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Postgame Quotes

Posted Sep 25, 2011

HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK

(on Kenny Britt’s condition)

The usual, we will know tomorrow. He is getting tested, his knee. Obviously, it didn’t look good when he got hurt. We will have to wait until tomorrow to see the extent of that.

I don’t know what it is. He twisted it pretty good. He is going to be having tests tonight or tomorrow to see the extent. I am sure we will know by tomorrow. Obviously, a great player leaves the field and we have guys step up and find a way to win the game.

(on how the team responded following Kenny Britt’s injury)

 Well, any time you win in this league like I said as I watch that game there are a lot of things we all know we can do better. We can sit here, and we will as staff, pick apart the stuff we can do better for the next one. The bottom line is that it’s hard to win in this league. Any win to me is a good win. 2-1 is a lot better than the alternative.  We did a lot of great things in that game at the end when we had to.

The defense keeping us in the game with that great goal line stand, something they have been doing since training camp, the preseason. That made a huge difference in the game right there to allow us to get the ball back. We flipped the field once there and obviously got the ball back and we go 95 yards to go ahead. And then the offense steps up then as we all know, the defense does a great job in four-minute stopping them, making the turnover and giving us an opportunity to win the game. We have been talking since we got started that it’s about making plays when you have to. We talked about it, well its preseason but we did the same thing in a couple of the games in preseason where we made plays when we had to win. That is exactly what we did in that fourth quarter. For all the things that we aren’t happy with as far as some things that happened throughout the game, you love the ending and what we did when we had to do it. 

(on other players stepping up)

It is exciting for them. I think that this is the thing about the NFL, you never know when your turn is going to come. Last week, it was the more of the receivers catching balls. Like you said, once Kenny is not out there it is more opportunities for someone else. (Craig) Stevens has the biggest catch of the day running down the middle of the field, there. It is a huge, huge play. It started with the protection giving Matt (Hasselback) enough time to wait on it, him (Stevens), making a great catch and then making a run after the catch.  (Daniel) Graham making a touchdown catch, so that is the thing about this league, you are going to have injuries and you are going to have things happen. We have to be able to perform like we did at the end of that game today.

(on the defense making big plays at the end)

It was huge. In think the confidence came. We know throughout that game we hurt ourselves with penalties. We know on the defensive side of the ball we helped a few of the drives with 15-yard penalties that we know we can’t do. We know we got to fix that. We got to keep our emotions in check at times through the game. It is an emotional game, things happen.

The good thing is that you know that they put all that behind them, got the goal line stand which was a great, great job there, and then came out in the four-minute and even though they got a couple of first downs, they’re pretty much in field goal range. That guy can kick longer. I don’t know what they would have done there on that play. Then, we got our hands up, got the tip and make the play of the game. That is what this league is all about, making plays and we made plays when we had to.

(on punter Brett Kern sharing the rushing lead with Chris Johnson)

Of course, it was good for him.  He just needs to learn how to run out of bounds.  He made a great play on the low snap and a great decision when he had to that led to three points for us.  Great play by Brett (Kern) and we all know, like we said last week and the week before, we’ve got to find a way to run the ball better.  There’s things we know we have to improve upon or its going to be tough to win some games that we’re going to have to win.  That’s something we have to work on.

(on the Nate Washington catch challenge)

I think they couldn’t see on the view they had if his hands were underneath the ball or not. So in their minds they didn’t have to enough to overturn it whereas we thought our view was that his hands were underneath the ball from our view.  That’s why we went for it.  They said they didn’t see that. 

(on why the run game is struggling)

It’s hard to tell, you know, from the sidelines watching it.  We had opportunities there.  It’s hard to see exactly.  I’m not involved in watching the pictures as much or looking at them, studying them after a game but give them credit.  I’ll start by giving the defense credit.  They did a nice job tackling, closing lanes.  They had eight guys up but that was nothing new.  He had eight guys up when you have 2,000 yards.  Is it mixed in? Is it harder to run when that’s going on?  Yes.  The problem is again we had some penalties early in the game.   He (Johnson) had a 10-12 yard run that we lost on a penalty.  Another nice eight or nine yard run that was lost on a penalty early and then all of a sudden it takes you out of your flow as a running back.  From there it’s more for us, for me, to watch the film and see exactly what may have went on with some of the other plays.  It’s just frustrating for him.  He popped off that 12 yard run and then I think they called (Craig) Stevens for a hold.  He had another nice run another time early in the game and then there was another penalty.  That’s really been hurting us as an offense in the first quarter -too many penalties in the first quarter.  That kind of hurts our opening drives. 

(on being okay with the chippiness on the field and it perhaps being a contributing factor)

I think the good part and bad part about it, you want guys to be playing hard.  You want guys to have an edge to them but they have to be able to control themselves.  We can’t have 15-yard penalties.  You know, the one on Jason Jones, I mean, you’ve just got to pull off.  That’s how this league is.  You know, it’s hard to tell a guy.  He’s working hard , he’s running hard with the quarterback and he’s just got to pull off and we get a penalty there.  It’s hard from the sidelines to see some of the others, other penalties I should say that happened and know exactly what the case was.  Until you watch it on tape sometimes you’re not sure.  I mean, you like the edge.  You like the guys being very aggressive.  It’s that fine line of trying to get to be not too timid but you can’t have stupid penalties.  You’ve got to play smart. 

(on what Matt Hasselbeck means to the team three games into the season)

I think you see it out there.  He’s getting better.  He’s no doubt the leader.  He’s developing that week in, week out how he’s playing.  We’ve obviously been leaning on him heavily because the run game hasn’t been what we hoped it would be to this point early in the season.  He’s spread the ball around.  Those guys respond to him, the receivers are.  You see him in the huddle talking to receivers.  You see him on the sidelines adjusting things.  Like I said we lost Kenny and he’s got a lot of young receivers out there having to change positions so there’s a lot going on out there.  Not many quarterbacks could have handled that as well as he did and make plays the way he did.  He’s exactly what we hoped he’d be.  He’s a pro and he acts like one on a daily basis.  Twenty-four-seven, the guy’s great in practice, great in meetings and it extends over to the whole team, not just the offense. 

QUARTERBACK MATT HASSELBECK

(on completion to TE Craig Stevens)

He’s probably number one, there’s kind of an alert before that. It would typically be Kenny Britt; it was Marc Mariani on that play. He’s number one if he’s the alert, but he’s really just clearing it out.  He was a little dicey on the clear out with two guys pretty close to each other. They’re playing pretty soft on that play, the middle linebacker, and (Craig) Stevens got across so it was a huge play.  We really needed it and really because the offensive line had protection because it took a long time.

(on the passing game after WR Kenny Britt was injured)

It was sloppy. I would say sloppy is a good word. We had confusion in the huddle, confusion lining up, confusion on the routes, but I think we regrouped a little bit on the sidelines and talked about some things – what we were going to do and how we were going to do it, and I think guys stepped up enough to make the plays to win the game. But it wasn’t good enough. We need to improve if that ever happens again.

(on his number one target going down)

It was disappointing. I think a lot of frustration and a little bit of anger, but I’ve been in that situation before where a guy that you are teammates with that you’re counting on, goes down, leaves the game and as a player there’s nothing you can do about it to help him. So you’ve got to really…the best thing you can do is get that out of your mind and just be focused on what your job is, and your job is to play. Sometimes that can deflate the team a little bit when you see a guy, but he wasn’t able to return so we were fortunate to come out with a win.

(on getting TE Daniel Graham wide open)

You know what, we’ve run that play a bunch in practice and he’s never been open. To make it even better, Mike Otto has been open every time, our backup tackle that comes in and plays tight end on the other side. I think we’ve run it three or four times, Otto has caught the ball every time and maybe the quarterback’s run it in once. Football, when you play it with pads on is always a little different.  You play with pads on…he was probably hungry all those years in New England with them giving those goal line tight end catches to Mike Vrabel. He probably wasn’t going to let that one go.

(on who picks TE Daniel Graham up in practice )

When you go goal line in practice, guys aren’t selling out and diving, but in the game, they kind of are. We sold a hard iso to the left and the guard pulled out there for me in case it’s there I can run it, and he’s just going to the back corner. It was wide open. It was a great call and I almost started celebrating before I threw the ball. It was good…it was great.

(on issue with running the ball)

I’m sure it’s like a lot of little things that become big things, but we did a great job of running the ball in the pre-season. We know we can; the success they’ve had here in the past with running the ball has been phenomenal. So if that’s our biggest problem, I think we are going to be okay.

(on being the leader of the team)

Well, the word leader takes on all different kinds of descriptions or whatever. So, I think because I play quarterback and because I’m the guy that gets to talk in the huddle, and I’m the guy that has the ball in his hands at the time, sometimes that label comes to you right away. We got a bunch of guys that lead in all different kinds of ways – Daniel Graham is a leader on our team, Barrett Ruud, Jordan Babineaux, these are some of the new guys to go with the guys that have already been here for a long time, the Jake Scott’s and the Michael Roos’s. Some guys lead in the weight room, some guys lead in the film room, some guys lead…just don’t say anything, but just by the way they play. Some guys don’t necessarily lead, they just want to know what to do and they’re going to be a pro about it and they’re going to follow suit. I think we’re all doing it as kind of a team effort.

(on what was said in the huddle before the 95-yard drive)

I think the drive before I said, hey 99 yards or 89 yards. There seem like there were a lot of , ‘hey we’ve got to go 89, hey we’ve got to go 99, hey we’ve got to go 95.’ So I think after a while, if we had one more of those I wasn’t going to say anything.

(on offensive first half false starts)

That was something we’ve seen them do on film, they did it to us last year where they’re simulating the snap count and they did it the first three plays of the game. It was hard with the new rules, the officials are not up there behind the defensive line, they’re back even behind me. So it’s almost impossible for them to see. It’s just frustrating because we had a good thing going, we had a good plan to start the game and we were having penalty after penalty after penalty because we were false starting. It was messing with us a little bit. The learning thing in there was, hey we’ve got to keep our composure and stay focused and let everybody else do their job.

(on what Broncos were doing defensively)

They were playing, they rolled their coverage to Kenny Britt, tried to take him out of the game, did a really nice job. We tried to move him around a little bit, anticipating that they were going to do that. I think he had like maybe two or three catches, but they weren’t his typical routes. We were trying really hard to get him the ball because he’s such a playmaker. In the run game they were using their corners to kind of fire it down to stop the run, our outside runs, they were packing their D-line and their linebackers inside, not so much their safety’s, not too many in the box or anything like that, just slanting for the run a little bit. We made adjustments and I’m sure we will continue to make adjustments.

(on deep sideline pass to RB Chris Johnson)

Yeah, I wasn’t really sure about that. We’ve never hit one of those. I don’t know if that’s something in his repertoire, but I know he’s fast and the linebacker was pretty tight. Pretty much everybody was going deep, it was kind of like a playground play, which I kind of like. It was everybody go deep and then Kenny’s underneath, you know, he’s got a real route where he can do a bunch of things. I said why not, you know, he was on number 52, he looked like a big muscle guy and I gave (CJ) a chance and it was a great catch on the sidelines and I was real happy for him.  

TITANS RUNNING BACK CHRIS JOHNSON

(on if he is going to take Kenny Britt’s spot at wide receiver)

Oh, no. That’s just something we’ve been working on all week, trying to get me more opportunities to catch the ball out of the backfield. It’s crazy because all week, I didn’t practice on Wednesday, so they were thinking about taking the play out but I told them I’d be good on game day.

(on why he thinks the running game has been slow to pick up)

I’m not sure to be honest. We just have to look at this film from today to see what else is going on. It’s still the same situation, we just have to work.

(on if he feels good about the win after losing to the Broncos last year)

I feel real good. Last year we were winning and they came back to get the victory and it kind of turned around this year. We were winning and then eventually came back to get the victory. The defense came through at the end by getting that turnover for us, so it feels good.

(on if the penalties on his big runs frustrated him)

Of course it’s frustrating. In the first two games not having big ones, and then starting out this game with a couple of nice runs in the beginning, but all of them were getting call back. It’s always tough, but we have to hold our head up, and we got the victory.

(on if he would have believed he would only have 98 yards through the first three games)

No, of course not.  

DT  JURRELL CASEY

(on the Titans goal-line stand)

Just to get that stop like we did  can show that we can be a physical defense.  When we saw they weren’t going for the field goal, everybody just knew they were going to pound it up the middle, so everybody just got in tight, and we made sure that they didn’t get in there (goal line).  They pounded the ball all day and were very physical, but our guys up front came up and made the plays and that was one of them.

LB WILL WITHERSPOON

(on Titans defense making big plays today)

That’s what it’s about, making the big plays.  You’d like to make them all the time, but at critical moments, it’s just as big, actually bigger, because you make the plays that need to happen.  Those four stops on four plays on the goal line, all in all together, everybody made something happen today.   

(on the crucial fourth down stop on the goal line)

On our side, it was like, ‘Alright, they want to bring it again, yeah we stopped them three times, so let’s make it a fourth.’  And that’s what happened.  It was like in the movies, pretty much.  It was one of those scenes that you’re like ‘hey, this only happens once in a while, so let’s make the best of it.’  They were challenging us and we were going to challenge them back. 

(on the team’s belief in Titans QB Matt Hasselbeck)

I think you saw it.  Everybody out here is like ‘hey we’re in it and we can do it, and if we’re in it, we’re always going to win.’  That’s what our thought process is.  If you’re in the game, and you can stay in the game and you are going to win.it.  The League is built that way.  Our focus is to go ahead and make sure we make every play we need to and play the game play-by-play.  Overall we all think we can get out here any Sunday and play.

CB CORTLAND FINNEGAN

(on the Broncos going for it on fourth down at the goal line, rather than kicking a field goal)

We felt disrespected.  And you know what?  We felt that we needed to bow up, and we wanted to hit them in the mouth defensively.  You could just see the chipiness out there from the very start of the game.  For them to go for it on fourth down and for us to make a stand, the defensive line played excellent and I’m glad we came out with a victory. 

WR  NATE WASHINGTON

(on the injury to Titans WR Kenny Britt)

I’m very concerned .  He’s definitely a vital part of our offense and he’s been doing an awesome job for us all year. So we just had to show up this time.  We have to put some things together that are going to try to make up for the things that he was able to do for us.  But I think we are going to be alright.  Hopefully, he will be able to sit down and kick his feet up and we’ll be able to hold on until he get’s healthy.

(on Titans passing offense today)

We can do better.  This has to be a better thing.  I don’t think we are at the peak of our performance by any means.  Once we get to the peak of our performance, then we will be happy.  We connected on a lot of great plays out there today, but we didn’t play our best game.  We played well.  But at the same time, we are not happy right now.  We still have a lot of things to get better on. 

TE DANIEL GRAHAM

(on catching game-winning touchdown pass)

When they called that play in the huddle, I knew it was coming to me and I knew I was going to make that catch.  I took my man inside and cut it back out and I was wide open. When I saw I was open, I knew the pass was coming and I was going to catch it. After I made the catch, I just reacted and threw the ball in the stands, and I hope it made some fan happy as I was at that moment.

BRONCOS HEAD COACH JOHN FOX

(opening statement)

I have no injuries to report. We have no injuries from the game today, any questions?

 (on going for it on 4th-and-1)

I think at the end of the day on the road, 4th and not even a full yard, I will do it again next week.  We have to be able to get that, and execute that, get that in and unfortunately we didn’t.

(on calling the time out before the 4th-and-1)

We were going to kick the field goal and we reconsidered because where it was.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell where the ball is spotted.  From what we got upstairs it was six inches and we felt like we could get it in.  

(on having to be convinced to go for it)

Not on six inches.  We were just, (needing) a little more time.  We called time out to see how far it was to go.

(on not playing Knowshon Moreno and D.J. Williams)

They were almost completely healthy,  we will hopefully get them going.  We would have only played either one of them in an emergency situation and we didn’t get to that point.

(on defensive concerns on the last scoring drive)

I will have to see it on tape, I have no idea.  Their tight end, Daniel Graham, made a great play.  Matt (Hasselbeck) made a great throw and they got the rewards for it.

(on the tough loss)

Well they all stink. You fight your rear ends off in a game, and our guys did.  This is a tough place to play, always has been, always will be.  We knew what kind of game it was going to be so you would like to get the rewards of that.

(on Kyle Orton’s performance)

Without viewing the tape yet, I’m sure there are going to be some shortcomings.  There usually is when they have more than you do.  I think we ended up even in the turnover margin but we have to still clean that up. 

(on covering Brandon Lloyd with the safety)

I think they were rolling him just like we were rolling their 18 (Kenny Britt).   That’s part of the game when you have a go-to receiver, that’s what people do. They call their defenses, I can’t tell them what to call so there are times when they doubled him, we would typically go to somebody else.

BRONCOS QUARTERBACK KYLE ORTON

(on the performance of the offense)

As a team we did a lot of good things. We played hard and we played for each other. We had a chance down the stretch on the goal line and then on the last drive and I really felt like we were going to go down there and score a touchdown and win the game. But, just some bad luck there at the end and some missed opportunities.

(on the fourth down play and the decision to go for it on fourth down in the second half)

We wanted to go for it, coach wanted to go for it and we felt like we could punch it in. Coach has a ton of confidence in us and I think anytime you are on the road and you have a chance to go up 11 and put the game away you have to try and do it from a half-yard. We couldn’t get it this time, but hopefully get it next time. 

(on the last drive of the game)

We had a great start to the drive. We got a couple of first downs and were moving and then got a third and long and tried to get in a little bit better field goal range and had a guy open. But, he just got his hand up and tipped the ball up. Not much you can do about it.

(on the disappointment of the loss)

We were 1-1 and it was a big game for us. We had a chance on the last drive. Any loss is tough when you’re right there and you have a chance to win. 

BRONCOS WIDE RECEVIER ERIC DECKER

(on the opportunities for the offense)

We had a lot of opportunities. We kind of hurt ourselves again with the turnovers and not being able to finish on the goal line. But, at the same time you have to give credit to the Tennessee defense. They were resilient to stay in the game and get a big drive in the fourth quarter. It’s tough when you have your chances and we just don’t make the most of the opportunities.

(on the decision to go for it on fourth and goal in the fourth quarter)

We’re going to convert that 99 out of 100 times. The line can move the defensive line six inches and punch it in. Unfortunately this wasn’t the one time that we did and again, you have to give credit to Tennessee

(on if he was excited to hear that they were going for it on fourth down)

You’re definitely excited. That just gives confidence. You feel the confidence that the coaches have in you and the offense. Again, we just needed to make those plays.

BRONCOS RUNNING BACK WILLIS McGAHEE

(on wanting the football on the fourth and goal try in the fourth quarter)

No doubt about it. But, you know certain things happen on the goal line. Like I said, they get paid just like us. You’re not going to win every yard and every battle.

(on what happened on the fourth and goal play)

It happened so fast, so all I could do was put my head down and go forward. But, we didn’t get a good push up front. We got a little push, but we didn’t get the push that we needed.

(on the disappointment of not being able to convert on fourth down)

It’s very disappointing. That’s what I like to do. I like to get in on goal line and go for it, but it didn’t go our way. 

BRONCOS SAFETY RAHIM MOORE

(on Tennessee going to the tight end on first and goal in the fourth quarter)

They use a tight end through the film and through previous times, so it didn’t surprise me. They just made a good play.

(on playing against a veteran quarterback like Matt Hasselbeck)

He makes good decisions. I wrote that down when I was studying him. He got the job done today. He had great poise and he has great pocket presence and he’s very polished. So, you have to give him credit. They played a good game today.

BRONCOS LB WESLEY WOODYARD

(on if it is frustrating to have played a good defensive game for more than three quarters and then give up a long drive at the end)

Yeah, it hurts.  We let them drive the ball 95 yards on that last drive, and so us as a defense, that hurts our heart that we let our team down.  We left some plays out there and they capitalized.  We’ve got to come back and get better.

(on what changed for them defensively on the 95-yard scoring drive)

Just a lack of focus.  We left some plays out there that final drive, and like I said, they capitalized on everything that we did wrong and we gave up a touchdown.

(on what happened on Craig Stevens’ 58-yard reception)

It was just a letdown on ourselves; we let them catch the ball and that’s not something we can let them do over the middle.  We’ve got to be better as zone defenders.

(on if they lost momentum when the Titans’ defense stopped the Broncos’ offense on fourth-and-goal)

Not at all, we were ready to go—we were thinking safety.  Once we get them pinned down there, we’ve got to keep them down there; we can’t let them drive the ball and get a score.

(on if he feels like they let a win get away today)

Yeah, it did.  It hurts.  The locker room right now is sick to our stomach; we let one get away that we know we had a chance to win, and that we should have won, so it hurts.

BRONCOS DE JASON HUNTER

(on Craig Stevens’ 58-yard catch being a momentum changer in the game)

Yeah, that was a big play—a big momentum shift for that team.  We had them backed up and we have to do a better job of everyone doing their job—the rush and everybody else doing their job as well.  We’re going to keep working, and definitely hard.  The guys came out and played their hearts out, making big plays, energetic and those type of plays you just have to try to eliminate because they give the other team the momentum.

(on if Matt Hasselbeck showed why he is so valuable as a veteran leader by leading the Titans on a 95-yard scoring drive)

Yeah, Matt Hasselbeck is notorious for doing that, he’s been doing that his whole career.  He’s a competitor and he goes out there and plays hard, loves the game of football and just continues to make plays. Hats off to him, he made a big play in a critical situation and they just capitalized on it and scored a touchdown.

(on former Bronco Daniel Graham scoring the game-winning touchdown)

Yeah, that’s how life works.  Daniel was with us last year and he got open on the goal line and made a big play.

BRONCOS LB VON MILLER

(on if he thought they had the game won when he forced Matt Hasselbeck to fumble the ball)

No I didn’t.  I just wanted to contribute and it’s my job on this team to provide pressure on the quarterback, and I was just doing my job. 

(on if it is frustrating to have an offense under control most of the game and then have a breakdown at the end and lose)

It’s extremely tough, especially when we had a chance to win on defense and we let it slip.  All we can do is just go back to the drawing board on Monday and keep taking steps to be the team that we want to be.

(on if the NFL learning curve has been tougher than he anticipated)

No, a loss is a loss and all losses are horrible.  It doesn’t matter if you’re playing in high school, college or the National Football League.  A loss is a loss and this game is about wins and losses and we had a chance to win it—we just have to take advantage of our opportunities.

(on if he thinks the Broncos let a win get away from them today)

Yeah, we’ll probably be thinking about this for a minute, but we’re not going to let this stop our work habits or slow us down.  We’re going to get back in the lab tomorrow and just analyze the film and keep taking steps to be the team we want to be.

BRONCOS S BRIAN DAWKINS

(on how frustrating it is to have played such a strong defensive game and then to give up a long drive at the end)

It’s real frustrating and it needs to be real frustrating.  Hopefully everyone is just as frustrated as I am—or even more.  We allowed this team to stay around, and they did a good job of making plays at the end, but we had our opportunities and we didn’t take advantage of them.

(on what happened on Craig Stevens’ 58-yard catch)

I’ll have to watch the film to see exactly what happened.  Obviously things happen on the field fast, and we don’t know what happened but we’ll have to watch the film to see what we need to do to correct that and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

(on if today was proof that you have to play the entire 60 minutes against Matt Hasselbeck to get a win)

Oh yeah.  He’s a veteran guy, he’s not going to get rattled—even though we got to him a couple of times, but in that situation they did a good job of putting play-action pass to get the defensive line not to get a second rush to get to him so he was able to step back a little further and make that throw.

(on what he thinks of the criticism of John Fox to go for it on fourth-and-goal)

There is no criticism there.  He’s being aggressive.  Whatever happened in that situation I was for—if we go for a field goal, I’m for that, and if we go for it, I’m for that.  We, as a defense, were up and ready.  We were thinking they would score so we could get back on the field and close this thing out.  They didn’t, so we got on the field and made them punt and get the ball back to our offense—that’s our responsibility, that’s our job.  There is no second guessing because if we make it there like we’re supposed to then there is no second guessing.  He’s a great coach and it’s rah-rah Coach Fox, but now it’s second guessing—there is no second guessing there.

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