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Coach Munchak's Wednesday Practice Report

Posted Oct 17, 2012

HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK

(on if the Titans should take advantage of Buffalo’s struggles in run defense)

We need to be able to run the ball consistently week in and week out no matter who we play. Houston, we thought we ran it well. Minnesota, we get the opportunity again and it wasn’t what we wanted. Last week was much better. We just have to put together two, three, four, five weeks in a row, where we feel we’re able to run when we need to run, and we’re more effective, just like we were last week. Buffalo, obviously, statistically has given up some plays. But again, they’re very similar to us in the fact that the games they’ve lost, they’ve lost big. Teams are running the ball a lot more on them. The 49ers game, the Jets game, they’ve had three games where it’s gotten lopsided on them, kind of what happened to us. Some of those stats get misleading. When you watch the tape, they’re a very good defense. They’re playing at their place, we’re going up there in a time when they’re 3-3 and tied for first place in their division, a lot different than it was last year. We went up there last year, and I think they had lost four in a row at the time when we came up there last year after a good start. So it was a lot different type of team we faced, different crowd we faced. It’s going to be a great game for us, and a big challenge for us to go up there and play well,

(on how good of a sign it is that the Titans have battled through the fourth quarter in the two wins)

Well I hope that we are encouraged by that as a team, that we’ve won in overtime. We almost had to do overtime again. We made plays, we didn’t panic when the game was close. We handled those situations well, two for two. I think it just encourages you hopefully to hang close, because we’ll find a way to win. You’re hoping that that’s the kind of team we are. Like I said, the games we lost and didn’t play so well for four quarters, there we still chances in those games whether that be the second quarter or the third quarter to make it a game, and we didn’t. Then the games got lopsided. We’re highly motivated, we’re 2-4. Other teams have lost to kind of make the situation not as bad as it could be. We know that we have a chance to control what happens here. This is a game we have to go up, and it’s an AFC game. They’re kind of in the same boat we’re in. They expect to be better than 3-3, so it’s a huge game for both teams.

(on how they were able to pressure Ryan Fitzpatrick last year)

I thought last year we did a pretty good job. I know he fumbled once when he ran. I’m not sure if he had a pick or not. We did get some pressure on him throughout the game. I think we batted a few balls also. What helped us in that game was we ran the ball well. We stayed on the field, we made some plays when we had to, we took advantage of turnovers that our defense got, all the things you’re hoping to do on the road. I don’t think we turned it over. That’s something that we have not been able to do this year. We’ve been turning it over, and not only turning it over, we’ve been giving up points on the road. That’s the part that we know we have to fix if we’re going to win this game.

(on the playcalling for Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller)

It may be a little different. (C.J.) Spiller, I know statistically he’s averaging something crazy like seven yards a carry. He’s a special back, he’s got great speed and makes people miss. He’s the hot back right now for them. But they’ve got two good ones. It reminds me of how we were a little bit when we had LenDale (White), when (Chris Johnson) first came in and we were using both backs. We found out last year, Spiller scored on us, about a 45 yarder, the one he fumbled out of the back of the end zone that they ended up calling a touchdown. Then he had another, I think a 40-yarder, that they called back for a holding call. We saw firsthand how explosive he is and how hard he is to tackle. He’s been showing up this year already. Again, their offensive does a lot of things. Heck, they do Wildcat, they’re out there with the four wides, three wides. They give you a lot of different things to look at, to work on. Last year we handled it well. I think, like I said, part of that as the offense controlling the ball quite a bit last year.

(on if the next step for Kendall Wright is to get the ball downfield to him more)

There are routes where there are opportunities for that at times. It just hasn’t been the ones that he’s been open on or the read didn’t bring him there. But again, he’s the guy, like you said, the one he caught for 35, he almost scored that. That would have been a 50-or 60-yarder if he scored. He’s the kind of guy that can do the Jerry Rice-type stuff where you catch the five-yard slant, break a tackle and you can make a big run. All that is left now for him is to break a tackle or two and turn those 10-yarders and 12-yarders into bigger plays. He’ll have an opportunity to stretch the field, just like Kenny (Britt) is trying to do. We’re working Kenny that way. You saw it last game, Chris (Palmer) likes to take shots, and we will to spread the defense. Hopefully we’ll hit on a few of those.

(on if he expected Kendall Wright to produce so quickly)

We knew he’d help right away, I think, when we drafted him. I think that’s what we talked about, how we think he’s a special player and a guy that can come in right away and help us. He’s obviously done that. At the time we weren’t sure about Kenny (Britt’s) situation with his knee. Now having Kenny working himself back into the lineup on a full-time basis, it’s great to see those guys working together and how we’re going to use them. We’re still experimenting with the best way to get all the guys on the field. I thought that the rotation last week was good, as far as how many plays guys were getting with Jared Cook and Nate Washington and Damian Williams and (Chris Johnson). So there are a lot of weapons we have and now it’s just a matter of being productive with them.

(on when Kenny Britt should be settled in)

I remember going through it when I played. When you out for a couple of games or you’re out for a while, you forget how fast the game is. Everyone is different probably. I don’t think it’s that way on every play. I just think maybe on certain instances throughout the game, maybe you just don’t have that feel yet. You still can do a lot of good things like he’s been doing. I’m sure it was that way for Matt (Hasselbeck), when Hasselbeck came back in playing for the first time in a while. When you haven’t been doing it, it takes a little while to realize how quick things are happening even though you’ve done it for years. That’s something I think he’ll keep getting better and better the more he plays. I think being on the practice field has helped him a lot too, to where it’s not where it was in the Minnesota game, where Kenny (Britt) really couldn’t practice and then played. Last week he practiced in the short week and then started. This week he’s going to be able to practice all week, so I think those things will help him a lot too.

(on Jake Locker returning to practice)

Like we talked on Monday, that’s what we were hoping he’d be able to do. It was good to see him. I watched him do individual drills. He threw seven-on-seven for the defense. It was what we hoped he’d be able to handle. Now we just have to see how sore he got and just keep progressing and giving him more to do. He’s a guy you have to hold back, he wants to be out there. In his mind, he could play tomorrow if we had to play. He’s progressing the way we hoped, and we’ll see how sore he is from what he did today and keep adding more to his routine.

(on if Jake Locker could return against Indianapolis)

Probably so, assuming there are no setbacks or anything like that. He’s just getting started this week and then keep working every day, and assuming that it would give him a great chance for the next one.

(on if it becomes a tougher call returning to Jake Locker as the team gets in a rhythm with Matt Hasselbeck)

I think that I’ve said, only for some reason if a quarterback, especially, missed a lot of time, four, five, six, seven weeks, something like that, I think you start rethinking what’s best depending on what’s really happening in games. In this case, Jake (Locker) started the Detroit game, had a great day and won. Really the next week, he didn’t really play in my opinion. He’s played really in three games this year. We feel comfortable, the receivers, everyone, he’s so familiar with the offense, that if he’s ready to play next week, there wouldn’t be any doubt that he’d be the one playing.

(on the times that Matt Hasselbeck has been sacked)

I think it all factors in. Every (sack) is different. The one down by the goalline, I think those guys were covered and again, I think he was going to throw it away. You just don’t want to make a mistake with the ball. A lot of things go into that. We’ve been throwing interceptions for touchdowns. We’ve been kind of bit by that this year, something we didn’t do a lot last year. Sometimes it’s smart to take a sack. No one’s open, nowhere to throw it, just get down and not have a bad play happen. When you can get rid of it, get rid of it, obviously, which he did that during the game also. I think it’s just a combination of things. That may be a small part of it, but sometimes protection wasn’t maybe quite as good as it needed it be, the route wasn’t run the right way. I think he just didn’t want to have something bad happen.

 

 

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