(on if the team is more confident from winning last week’s game)
It’s always a lot easier to go back to work after having success and getting your first win, especially when it’s your first win, and going into a big game for us. I mean, it’s a division game, our first one of the year. These are the ones you have to win, and again, it’s a team that’s 3-0. They’re off to the best start in the AFC, and they obviously won the division last year, so a great challenge for us, and it helps, obviously, coming out of a win and knowing how important it is for us to play well. We’re going to have to (in order) to win this football game.
(on if the team builds off what it did last week or wipes the slate clean)
You build off it. I think it’s, you want to say that you rose up one week and made a lot of big plays, but now we’ve got to start all over on Sunday and do it again. It may not be five big plays like that, but it needs to be five maybe five drives that we finish with touchdowns. Maybe that’s what we do differently this week, but yeah, you build off last week for sure because you want to have that confidence. These guys, you know, guys get a little confidence when you do win, even though we still made some mistakes out there on Sunday as we know. I think the spirits are good. It’s just getting used to, getting to learn the opponent again and get through the next couple of days, and I think the excitement will build by the weekend.
(on if Houston has the best defense the Titans have faced this year)
Yeah, they’re playing well. I mean, I guess ranking-wise, after three weeks, they’re sitting in second, and last year they were awfully good. They play hard. I think that’s probably the biggest thing: they play hard and they’re aggressive, and that’s why they make good plays. I mean, even the Miami game, when they weren’t playing so well in the opener as a team, the defense gets two or three turnovers, I think, in the second quarter, and the game becomes a blowout, so that’s what they’re capable of now, and obviously we saw offensively last year in our first game here how many points they can put on the board if you make mistakes. So we’re very well-aware of the weapons they have and how important it is going to be for us to play well.
(on if he’d say that Houston is the best team in the league)
I think it’s too early to, kind of—they’re obviously very good. I don’t think they want to say that either. I mean it’s early. Every week in the NFL right now—the 49ers were the best team last week. They lost a game, so now they’re still a good team, but they lost a tough game, and I think right now you kind of wait. Everyone’s positioning themselves, wanting to get through this first part of the season healthy and continue to play better. Obviously, they’re a good football team, no doubt about it. They’re a playoff team, they won our division last year, so they’re the team we’re all chasing in the AFC South and they’re already a couple of games ahead of us, so this is a huge game for us to kind of get back in this thing.
(on if he is considering mixing the running backs to have a change-of-pace)
Probably if we had more carries. We’ve run the ball, I think we’ve had 42 carries and that includes the quarterback in three games, so that’s not a lot of football carries. I’ve been around here when we’ve had that in one game, so it’s hard to share when you’re not doing a lot of work. I think you kind of need to give everyone the chance to get going, see where we were at in that phase of the game and go from there. We’ve got players that we feel are good, but I think (
(on how pleased he is with pass protection of the offensive line so far)
Really, last week it was something that went unnoticed, un-talked about. That was a good defensive line. We all knew that coming in and we threw the ball 50 times, I think, and the quarterback got hit twice. Not sacked, not harassed, he threw for almost 400 yards. That’s a heck of an accomplishment for them, and I thought the run blocking, for the most part, was pretty good all game, for their part in this thing. But protection is not just the offensive line, just like the running game is not just the line, so they’ll take the good with the bad, I guess, because protection has a lot to do with the receivers getting open, the quarterback getting the ball out, the tight ends and backs, just like the run game, but at least that phase is doing well. That carried us through that game, along with the special teams plays, so we’ve got to continue that and just keep getting better at these phases that we’re struggling at.
Yeah, I think there’s something that, every game, we have stuff where he’s moving and sometimes, you’re going to do that a little more than other games, just because of how the game goes. Just like they roll (Matt Schaub) out a lot, there’s plenty of plays where he’ll be able to do that and if that became a problem, that helps this change up the launch point, so those are good things to do during the game.
(on if he is monitoring the negotiations between the NFL and the NFLRA and whether the regular referees will be back on the field)
Well, you wait, just like all of us. We’re kind of in a holding pattern on that. We’re worried about the Texans and whoever shows up to officiate that will be fine. I think it’s going to be hard, just like it is for players to come back, I think it’s going to be hard for officials to come back after not doing a game since last December (for) a lot of them, and then all of a sudden, they’re doing games, so I think it’s going to be a tough transition either way. You want things to get settled. You want to have the best people out there and the guys that have been doing it a lot of years, but I’m sure the process is going to take a little time to get back to normal.
(on if games are being called differently than before)
I think during the game it’s just the fact that they’re going to make sure that they got it right. They’re going to maybe conference and talk more in a group to gets things right. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I don’t mind the game being five minutes longer if it’s going to mean them getting a play or two right. If there is some question about a play, I’d rather see them huddle up and make a decision. So I’ve been OK with that. For me, it’s just be consistent. I’m that way with whoever is officiating the game. I was like that in high school football. Just call what you’re going to call, and call for both teams. Like I said, for the tackles, with the tackles being back, some groups are going to call that all game long if you let them. Some of them never call it. That’s with normal officials, with replacement officials. Every crew calls games differently. That’s the hard part. No matter who is officiating, it’s hard to figure out what you can do until the game start. Even getting a measurement, some groups are giving you a measurement like last year, like no problem. Other groups are not going to give it to you. It’s like that every week, no matter who is officiating games. As a head coach or a coach in general, you’re just looking for consistency from week to week. That’s the hard part no matter who is out there.
(on if he’s surprised the referee lockout has gone on this long)
Obviously I assumed they’d work it out sometime in the preseason. You always think things will get worked out. Like the lockout last year, we all assumed it’d be done, and it did. That’s another thing, I think we all assumed it’d be done, and obviously, surprised it hasn’t.
(on if it hurts him to see something like what happened in Monday night’s game)
I just think you want to have everybody back that is supposed to be there. You want the officials back. You don’t want to see disruptions like this where you have other officials working games that haven’t before. Like I said, I’m not getting caught up in all of it. I’m worrying about our games on Sunday. Whoever is officiating, it doesn’t really matter to me or to us. We’re just going to go out there and play. You’d like them to get things worked out. If they do, great. If they don’t, we’ll just move forward.
(on how important it is to win in Bud Adams’ backyard)
He just wants to win them all. He wants that trophy, that’s what he wants. For sure, when you play in your hometown, you want to win football games. Because of the history, there’s no doubt. I’m sure it means more. That’s not something he calls and tells us or worries about. He just wants to win. Obviously, that one I’m sure means more to him than most regular season games. In the end, he just wants to win the division.
(on if Bud Adams apologized for leaving early on Sunday)
I better do the apologizing probably in any case. For a lot of the fans that left, not knowing that we decided to make it a very interesting game and the other phase of the game we wanted to work on obviously, we wanted to see if we could get up to 100 plays on defense, and we almost did. Thank God we won the game.
(on how much the team will practice the Hail Mary)
Like we always have. Like I said, it’s one of those things that always looks good in practice. I think we’ll have their attention now. It’s a way to get everyone’s attention to why you work on situations. Like I mentioned, even with the onside kick, you work on it, you work on it, you work on it, but there’s not a whole lot of stress out here to catch the ball or do the right thing. When you get in the game, the people realize it. Hopefully it’s something we’ll learn from, and it won’t happen again.
I talked to (Keyunta) Dawson this morning. He worked so hard and it’s something he should be proud of what he’s accomplished here, coming here when I’m sure most people didn’t think a lot of him making the roster. He worked hard, he earned the right to be here. He was contributing, we felt in a big way. I thought he was going to really help us throughout the season. To get a hamstring to that level where we thought he’d be out maybe up to eight weeks, the best thing for us to do was put him on injured reserve. Then (Pannel) Egboh, I think the fact that he’s so familiar with what we’re doing, he’s a guy that can come in on a short week, coming in on Wednesday and help us if he has to this weekend with some reps. That was an easy decision there to bring him back and help us. Unfortunately, that’s how this league is. It’s all about staying healthy. You don’t realize what a big factor that is in the playoff run or positioning yourself during the season as you keep guys healthy. That’s just another case of losing a guy that can help us.
(on if Pannel Egboh will help with defending the run game)
Yeah, he will. He gives you a little bigger end. That fact that he can go inside if he had to in a game if there are injuries, all those things. Plus, he’s been here. We know him, and we’ve seen him improve the past couple of years. It was lucky that he was still available to bring in.
He is. We were hoping he was able to do more today. He was out doing individual drills. He’s obviously running now. Now it’s just a matter of how quickly his ankle responds to being on the hard surface, being on the ground and cutting and those kinds of things. We’ll see how he is tomorrow after what he did today and then see how much more he can do tomorrow. It’s still a work in progress.
(on if he thinks that Colin McCarthy will practice with the team this week)
That’s what we’ll find out. I think we were hoping by Friday he could maybe do something. We’ll have to wait and see how he was after today’s work.
Neither one of them practiced. They were out in the side field doing individual drills with the trainers. (Jared) Cook I think is feeling better. A lot of his motion is pretty much back, so we thought he’d do some drills tomorrow and maybe by Friday, start taking reps. Kenny (Britt) is again, the same thing, progressing along pretty well. He’s an ankle, so obviously that’s a little more because of the running and playing receiver. We’ll have to see how he does the next couple of days.