QUARTERBACK ANDREW LUCK
(on the progress he’s made to this point)
What I’ve learned in this short time is that it’s hard to get a win. Everybody is good. I think as an offense, we’re getting better, improving. We have to get better if we want to start getting wins, and being a winning football team. I didn’t really know what to expect coming into this season. I didn’t put up benchmarks of I want to have thrown this many yards by this date, or have limited interceptions to this number by this date. I do think we’re improving, and I’m improving.
(on if he prides himself on not making the same mistake twice)
It happens. I’d say I get fairly upset at myself if I do let myself make the same mistake twice, and realize I guess, that mistakes will happen. But limiting the mistakes and not repeating them is how you get better. So I’ve tried to do that. Our coaches have done a great job of coaching us up, and the veterans have done a great job of leading us along, just keep trying to limit mistakes.
(on if he’s always been able to move on after a mistake)
It’s something I’ve had to learn, and I think I’m still learning about it. I wouldn’t say I’m perfect at it by any means. I think I realized, you throw an interception, bad deal, but if you have another chance to go out there, you better get rid of that thought on the interception and worry about the next play, or else you’ll be doing your team a bigger disservice. That’s sort of the approach I’ve tried to take. It’s worked out alright.
(on how he deals with the comparisons to Peyton Manning’s rookie season)
I don’t hear them at all. I don’t watch too much TV or read the paper, sports pages. So it hasn’t been hard because I haven’t had to listen to it, I guess. I wouldn’t know if people even are making those comparisons. Teammates have been great in that regard and in a lot of ways, but awesome in that, they let me be my own person.
(on if the veteran players were accepting of him from the beginning)
Absolutely, very accepting. I know a got a couple words from some of the older leaders of, ‘Don’t worry about who has been here, what’s been here, whatever has happened. It’s your turn now, and we’re behind you 100 percent.’ I appreciated that a lot. It could have been a lot harder, but the guys have made it easier.
(on if there were a couple times against the Browns that he should have gotten the ball out quicker)
A couple of hits and sacks were 100 percent on me, and that is something I hope to get better at, and not repeat the same mistakes twice. The line has done a great job all year of blocking their butts off. They know that I appreciate what they’re doing. A couple of those are on me.
(on Anthony Castonzo’s play at tackle)
I think he’s done a great job. All the guys on the line have great personalities, really enjoy working and they all get along very well. Anthony (Castonzo) has done a great job so far, and I’m looking forward to continuing to play with him for a while, hopefully.
(on if the Titans’ pass coverage reminds him of the coverage the Vikings played a couple of weeks ago)
A little bit, I’m trying to think back to the Vikings game. It seems like years ago now. Some similar coverages, but Tennessee presents such a different challenge and a tough challenge for us. Whatever they play, we know they’re going to play hard and fast and tough and physical. It will be a tough test.
(on if he sees some opportunities to move the ball downfield with the points the Titans are giving up)
I think every week we try to find the best way to exploit a defense or attack. I think every week we go in confident that we can move the ball and gain yards, realizing that no week is easy in the NFL. You’re going to have to put up with a tough fight, expect a four-quarter fight, especially on the road. I think we’re confident in ourselves and realize it will be a stiff test.
(on if Vick Ballard and Delone Carter reset the bar for the new expectations for the run game)
It was great to see them running hard and see the production. I think guys were working hard all throughout the season, but to finally get the production, I think was great. That is the standard in the run game now.
(on the differences between home and road games)
(The road games) have been a struggle. I think as an offense, we committed seven or eight turnovers, not put points on the board. I don’t quite know why, but we realize we maybe have to have a little more focus, a little more attention to detail. Hopefully things will turn around.
(on if he’s been able to utilize the tight ends as much as he planned to)
I think we’re all still learning, obviously, as rookies, them included. I think they’re doing a great job in all the positions they’ve been put in. I think they’re dynamic players, and it’s great to get them touches as much as we can. I think they will continue to get better, continue to learn and continue to help out this offense.
(on if he crossed paths with any of the Titans coaching staff that played with his father in Houston)
Not often. I remember getting to meet (Mike Munchak and Bruce Matthews) when I was younger. Obviously, the Matthews clan with all the football players that are part of that family, I think I played against one of them in high school or maybe went on a recruiting trip and met one of them. So yeah, crossed paths before.
(on if he senses that this game will be special for his father with the history)
He’ll be there. I’m sure he’ll have a little nostalgia for the old Oiler days.
(on how important this division game is)
Obviously, being a division game makes it that much bigger. Listening to some of the older guys and the coaches that have been around, there is a great history between the two franchises. We’re told to always expect a dog fight, a tough test and a really good hard-nosed defense.
(on how challenging it is to prepare for a defense like the Green Bay Packers)
The coaches put us in good situations, coached us up, and gave us a chance to go execute the plays properly, and we did it.
(on how much they’ve run the no-huddle offense this season)
I have no clue about the percentage, but it seems to pop up in every game whether it’s a two-minute situation before the half or end of a game, or a designed no-huddle in the middle of the game. We practice it a lot. Coach (Bruce) Arians does a great job of making it easier on the quarterbacks in the offense, and I guess they feel comfortable doing it.
(on if he’s lost time with Bruce Arians since he took over as interim head coach)
No, it is not. That was something that we both maybe worried about when the whole situation happened. I remember him calling me in his office when I first heard about it, and he made a point to say that no communication would be lost, if you feel that something is lost, come tell me because we can’t sacrifice that for something else. I think beyond him having to put in however many extra hours with the head coaching hat on, it hasn’t hurt communication on the offensive side of the ball.
(on if he ran the no-huddle a lot at Stanford)
We ran the no-huddle a far bit, mostly in two-minute drive situations. I think getting to play under Coach (Jim) Harbaugh was great. I think he brought a very professional aspect to the offense and the play-calling and the verbage, obviously it’s a completely different language than what Coach (Bruce) Arians uses. I think some of the same ideas of checks or kills or what have you, prevail. I felt well-prepared I guess, or as well-prepared as I could have been.
(on how different it is to run the ball in the NFL versus running at Stanford)
I try not to run as much in this league. Guys are a lot faster, bigger, stronger. I realize as a quarterback, you have to protect your body. You owe that to your teammates, you need to be out there. But you realize that if you need to use your legs to get a first down or it’s third-and-goal and you need to get in the end zone, use that. But other than that, make sure you’re staying safe.
(on what has been most difficult about making the transition to the NFL)
I think the speed of the linebackers is a big difference between the leagues. I think the amount of protections and different blitzes you see, and how those protections pick up this blitz and don’t pick up this blitz, what do you have to do? So that whole aspect of it as well.
(on what the Titans do well on defense)
They’re very well coached. I think they do a good job of disguising coverages and playing their zone with discipline or playing good man-to-man coverage, fast rally to the football. It will be a very good test.