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Titans-Colts Postgame Quotes

Posted Nov 14, 2013

TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK

(on the point he thought the game got away)

Unfortunately, right there before the half, we had that window there, the three points, they got that field goal there. We had them stopped on third and 10. We had a penalty called on us at the two-minute warning there before the half which caused the drive to continue. They got a field goal on that before the half on that. I thought we had a stop there if we don’t have that penalty, which I thought was a bad call. And then they came out and take it down the field at the beginning of the third quarter, score a touchdown, then we fumble and so they score 17 points, and our offense never gets on the field again. And that pretty much…they get the lead there 20-17. That’s where it (went) downhill.

(on the missed opportunity for a touchdown after three personal foul calls against Indianapolis in the first half)

That hurt, but definitely again, in game like this where this team is known to come back and score points, you know just a few weeks ago they came back to beat Houston when they were way behind. So they had that drive, the one in the third quarter. (Later) we had a holding call on the center when we had a nice run there and we had to settle for a field goal. I think both those drives hurt us.

(on how he keeps the team together following tough losses)

It’s going to be hard. It’s upsetting.  We have this long week now. We are going to come tomorrow and watch this, then we’ll have the weekend off, then we’ll get back to work. That’s how the league is, we have six more games to play.  It’s disappointing, you work so hard. Again, I thought we came out and got points on the board early. It looked like we were going to do some good things and then we didn’t finish up that way.

(on special teams issues continuing)

For whatever reason, we just can’t hold on to the football. Again it was a seven point play, really. We would have liked the defense to stop there, (hold them) to a three pointer, but they didn’t. It turned into seven and that was part of the big run there, 17 points for them. We gave them a turnover and that cost us seven points and you can’t do that when you are playing games like this, three point games, two point games, and you can’t give away points.

(on Chris Johnson’s fast start cooling off as the game went on)

We didn’t have the ball there. It seemed like our offense—I don’t know how long in real time it was—but it was a long period of time with the offense not out there, so that made it hard. You can’t allow it to happen. I think standing on the sidelines for so long hurt us. We had that one three-and-out in the third quarter after not playing for so long. We came up a yard short on a third down. I just think we never got back to being able to run it as effectively as we thought we would all game long.

(on the costly penalty called on Akeem Ayers)

You’re going to lose doing those things, yes. I didn’t get a chance to speak to him (Akeem Ayers) obviously about that. But there’s no excuse for a penalty like that at that time in the game. You just can’t do those things. Those are the things, that again, it’s a 60-minute game. You can’t have plays like that, that are going to give him a chance, in this case to score a touchdown.

(on the Colts’ late drive)

They ran the ball. Again, you have to be able to stop it. They got the ball back with six, seven minutes, and they took a five-minute drive and scored a touchdown. They did exactly what they wanted to do. We didn’t stop them. They ran the ball much better than they should have been able to. They ran a handful of plays, all plays we anticipated them running against us. Until you watch the tape and see what happened, that helped them control the clock, control the time of possession and keep us off the field on offense. They were very effective with the running game today.

TITANS QB RYAN FITZPATRICK

(on how frustrating it was to have the defense on the field for almost the whole third quarter)

That was a tough stretch for us.  Then getting the points, the two-minute drill, and then obviously, we had the ball first in the first half, so they got the ball there with another possession to start the second half.  Then we fumbled the kickoff, so I don’t know how much time it was in real time, but that was a long stretch.  Then we needed to come out and answer and we didn’t.  We went three-and-out and that was a big turning point in the game after they had the three straight possessions. For us to go three-and-out there and not be able to sustain a drive, you know, and keep our defense off the field and get some points.  We had limited opportunities in the second half, unfortunately, and they did a good job today.

(on what he tells the team after a loss like this)

We’ve got a few extra days here to just step away from it a little bit and reevaluate and refresh, but its tough.  The last two games have been very tough for us- division opponents, games that we really thought we should have won but didn’t. We didn’t pull them out, either of them.  So we’ve got to find that winning formula, whatever it is.  We’ve got to find a way to pull these games out at the end.  It’s a tough locker room in there right now because that’s two in a row that’s kind of slipped away from us.  Two big ones.  Two costly ones for us.

(on the key to converting third downs)

I don’t know what our percentage was on third down today.  I don’t know if it was terrible.  I felt like, you know, the limited possessions in the second half because they did a great job and then I know we got behind the chains on a possession with the holding call while we were driving. It’s the same stuff on third down.  I think we’ve been successful this year on third down, getting it into our playmakers’ hands.  It’s a lot more of that—just continuing to try to get our guys the ball and make plays. 

(on if he liked running the no-huddle)

Yeah. That’s something I really enjoy.  I feel like our offense, the whole year, whether it was me stepping in or when Jake (Locker) was playing, I feel like we operated well with the up tempo stuff.  It was short week so the communication stuff, we really had to work on.  I was real proud of the guys up front and the receivers and tight ends and backs for the communication and the way we handled all that on a real short week. I think that our offense generates the momentum and scores points.  I feel like we operate at a higher level when we’ve got that tempo going.

(on feeling more comfortable at the quarterback position today) 

Yeah I think that the last two weeks, for whatever reason, I have.  There’s more of a comfort level just with the guys in the huddle, being out there on the field again and I guess solidifying knowing my role and what it is now.  There’s a lot of different factors that go into it.  I obviously wish the last two games would have gone different at the end.  There’s more of a comfort level for me out there now than there was at the beginning of the year.

TITANS RB CHRIS JOHNSON

(on the offense’s lack of possessions in the second half)

Yeah, it was real tough. When we first came out, they drove down and got a score and then made a play on special teams and then they scored again. It was just kind of tough and then momentum went their way. They just made more plays than we did in the end.

(on whether he is happy with the amount of carries he had)

I really can’t speak on that. It’s just the situation of how the game went. That’s just how it was.

(on the team’s first half performance)

We had a fast tempo, an up-beat tempo and (inaudible) lining up on the line, calling plays, whatever. We’ve got to give the offensive line a lot of credit in the passing game and running game, keeping those guys off of Fitz (Ryan Fitzpatrick) and just in the running game, pushing those guys back, giving me some room to run.

(on playing more no-huddle offense)

Naw, I wouldn’t mind because basically it’s not like we’re in a two-minute offense and just throwing the ball all over the field. We kind of mixing it up and keeping it up-tempo.

(on staying on track the rest of the season)

Up to this point, we’ve done enough talking. Talking is just getting old. We got to go out there and make plays for 60 minutes and stop turning these close wins and saying we could’ve won this one and could’ve won that one. We’ve got to go out there and win if we want to make it to the playoffs, and every loss we get it keeps getting slim to none as far as the playoffs. So, we’ve got to step up and make plays. We definitely know we let one slip away, but at the end of the day these games slipping away, that’s just getting old. We’ve just got to make plays, and we need to make plays

TITANS TE DELANIE WALKER

(on the Titans giving up the lead and losing the game to the Colts)

To be truthful, I don’t know what happened.  We had a great game plan and our coaches got us prepared, because you saw, we came out early and put up two touchdowns quick in the game.  Our defense was stopping them.  I don’t know what happened from then to halftime.  We came back out and were a little flat.  The third quarter, they kind of controlled the clock a little bit and they did keep us (Titans’ offense) on the sidelines.  They scored and then we fumbled the ball on the kickoff return and gave them another opportunity to put the ball in the end zone.  It’s key that we shot ourselves in the foot and we gave them opportunities to make plays.

(on if the Titans know how to win) 

Of course we know how to win.  I mean the guys here, they want to win. It’s inside of them.  I felt like we played a great game. I’m a little confused because I don’t know what happened.  I feel like we played a hell of a game.  I can’t downplay the Colts. They are a good team and when you make mistakes and give them opportunities, they are a hard team to beat. It feels like it’s always something.  That’s something we’re going to have to clean up.  It’s something we’ve got to work on.  Not making mental mistakes. No penalties.  No fumbling the ball.  Just dumb mistakes.  I don’t know where we go from here, but guys want to win. 

TITANS DE DERRICK MORGAN

(on the Titans losing four games in a row at home)

We’ve just went downhill from a good start. We’ve had all the time in the world, but it’s not showing up on game day.  Everybody is taking their turn messing up and making mistakes.  We just can’t do that, especially against a good football team.  We knew the Colts were a good second-half team and we didn’t finish the game out.  We are losing close games, games that we think that we should have won.  We haven’t been finishing games.  We are who we are.  We’re out there putting it on tape and we’re not finishing games.   

(on what happened to Titans’ defense in the second half) 

We came out on defense talking about getting a stop.  We had a couple of close calls especially on third-and-one.  They were making plays and we weren’t making plays.  They drove the ball and took about seven minutes off of the clock.  So we didn’t come out on defense and stop them, then, or in the fourth quarter when we needed a really big stop.   

TITANS KR DEVON WYLIE

(on is it a tough job to come in the game and field punts)

It’s easier said than done. It’s a good time to get the cobwebs off and really show these guys I’m a good returner.  Cumulatively, as a return team, we need to pick it up. 

(on what happened on the fumbled return on the kickoff) 

I’m not even sure. It was a left return and the ball got kicked right, so it was tough to get to the wedge.  I was trying to find a hole and crease it.  Must of bumped into somebody or someone got a hand in there.  I thought I had the ball tight, but apparently it wasn’t tight enough.  I was just trying to find a lane and just trying to find the hole and apparently the ball wasn’t tight enough and something happened .  I don’t even know if they grabbed it out or I hit my own guy trying to find the hole, I’m not sure.  But it’s unfortunate.  It was very big. 

(on whether being with the team only a short time contributed to the fumbled kickoff ) 

That can contribute, but I’m going to own up and say I’ve got to keep the ball tighter.  It’s tough to get the fluidity of the kickoff return game going, but I feel like we’ll get better and that’s all we can shoot for. 

 

COLTS HEAD COACH CHUCK PAGANO

(opening statement)

Injury wise the only thing we had was DHB (Darrius Heyward-Bey) got an ankle. He tried to go but wasn’t 100 percent so we held him out of there.

Heck of a ball game.  Credit the Titans, they played a great game. It was a great team win, like they all are. To come down here, get a win with a slow start for whatever reason, continue to try to figure out why. Credit these guys for finding a way. At least we go down before the half and get the three points, 17 – 6, and then come out with two touchdown drives. The turnover and the touchdown was huge and then we gain momentum and just held on. Again, our guys did a phenomenal job in the second half.  Credit the offensive line for knocking those guys off the ball and blocking. Donnie (Brown) really did a great job and had a fantastic game.  Coby (Fleener) stepped up and had a huge day.  His numbers were the best that he has had. Defensively we made just enough plays when things calmed down. They caught us with the no huddle and go two quick scores.  We’re looking forward to having the few extra days to rest and then get back to work.

(on what this win says for the team)

This speaks to their character, their mindset. They are resilient. They were bound and determined to try to find a way to make amends for the home loss that we had that was embarrassing.  Everyone was embarrassed and they wanted to do whatever they could do to make amends and to come down here and no matter what get this one.

(on overcoming frustration)

You get three penalties, 45 yards in penalties, absolutely. We came in at halftime and the first thing we talked about was we’ve got to do this, this and this on offense, defense and special teams and first and foremost let’s not beat ourselves and keep our poise and let’s keep our heads about ourselves.   

(on overcoming adversity)

It seems like it. That’s how we make our living. It caught up with us two games ago. We have got to try to make things a little easier on ourselves. Tennessee came ready to play.  They are playing for the same things we are.

(on Donald Brown)

He’s being doing it all year. Donald is a guy that comes in every single day.  He’s one of those guys that’s the first one in, the last one out. He puts his time in, practices extremely hard and running better than he has his whole time here. The way he is running the football, his vision it just tremendous.

(on offensive line stepping up)

They took this personal.

COLTS QB ANDREW LUCK

(on controlling the line of scrimmage in the second half)

What a great job up front by the o-linemen. Staney Havili, the tight ends, Trent [Richardson] and Donald [Brown] getting tough, tough yards. We know to win football games consistently we are going to have to run the football well. We did a decent job in the first half. I think the game sort of dictated that we couldn’t run it as much as we wanted, but I think it was great to settle down and to get points at the end of the half and to start the second half with points was big. To get that run game going, and that last drive, what a great job. It’s tough in the fourth quarter for o-linemen when you continually pound and pound and pull and block and hit. They did a heck of a job.

(on how proud he is of the comeback win)

It was good; a great team victory on the road for a divisional game. We know with Tennessee it is always salty, and it is always tough. This is a good, hard-nosed bunch. We are fortunate and happy to get a win. What a great job by special teams forcing a turnover and a short field. Getting points out of that and then Pat Angerer getting the ball on the onside kick. A great team victory.

(on if the pump fake on his touchdown run was designed)

It was not designed. Luckily it worked out. If it hadn’t that would have been a big mental error for me and a big red X on the call sheet.

(on running the ball in the second half)

That is Pep’s [Hamilton] philosophy – run the football. If you can put a drive like that together at the end of the game and score a touchdown and keep the ball out of the offense’s hands, that is huge. Since day one Coach [Chuck] Pagano has preached stop the run on defense, run the ball on offense and win the turnover margin. I think we did all three of those OK tonight and managed to get a win.

(on Coby Fleener’s performance)

Coby [Fleener] is a great matchup versus a lot of people. He has worked so hard continually. He realizes with Reg [Reggie Wayne] down, it’s an opportunity for the tight ends to sort of help fill that void. He did a great job. He is so athletic, and he is so fast. I do think he creates a matchup problem in certain situations, and he did a good job of getting himself open tonight.

(on the game turning quickly in the second half)

I think it’s huge. We wish it wouldn’t have to be like that. We have to work at fixing it because we know we can’t survive our mistakes forever, as evidence last week. I think the resolve on this team, the grit is very, very high. It was good to come back and get some momentum and get things going well.

COLTS ILB PAT ANGERER

(on the Colts victory)

Yeah, it was a wild one.  They came out and played hard — spread us out, hurried us up and we didn’t play too well at first.  They’re a good football team.  To get out of a quick week with a win and a sloppy game to start with versus a good football team is pretty impressive.

(on how they moved on after a poor first half to play so well in the second half)

We made a lot of adjustments.  Our coaches make the best adjustments of probably any coaching staff out there.  Our players bought in and it worked out for us.

(on if he could feel the momentum change on the sideline during the 17-point swing bookending halftime)

Yeah, it’s just one guy making a play after another.  When you get down, we don’t get down—we’ve been there so many times.  Obviously, we were frustrated, but everybody is back on the sidelines, in each other’s ears and making the corrections.  Guys step up and they just know someone is going to make a play.

(on how they bounced back after the series when they had three personal foul penalties on three consecutive plays)

Just making the adjustments — me personally, taking my gap.  That was a tough series.  Some guys probably lost their composure a little bit, but in the heat of the moment if somebody hits you, you’re not just going to sit there and take it, but you just can’t do that.  We have a good group of guys that stepped up and kept playing.

COLTS TE COBY FLEENER

(on what changed at halftime to enable them to have a more successful second half offensively)

I don’t think there is any magic speech or anything like that; I think it just comes down to execution.  The first half there was stuff we didn’t do that we needed to, and in the second half we did enough to win the game.

(on what that attitude was like at halftime)

We’ve been in this position before.  It’s not one that we would like to be in, but it’s one that we feel comfortable that we can still win the games from behind.

(on what has enabled him to have such an impact offensively)

I think you have to credit our offensive line being able to run the ball, and with guys like T.Y. (Hilton) out there it makes my job easier.  Everyone is going to want to double-cover and triple-cover him, and that makes my job easy.

(on why they are able to continue to have so much success on the tight-end screen)

I think you go back to the offensive line—if you can effectively run the ball, it opens up a lot of things in the pass game and some of the play-action so that’s been working well for us.

COLTS SS ANTOINE BETHEA

(on how they continue to rally and overcome halftime deficits to win games)

Every team comes in and makes adjustments.  We just come in and look each other in the eye, and obviously that wasn’t our best football in the first half but we knew what we needed corrected, we came in here and corrected it and we went out in the second half and played better.

(on what the difference is between being comfortable behind in a game and being okay with being behind)

There is no panic—we always talk about it’s always going to come down to the last two minutes of the game, and this year that is what it has been.  We just continue to play hard for 60 minutes and it was a total team effort tonight.

(on what the difference was for their defense between the first and second half)

Slow their run down—in the first half they were running the ball, spreading us out in passes and in the second half we were able to control the run a little more and get off the field on some third downs.

COLTS RB DONALD BROWN

(on how the game went)

Guys never gave up and never stopped fighting. We knew it was going to be a battle.

(on what allows this team to have come-back wins)

It’s a high character team, very resilient. It’s just a bunch of guys who go out there and fight 60 minutes.

(on finding the holes tonight)

The offensive line did a phenomenal job. Andrew (Luck) got us into the right plays and the fullback Stanley Havili did a phenomenal job blocking. When you see the safety, that’s every running back’s dream and those guys in front did a great job.

(on when he scored his second rushing touchdown)

I knew we had to. We needed to put points on the board and we needed to score a touchdown to close out the game. The offensive line did a great job, they made a hole, and there was nobody there, so I kept running.

(on if he cares about stats)

No, not at all. We care about wins and especially division games.

(on slow starts)

We do need to start better, it’s tough digging yourself out, but this is a good group of guys here, high character guys who are very resilient and we have been in these situations before, so we don’t get our heads down and we keep grinding.

COLTS DE ROBERT MATHIS

(on how the game went)

It was a fight through the beginning, the middle and the end. At halftime we made some corrections and keep fighting some more. I am proud of the team and I don’t take any wins for granted.

(on if they are comfortable being behind in games)

Yeah, we have been there more times than we would like to be, but we are able to fight through it and it’s a team that can fight through adversity as well as anybody.

(on how they always come back to win)

It starts from the top. Coach Chuck (Pagano), he is a guy who keeps his poise. He relays that to his team.

(on slowing Chris Johnson in the second half)

Yeah, he got out on us pretty good and we were able to regroup and get him under control and were able to get the win.

(on Donald Brown having a big game)

He comes to work every day, puts his time in, he is the ultimate professional, and he’s reaping the benefits of hard work. 

(on how big of a win this is)

Tennessee is a good team. Division win, so that almost counts double. Getting a win is nothing to sneeze at. I am proud of the team and this is something to build on.

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