that are pretty good, too. Someone’s worried about helping too much on the player that we all know is a good player, but they have other guys, too. They have other guys up front that rush the passer very well. They’ve got linebackers. They’re bring five or six guys at a time. (Chance) knows how to play them after watching tape, so all he’s got to consume himself with is studying what their tendencies are and what (J.J’s) are. They’re going to try to take that away from him in the game. He needs to play the game. Once the game starts, it doesn’t matter anymore. It’s a matter of play the way you play and relax and don’t worry who you’re playing against. After the game, you watch them on tape and you think about those things with how you can play better next time when things come up. But, I don’t think he’ll worry about those things. He’ll just go play. He’s a good matchup for anyone in the league, Chance is. So, we’ll see. This will be a different type of guy than he played last week and San Diego will be another challenge. He’ll have a lot of firsts, but I think he’ll do well.
(on what J.J. Watt does particularly well)
I think he takes advantage of your reaction to a play. He reminds me of Ray Childress when he played back in my era with that quickness. He’s heavier than Ray, about the same height, but he’s very active to where he can cut a corner or run around the block and cut the corner and make the tackle for a two-yard loss. He could beat you across your face. I mean, he has a lot of ways with his quickness. He reacts quickly to what you do, and I think that’s when he’s at his best. If you overset one, he takes advantage. If you cut him off but you go too far, he can backdoor you. A lot of guys can’t make the play when you do those things, but he can. Your technique has to be very, very sound when you play against a good football player like him. That’s the challenge.
(on whether Damian Williams is the team’s best blocking wide receiver)
Not necessarily. I think actually they’ve all gotten a lot better. (Michael) Preston’s a good blocker. Nate’s (Washington) been blocking well this year. Size wise, Damian (Williams) has been probably the most consistent over the last few years. Preston last year blocked well when he got in. They’re getting better at it because they’re doing so much of it. The good thing is they’ve all gotten better.
Just because of things we think he can do. It depends. He can play all three spots, but if he plays outside with his speed and things we think he can do in the game if it’s special teams. It’s not going to be about who’s the best player, it’s going to be who’s the best player for the team we’re playing against and who is the best player to help our team win. There’s a lot more factors than just pinpointing one guy to why he’d play. That’s why if he put (Michael) Preston in, it’s not because he’s necessarily better. It’s that he can bring something this type of game that’s better with helping us on special teams and in other ways. Those are things we’re going to decide the next couple days. They’re both getting a lot of reps in practice, but that’s something we’ll decide upon later in the week. We’d explain it later, what our thinking is, just like we would tell them. But, there’s a lot of factors that go into it.