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Titans-Cardinals Postgame Quotes

Posted Dec 15, 2013

TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK

(on how tough it is to lose the game in overtime)

Yeah, it does. Unfortunately, we’ve been in not quite this comeback, but it seems like we’re one score, one play away from winning a lot of football games this year. I was really proud of how they played. We were a little flat at times in the game and gave them easy points with turnovers and a pick-six. The three turnovers ended up costing us 13 points. We couldn’t get a turnover. I thought again, no quit, as usual with this group. They found a way to make plays in that fourth quarter when I’m sure most people thought that thing was long over, we didn’t. Guys made plays, the protection was good, the throws were good. Guys making catches, the onside kick. Everyone kind of helped out to believe we could do that. Even in overtime, getting down to the first at the 45-yard line, I really felt we were going to punch in and win the game right there. I think we all did. It makes it a lot harder when you lose that way. If you lose, you want to be able to lose so people can see the type of effort this team has. We just have to play smarter. We didn’t get a turnover on their side and we turned it over three times, that’s pretty much the bottom line. We’re finding a way to hurt ourselves in games that create this kind of situation. We haven’t been able to come back and finish it.

(on how much he thought about going for two after the touchdown score)

I thought about it a lot. I just felt that we played so hard to get back in it to put it on one play, that all of a sudden the game is over, the high to low. Now you sit there and think, ‘We might as well have done it. We had a better chance to win.’ I felt the momentum was on our side. We got the ball, which I hoped we would. We were in a position to take over the game. We have to make plays there and win it. Now that we didn’t get it done, I wish we did go for it.

(on if he reconsidered going for two after the penalty was announced)

The bottom line is that the distance wasn’t as big of a deal. It didn’t matter that much to us. It was more of what was the best way to go. That play, it was tempting, but we just thought the best thing to do was to give us a chance to get overtime and beat the team. I thought we had the momentum on our side there, and that we could win the game. I thought long and hard about it. Those are things you’re going to be second guessed on if we had gone for it and the ball had gotten batted away or we tried to run it in. We’d have another discussion. I just felt that the way it was, it was a situation where we could come back and win.

(on if there was a quick deliberation on the sidelines regarding the play)

Those guys wanted to go. We talked about it before it happened. I was thinking about it as we were going on that drive. I think they were excited, I think the offense definitely wanted to go for it. I would hope the offense always wants to go for it. I think he (Dowell Loggains) felt confident that we could get it. That’s what almost helped sway me over to go ahead and give it a shot. At that moment, I just didn’t think it was the right way to go. Like I said, looking back, now that we didn’t get it done, I wish we did go for it.

(on the frustration of losing games in different ways)

It’s hard to believe the things that have happened this year. It has been strange the way the ball has bounced against us in plays or plays made or plays not made. It just seems like we’ve been finding a different way to lose games that we’ve had a great chance of winning. It comes down to making plays as it always does. This is a game where we need to make a play in the end. They made it, they got the turnover. Like I said, we didn’t get one ball again this game to give us a short field, to give us an advantage, to give us momentum. We had to earn everything we did. The guys fought back hard. They believed we would win this game. Unfortunately, we have a turnover at the end and we can’t get a stop on defense. The turnover wasn’t the end of the game, you just get a stop and the game goes on. We turned it over, and then we couldn’t get a stop. That’s kind of what has been happening this year to us.

(on Ryan Fitzpatrick’s interception in overtime)

He (Ryan Fitzpatrick) had pressure. He was obviously playing very well in that atmosphere. He’s more comfortable in the hurry-up situation. He made that great throw to Nate (Washington). We really felt he was in the zone right there, the way he was playing in the fourth quarter, the second half of the fourth quarter. We felt that was the right way to go. He made the great throw to Nate. Then he had the pressure on that throw, I think that’s why he underthrew it. They make a play, but again, we have to be able to make a stop there. They still got three first downs. We have to be able to make a stop. We didn’t, and they win it. It’s very hard to take after that great effort coming back.

(on if the team proved its resilience to owner Tommy Smith)

I think it’s both. You’re going to weigh everything. I think the fact that this group…they won’t. I’ve talked about this before, this group is going to play hard, like they did and not give up, no matter what the situation is. We have to win football games, we know that. I think everything gets taken into account, how these guys respond and how they’re playing off the year, what we need to do to fix this when you have time to sit back and think about it, which will be in a few weeks, I guess. How do we do that? We get a chance to discuss that, myself, Ruston (Webster) and Tommy, and see exactly how he feels about how we think to go forward. Then we decide from there. A win would have been obviously a great thing. That’s what we needed here, a win and then two more with two division games coming. Unfortunately, we rallied and we did some great things. I’m very proud of these guys, but again, we have to find ways early in the game. When we have a chance to make plays to make them early, and not put ourselves in the situation that we’re putting ourselves in. Unfortunately, when we get down to these last drives, last-play situations, we haven’t been finishing enough of these games.

(on if Justin Hunter and Damian Williams missed curfew)

They broke some team rules. The consequence was that they didn’t suit up today.

(on how much it hurt to not have all of the receivers available)

You want to have your guys. We were only going to suit up four anyway. The numbers weren’t a problem, it was just a matter of obviously, you want everyone up and going. It was very unfortunate and very disappointing. We move on from there.

(on if today’s game was the extent of the punishment for Williams and Hunter)

Yes.

(on if Zach Brown got injured during the game)

I don’t know that he got injured. They started playing some other linebackers and got in some other packages. During the game, I’m not quite sure how much he actually did play.

(on Nate Washington’s health down the stretch)

He came out for a short period of time. I think he was shaken up on one of the plays he made there in the fourth quarter. Then he came back in. I think, as far as health-wise, we got through this game pretty well.

TITANS QB RYAN FITZPATRICK

(on if pass rush affected last throw resulting in interception)

Ryan Fitzpatrick tied a career high with four TD passes. Click here for the game's slideshow.

They did a good job rushing, rushing me all day, but that last one was my fault in setting the protection. They brought a blitz they (the offensive line) couldn’t pick up, react and they ended up hitting me. As I was throwing it, it affected the throw.

(on how disappointing the loss was after team fought back from deficit)

That’s a game we’re supposed to win. For us to come back 17 points down late like that, to win the toss, get the ball, you know be at home, all that stuff…it’s that the ending really scripted there, but unfortunately it happened. I am really proud of the way we fought on offense today. Those guys never gave up in the huddle, and they were making plays all day. Kendall Wright), Nate (Washington), Kenny (Britt), and Mike (Preston), and Delanie (Walker) really stepped and made the plays when we needed them. I was proud of them.

(on when he felt the momentum was shifting Tennessee’s direction)

Well, we still needed some luck, you know. We knew we needed to get an onsides kick at some point, exactly when we kicked that field goal and got that onside kick. Everybody in the huddle (thought) holy crap this is happening, so we had to put together a drive with no timeouts. It was some pretty amazing plays in terms of some of the catches the guys made on that drive, capping out with Mike’s (Preston) touchdown which he did a nice job on. So, there was belief there the whole time, but especially after that onside kick we thought this is really happening.

(on Mike Preston stepping in with his performance today)

It was great for Mike (Preston). He has been a true professional all year long. He is a guy I played with a lot in the offseason and the preseason. He is a guy I have a good feel for, and Mike stepped up and made some big plays today.

(on Kendall Wright’s big plays)

Kendall (Wright) was getting open on some of them. On some of them, we kind of made some stuff up, made some throws up, bought some time. I was trying to find him in some of those crucial situations. He made some really nice plays on the ball at the end there.

(on if comeback is best he has been involved in)

I mean, we didn’t win so it doesn’t rank up there. But in terms of (scoring) 17 points with however many minutes we had left there, yeah, it was exciting to get to that moment…and overtime and get the ball, but obviously with not the results we wanted.

(on feeling if scoring 30-plus points is a game that the team should win)

You sit there and there are a lot of what ifs, but the biggest what if for me is that we have the ball and I don’t make the proper protection call and I get hit and not be able to complete that pass at the end. So, like I said, there is a lot of disappointment in that locker room right now. I am as upset as anybody in terms of the way I could have done differently, especially on the last offensive play. But, I am also really proud of the guys in there and the way they stuck with me, and the way they made it close at the end.

(on if he feels team is jinxed this season)

I don’t think so. I don’t really believe in that.

TITANS RB CHRIS JOHNSON

(on the disappointing loss)

It’s crazy to fight as hard as we fought, to come in and just let our fans down.

(on whether he is proud of the team’s effort)

Real proud of that. You could look at all the games this year. This team never quits. We always fight until the end just trying to get the victory. That’s one thing I know about this time. We never give up until the clock hits zero.

(on the team’s mindset the next two weeks)

We are going to go out there and play, we got to.

(on rebounding after a tough loss)

Basically, just got to stay focused and know that everybody else out there is giving it their all, just not let your teammates stay down. Basically, at the end of the day you just got to go out there and fight for your brother.

(on whether this loss is demoralizing)

It can be, but at the end of the day, you got to continue to fight. We got the next game. We’re not in the playoffs, but we still have games, people still have personal goals and stuff like that. I just want to win these next couple games, so I’m going to go out there and fight hard and try to win.

TITANS WR MICHAEL PRESTON

(on the Titans’ overtime loss after battling back) 

It’s not in our character or demeanor to give up, so that’s not going to happen.  But we all would love to get over the hump, and pull out these games, not only for ourselves but for the fans who came to watch us. You can’t live off of “ifs and buts.”  Next time, we’ll make it happen.  It’s more deflating than discouraging with so much effort through the week and so much effort through the practices, dating all the way to August and training camp.  You didn’t want it to turn out like this, but all you can do is push forward and look to the next two games and we’ll go ahead, and pull these two out. It’s a sick taste in your mouth.  It’s all about learning and getting better.  As long as we can do that, and keep putting our best foot forward, the more the ball will bounce in our corner, eventually.

TITANS WR KENDALL WRIGHT

(on the Titans’ offense coming alive late  to tie the game and force overtime) 

People would think that we’ve stopped playing.  We’re playing for much more than people think.  So we just kept playing and we kept believing. People think that with our record like it is, everybody is just going to come out here and lollygag, and just go through the motions.  We’re not about that.  We just want to keep fighting hard, all the way to the end.  It was exciting. We made a lot of plays out there. We had a good game, and all the guys fought hard.

TITANS TE DELANIE WALKER

(on the Titans not giving up towards the end of the game)

This is football.  You don’t ever give up.  I don’t care what our record is, you’ve got to go out every day and play for each other.  You know, I don’t even know if we look at our record.  I don’t hear guys talking about it.  We go out and we fight.  This is a sport where you have to fight.  If you don’t fight back, you’re going to get hit in the mouth.  That’s what you don’t want.  I feel like we threw punches, and they threw punches.  At the end of the last round, they threw the better punch than us and knocked us out.  They got the victory.

TITANS S MICHAEL GRIFFIN

(on the Titans not quitting at the end today)

It’s our job.  With that being said, you know you get paid to do a job.  So whether that means something  or not, the whole aspect of this game is to win. I don’t think anybody plays this game to say, ‘I’m just playing to be playing’.  This is something we’d be playing whether it was some fun, or whether we were getting paid. But at the same time, we are going to go out there each and every week, and the next week and the week after.  We’ve got two games left on the schedule and we’ll prepare each and every week, like we’ve been preparing.  And we’re going to go out there and do the best and get a win.

(on how close the Titans are to being able to compete and win)

I mean every game is a decided by one play, you know.  You win as a team and lose as a team and there’s no finger-pointing or what not.  When you go back and watch the film, everybody could have possibly done something better. I mean, I had an opportunity to get an interception and no matter if it was a hard catch or an easy catch, I have to come down with that.  So that right there maybe would have been three points to seven points, whatever it might have been, I have to make that play.  And I get paid to make that play.  Nobody played the perfect game.  When you win, things get swept under the rug and when you lose things get looked at and everything comes into perspective.   

(on if  the 2013 Titans team improved over last year) 

I really strongly believe this team is a lot better.  We’re still fighting.  It’s been an up-and-down season and what not.  Every time we think we’ve got things going, we just can’t get over the hump at the end of the day.  We’ll continue to fight and that’s all you can say from there.

TITANS LB ZACH BROWN

(on the Cardinals’ offense being able to score on several drives)

It was probably frustrating for us as a defense.  We just have to fix some mistakes, and keep doing what we are doing. 

TITANS DT JURRELL CASEY

(on the Titans’ defensive effort)

It’s was an alright game.  We did what we had to do, but we couldn’t keep them off the board enough to give our offense the lead at the end to let them run the clock out.  We put ourselves in the situation where we had to come back and fight for overtime.

(on the focus for the Titans with only two games left)

That’s all we can do is focus one game at a time from here on out.  One game at a time is all you do from the first of the season.  We can’t think ahead and we can’t think behind. So it’s something that we’ll keep on fighting and go forward and hope that things get better next year. 


CARDINALS HEAD COACH BRUCE ARIANS

(opening statement)

It’s hard to get a win on the road in the NFL but we did.  The goal was to get number nine. We don’t care about stats or anything else. The one thing I really enjoyed was we did not panic on the sideline. We all knew that someone would make a play.  My hat off to Ryan Fitzpatrick, he’s a good football player. He kept them in that ball game that we should have had put away. I got a little conservative and didn’t want to throw the football with a 10-point lead and wanted to use up their timeouts and thought we had enough defense to get it done but ended up in overtime. It was definitely a big turnover.  The one thing that has hurt us in the past on the road is obviously we turn the football over offensively on road losses. Today we did a good job of protecting the football and took it away and scored.

(on Antoine Cason’s two interceptions)  

They picked on the wrong guy one too many times, twice too many times.  Antoine (Cason) has been waiting his turn.  It’s great to see him make those plays. Huge plays especially a touchdown.

(on being conservative defensively)

I think Todd (Bowles) probably called everything on his sheet trying to find a way to get there. They did a good job protecting him and he wasn’t holding the ball very long. Of course every time we touched him it was a penalty.

(on penalties actually helping the momentum)

I wouldn’t ever say getting four penalties on third downs helped anybody. I knew our offense was going to answer the bell. Whenever the defense was stuck in the mud or whatever, we came back and our offense scored points. It was a good team win.  I did not like losing the onside kick, great kick. Larry (Fitzgerald) had his hand on it but obviously took a heck of a blow.

(on secondary handling not have Tyrann Mathieu in the rotation)

Obviously, it gave Antoine (Cason) a great opportunity to step up. I’ve been on the same side of that thing offensively and when you get rolling in the two-minute drill, the pass rushers slow down because they get tired so you continue to work on the secondary.   Yes would we have liked to have Tyrann (Mathieu) out there? Heck yeah, but we don’t look back.

(on mood on bench after coin toss)

Nobody panicked.  It was just what we imagined.  Everybody looked around and said who was going to make a play. The defense was ready to roll and it was a whole new football game at that point in time.  I have a lot of faith in Jay (Feely) that we were going to win that ball game. The ball was in the middle of the field well within range for him.. 

(on Justin Bethel getting a hand on the football during field goal attempt)

I think he forced it way left.

CARDINALS RB ANDRE ELLINGTON

(on not blaming anyone for the 17-point blown lead)

We just have to stick together and play team ball. Our defense kind off struggled a bit at the end but the offense came out and won the game at the end. Team ball. 

(on having more receiving yards than rushing yards and what that means)

Just bring the offense that spark. The guys that we have on this offense are capable of doing the same things that I am doing. Coach is calling the right plays at the right times and I am taking advantage of it.

(on playing with Carson Palmer and him playing through some pain)

I actually didn’t know that he got hurt. I thought that he was just doing a little swag thing and then he taped his ankle up. He is a great guy and a great leader and we wouldn’t have the success without him. I’m glad that I am on his team.

(on this being the most winnable game remaining on the schedule)

It’s really important and it’s important because it’s our next game. We want to win out and that is our main focus and we are going to do everything that we can to win the next one.

CARDINALS K JAY FEELY

(on his game-winning kick)

Well after a poor game last week you want to come back and help your team win. Right now it doesn’t matter how you win. Obviously, we didn’t want to give up 17 points and go into overtime, but all that matters this time of year is winning games and getting a win, and coming through for your team and moving on to next week and keeping yourself in playoff contention.

(on how they were able to rally to win)

I think it just goes to the character that we have. We don’t quit or don’t get down on each other. You didn’t see the offense yelling at the special teams or the defense or anything. The guys in this locker room really like each other and that comes through in those moments when you have adversity.

(on his adversity early in the season and another kicker being brought in to challenge him)

I think you have to prove yourself every day. In this league I think it’s all about production. It doesn’t matter what you have done in the past, it’s what you do today and what you do going forward. We have a great operation with Dave (Zastudil) and Mike (Leach) and I. We are comfortable and guys have been doing their job for a long time. You don’t have to worry about it and guys will go out there and do their job.

(on winning this game on the road)

Well, these are not your old Cardinals.

CARDINALS CB PATRICK PETERSON

(on where he thinks that the communication is lacking)

Just nickel corners talking to the nickel backs and the safeties communicating the audibles to us and make sure that we are in the right spot at certain points and making sure that linebackers understand that they have to help us underneath on those crossers and things like that. I don’t want to say that the game was moving fast, but everyone was not on the same page.

(on if Tennessee did anything differently because Tyrann Mathieu was not in the lineup)

No, that was pretty much everything that we watched. Coming into this game I thought that we would make enough plays when we needed to to get off the field on certain downs. There were a couple of questionable calls there, but the main thing is that we came out with a W. I thought we played well until the last two minutes of the fourth quarter, but we got the W, so we head home 9-5.

(on not dwelling on letting them back in the game but rather finding a way to win)

Exactly, and that is all that counts. We made enough plays at the end to win the ball game, period. Those guys fought back hard, but second efforts are not remembered.

CARDINALS C LYLE SENDLEIN

(on what it says about this team that ‘weathered the storm’)

It was quite a storm. We don’t want to go through that. It would have been easy to fold up and allow the momentum to put you down and doubt yourself and doubt your team. We all stuck together and did what we had to do.

(on if this reminded him of the 2009 game against the Titans)

I can’t remember last week, so 2009 is quite a blur for me.

CARDINALS DT DARNELL DOCKETT

(on if this was the craziest ending he has ever been involved in)

No, this is my 10th year, and I have seen a lot of games. That is just one of them, but I am glad that we were able to face some adversity, some serious adversity and to go out and be able to play under those circumstances and accept that pressure. That was pressure, and at the end we wanted it a tad bit more than Tennessee. But, I take my hat off to those guys. They weren't quitting. We kind of laid down and relaxed, and they kept fighting. That is a good situation to learn from.

(on the sideline's reaction during the Titans’ comeback)

They had a solid game plan for what they were doing, getting the ball out real fast and the quarterback moving around more than we thought. It is just one of those things. I'm just proud of the team and how they fought in overtime. No one pointed the finger. No one said it was your fault, his fault, the offense's fault, special teams' fault. We all rallied around. No one said it wouldn't take five quarters to win this game. We balled our fist up, and we fought. That's what happened. We knew coming in that is was going to be like a boxing match. Who was going to throw the last punch? We knew that team wasn't going to fold and lay down. They have a great coach over there, and those guys play hard. The biggest thing now is enjoy this win tonight and get ready for the fight of our life next week.

(on coming to the east coast and getting the ninth win of the season)

I don't care if you go to the Middle East, South America, as long as you get a win, it doesn't matter. As long as you win, we don't care what the score looks like. I think that we personally could have played a lot better on defense, and I'm sure the offense probably could, too, but the biggest thing is fight adversity and win. That is what we came here to do. Our coach said before we came out here that we either win by a little or win by a lot. Today we won by a little, but we won and we have no injuries, so that's a double win for us. We can enjoy this win tonight, then tomorrow it's back to business because we know what is in front of us.

CARDINALS DE CALAIS CAMPBELL

(on how tired the defense was late in the game)

It wasn't like we were super tired. We condition for this. This is football and this is what we do. It's hard when you can't stop someone. We couldn't find a way to get off of the field, and when we did things didn't go our way. Some calls kept some drives going, and you can get frustrated from that situation. Even though the game wasn't pretty, we found a way to pull it out. That is all that matters.

(on this win meaning more now since it was such an emotional win)

I like the blowouts more than the tight ones. I'm not going to lie. Close games are good for the fans, but it's hard on us. The beauty of it is when the game is over, no matter if it is one or 100, as long as you get a win, I'll take it.

CARDINALS ILB KARLOS DANSBY

(on if it was frustrating that the game had to come down to an overtime field goal)

Not at all. Wild things happen in the league and in football period. It's a game of momentum. They caught the momentum at the right time, they made some plays, but we finished strong. We kept throwing our punches and making plays at the end to win the game.

(on the character of the team finding ways to win)

We have a lot of high-character guys on this team. Our character got tested today and we came out on top. Everybody kept their composure and made plays when we had to.

CARDINALS CB ANTOINE CASON

(on his interception for a touchdown)

It feels really good. I know I have a lot of work to do. So this week for me now that I’m thinking about the game and everything that’s happened to get back to my fundamentals this week and try to get better. I will get better for next week. So, that’s what’s really going through my mind, as crazy as it sounds, I definitely feel I will get better throughout the rest of the season.

(on Titans coming back from 17 points down)

It was tough, but the guys on the defensive side got together, we rallied with one another, we never got down, we kept believing we could win this game.  That was huge for us, for everyone involved, just keep continuing to believe in your mind that we can win this game, make a play, someone has to make a play. Who knows who it’s going to be, and that’s all we told each other on the sideline when we went in there, we definitely made some plays.

(on what he saw on the interception for a touchdown)

Yeah, it was a three-by-one and I knew all game on the outside they were either running hitches or comebacks or something like that. It wasn’t anything other than that, so in my mind I knew to read the receiver. I still didn’t want to get beat anywhere else, so I tried to play as sound as I could and I saw the quarterback three-stop drop it and that’s when I broke and then he threw the ball. No, I didn’t (have control), it hit his hand first I believe, and once it popped up, I was just right there to make the play. I had to keep my concentration because those are the balls you usually sometimes drop, so it was important for me to stay focused and make that play.

(on thinking the game was over on the interception in overtime)

Oh definitely. When I intercepted the ball, what was going through my mind was score. Score, just get the game over with right now, we don’t want to give them any more chances, especially at home. So, for me, I knew that gave us momentum, that gave us a lot of confidence, especially on the offensive side of the ball, they went down and did exactly what they needed to do to put us in position to win the game.

(on relying on offense when the defense has an off-game)

That’s huge. It’s a team game and we feel it’s the ultimate team game, for us to feed on one another is huge. When one phase is down, the other one picks us up and we’re still rallying behind one another to continue to fight and win these ball games. It says a lot about the leaders on the defense, the leaders on the offense to keep us together and to keep us going and especially for the coaches to have that confidence in us to…be it defense, be it offense, be it teams, special teams come together and make those plays.

(on the defense being tired in the overtime series)

Oh, it was tough, but those are the drives where you dig deep. Those are the championship drives, the drives that you need to push to be a playoff team and we definitely have confidence in that we are. So, that’s a good game for us to be a part of, to know how deep are we going to dig to win this game, how confident are we going to be to just have the stick-to-itiveness to bring each other together every possession that we have and every opportunity, so it was huge.

(on how the secondary  handled the rotation)

Secondary is interesting. We’re in the DB room together and all of us have a mutual respect for one another. We’re all competitors and we have a fallen soldier. For me to come in and be in that role, they embraced me and I knew I had to play on a high level because Ty (Mathieu) was playing very well this season. It was unfortunate, but we all rallied behind each other. We definitely support him, it was just one of those things where everyone just encouraged each other, whatever role we needed to be in, step up.

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