(on making plays to turn the game around)
It just shows you again, we talk about it every week when we didn’t win games, it’s about making plays and that’s what changes games around. Like you mentioned, we had three balls I think on defense that we missed early that could have been touchdowns probably the other way for us. We dropped two balls on offense, one that was probably a touchdown, Nate’s (Washington), could have had a chance to go all the way and Kenny (Britt) drops one. So we had trouble catching it on both sides. And they had a chance driving it down before half and we made the big play there.
(on the returns being a large factor in the game)
The hard part is that the defense usually has to go right back out there after scoring a touchdown but we did a nice job of getting off the field, again making another play, you know, with a three-and-out, returning the second (punt for a touchdown) and D-Rey (
(on the play of Zach Brown being what they envisioned when he was drafted)
Yeah, we bragged on him when we got him. We thought, you know people are going to question a lot of things. We needed some immediate things. We always felt we needed a linebacker in the second round. We felt he was a guy that would fit. We thought it was something where he may not start right away; he didn’t. I think he grew as the season went on where he felt comfortable and he started playing more. He, just like Akeem (Ayers) and when (Colin) McCarthy is healthy, we think we have three special linebackers that have ability to be playmakers. They are so athletic, he and Akeem are very similar in that way. You can do a lot of things with them. I think that is why I keep saying there is a lot of excitement on this team going into next year and the year after because of the type of players that we are adding to this team. The last two years in the draft have been very good players that we have added. They are going to be around a long time. If we can add a few more pieces, I think you are going to see something I think is going to be very exciting to watch.
(on Darius Reynaud’s second punt return for a touchdown)
That was the thing there. Obviously, he is a great athlete and I think everyone rallied when he rallied. That’s a good athlete making a great play, not going down there. In a lot of games, obviously, he is going to be tackled right there or lose his balance and be pushed down, but he was able to reverse field. When you do that there is a chance something good will happen. Sometimes you will lose a lot of yards when you do that, but this is one of the times where he found a wall and then guys rallied around him and had some nice blocks down the sideline and he walked the tight rope and made a huge play for us. That is what happens when you start making plays, it is contagious. You make one, you have another and another. Just like when you don’t make, it seems like how this game started. We were going to miss out on opportunities, like here we go again. We missed this one, this, and this one. We didn’t let that get us down and took advantage of the opportunities that came before halftime and never looked back.
(on today’s game showing the team is going in the right direction)
Yeah, that’s part of it. I think it’s a full, when you talk to the owner, it’s a from top-to-bottom you’re going to talk about your roster, what we think we’re doing, why we’re headed in the right direction with some of the players we have, where we may need to add or make some adjustments that will make a difference for next year. The same thing with coaching, what we’re doing there, what our thinking is kind of from top-to-bottom and hopefully, again, when you see things like today, you should be excited that you have some good, young players that can make plays that are going to be here a long time. I thought that
(on going with CB Tommie Campbell instead of
In the second half, we talked about getting…Campbell was playing already in the nickel package anyway this week. Last week, we got him in some, I think in the second half. I thought this week we’d give him a chance to play some more, just like
(on returning next season)
Well definitely, I think, obviously I feel I’m the guy for the job. I feel like we’re going to get this thing going. I think this is a 9-7 year ago, 6-10 not happy, but I think we’re getting the right guys here, we’re doing it the right way, so yeah, obviously I think myself and the staff feel good about the direction we’re going, we know we’ve got some work ahead of us in that regard, but yeah, definitely, I think we’re going ahead. Obviously, I’ll have a talk with, I’m sure at some point with Mr. (Bud) Adams, and hopefully he’ll agree with me.
(on players’ performance in an insignificant game)
Yeah, I think that there’s no doubt. Like I’ve said before, I think guys get frustrated when things aren’t going your way. I think that happened some last week. We got out of position, we didn’t play as well as we’d liked so it comes across as being something that it’s really not. It was just not a good performance by us. I knew this week again, we practiced well all week, we practiced hard, the Green Bay game didn’t mean anything either. I mean as far as, we were already out of it that week, so we played hard last week, it’s just that we didn’t play smart last week. But this week again, we had a good week of practice, this team beat us before, so we knew that this was going to be a challenge, we thought they played great last week against the Patriots, they could’ve won that game for them, but we came out and I think it’s a good group of guys we have here, we didn’t always play our best or play smart games, it didn’t make the plays that were there on certain games, but we’ll fix that. That’s what we need to work on and that’s what the offseason is for, free agency, draft, on and on and find a way to get this team over the hump.
(on dedication over the last 30 years influencing Bud Adams decision)
I really don’t think so. I think it comes down to if Mr. Adams is confident I could do the job. I think that’s what it comes down to. I think the fact that I’ve been here is nice and I’ve played, I think it’s been good for both of us, me as a player, me as a line coach, I think it has been good for both of us. But, I think when it comes down to the NFL, it’s about winning football games and believe me, he’s not going to keep me in the job just because I’ve been here. I don’t think that will be a factor at all. I think it’s all about business, it’s about who can do the job, who do you want representing your ball club and I feel that I’m the best person for that job.
(on being a playoff team next season)
Of course, we do, and that’s the expectation every year and that’s why when you don’t do it, like this year, it is more disappointment by everyone because you build up what you think you’re capable of doing, but for me, this will be our first really off season, as far as free agency, we didn’t have free agency my first year, there was a lockout, camp ended it was a very different type of free agency. Last year, we know we were spending some time trying to get a quarterback signed so we really didn’t do a lot last year. I think we signed two guys in free agency, so, I think this year will give us a chance to…we know our players, we’ve got two good drafts, I think we’re going to have another good draft, we’re going to probably get some extra picks there, so again, we’ve done a great job, I think Ruston (Webster) has done a great job with his group and the coaching staff are bringing in some good, young talent and we have to be smart about identifying what our needs our and those two processes between free agency and the draft will fill some of the holes so we can be a team that you saw today on a weekly basis.
I think Kenny (Britt) got a shoulder towards the end. Hopefully there’s no big deal there. I think C.J.’s (
(on going for it on fourth down late in the game)
It’s really the first time, the first one we had the nice lead, probably normally would kick a field goal there, but again, felt because the defense was playing so well we had a three-touchdown lead, the offense had not been on the field hardly at all. We had the third-and-one, all of sudden, I thought it was close to fourth-and-two, the ball gets batted, the guy’s wide open, so I thought we tried to keep the offense out there, try to get a little confidence going with them, finish the drive again because after that first drive of the game, which obviously was a great drive, we struggled to make plays when plays were there to be made the rest of the half. In the second half, kind of the same thing, it’s only four to five minutes left, I thought that was the smartest thing to do there, give them a chance to make a play and unfortunately we didn’t make either.
It would’ve been nice if they’d helped him. Again, he starts out the first drive, which is exactly what you want to see. He comes out, takes opening kick, kind of like with the Jets (game), go right down the field, make some nice throws, couple of good runs, we score, comes back on the next drive, he hits Nate (Washington) on a third-and-10, which is probably going to be a touchdown, right in the hands, running away from the defender. All of a sudden that could be 14, we could have 14 points right there, then in the third-down-and-three, what’s his name gets backed into him, gets pressure in his face so he can’t complete the ball, the guy’s wide open, third-and-three on the second series. It’s stuff like that is so frustrating that we’re not making plays when you’re there and the defense was doing the same thing at the same time and then all of a sudden it came together. Again, the offense isn’t on the field, like you mentioned, the nice thing is, you’re rallying the points and believe me, you’ll take points and not worry about offense getting points, but all of a sudden, the offense is sitting on the sidelines for half hour, 45-minutes and watching, going on for extra points, which like I said, we’ll gladly do that. Again, it just took them out of sync, I think, it was more about just controlling the clock and by the time we got it in the fourth quarter. So that’s what I was hoping that those fourth downs, if we could’ve converted one of those, it would’ve been nice to kind of get momentum to finish a drive again. We just got to, again, it’s been frustrating a lot of the year not making plays when you’re there and you saw some of that in this game even though we overcame that with a lot of big plays by the defense and the special teams.
TITANS QB JAKE LOCKER
(on how difficult it is to bounce back after a tough loss last week)
We touched on it in the week. It’s tough anytime you had a game like you did last week. But, to bounce back and come out and play as we did this week is awesome.
(on the offense standing on the sidelines for a great portion of the first quarter)
It was awesome to be able to watch your teammates out there making plays and turn it into points. It’s exciting for the whole team. But, stay focused when we get our chance, we’ve got to go out and try to put points on the board as well. Have good tempo when we’re out there. Basically, don’t let it lull you to sleep. Be ready to go when we get our opportunity.
(on the offense stalling after the opening drive)
It’s kind of been happening to us all year. We had some penalties. We didn’t make some plays that we probably could of. It killed us as far as continuing drives. Those are things that we’ve got to find a way to fix.
(on his progress this season)
Again, we talked about it. It’s not record-wise ideally where you want to be. But, I thought there were a lot of positives to take away from it. A lot of learning experiences and things that make me better going forward. Not where we wanted to be, but definitely a lot to take from it and encouraging moving forward.
(on if the Titans are capable of making the playoffs next year)
Definitely. You saw spurts of what we were capable of doing. We’ve just got to be more consistent doing it. That’s going to be our goal in the offseason.
TITANS RB CHRIS JOHNSON
(on finishing the season with a win)
It felt good to go out there and get a win. We haven’t had a division win all season so we needed to put our nose down and hopefully give us some momentum going into the next year.
(on what this team needs to make the playoffs)
It’s going to take a lot of leadership. The leaders on this team need to step up and just work hard during the offseason and then bring the younger guys along with us. It’s a situation where we have to work harder and continue to come out here and try to get better at each position.
(on if this is close to being a playoff team)
Yeah I think we are close. I think there are a lot of games where we probably could have won this year, but it was a situation where things weren’t going our way. There is nothing we can do about it right now but continue to try to work hard and give ourselves something to work hard on and see how it could have been a different season.
(on his impressions of the offense after looking back at the year)
It just shows that there are some plays out there that we can make and put more points up, but the defense and the special teams came out there and they helped us a great deal. It’s just a situation where we got to step up and execute more plays.
(on having so much time on the sideline while the defense and special teams scored touchdowns)
It feels good. Any time you have a winning team, a playoff team, or a championship team or whatever, there are going to be games where you are going to need your defense and special teams to step up and make plays like that to get you through the season. It just shows you that some pieces that we have on this team that can continue to get better.
(on if talk of roster changes or coaching changes affect his weekly preparation)
Basically you have to block those things out. There can’t be no changes right now during the season, so there really can’t be much that can happen right now so it’s a situation where you just have to stay focused and do your job and let everything happen. It’s something that you can’t control. You really can’t worry about it, you just got stick to your job and let the pieces fall and the let the offseason get here.
(on what a realistic goal is for next year)
I think I would say playoffs. We haven’t been to the playoffs in so long, so you don’t want to go out there and say that we are going to have a Super Bowl team next year, but it’s a situation where I feel like we have a lot of talented guys on this team. If everybody can just step up and continue to make plays and play like we played today I think there is a good chance that we can make it to the playoffs.
(on if so many injuries to the offensive line and tight ends affect the offense)
It’s very difficult because you can see since the beginning of the year when we were struggling real bad in the running game it took a few weeks for us to get on the same page and finally get things going and then you turn around and one offensive lineman gets hurt, then the next one. Then you look up and you only have one starting offensive lineman and then you have the top two tight ends hurt. It’s just a situation where it’s hard to get comfortable with the guys and you just have to deal with what you have out there.
(on how far this team is from being a contender)
I wouldn’t say that we are close, but I wouldn’t say that we are very far because it’s very hard for me to speculate the whole thing having so many people out injured. We have one starting offensive lineman and another starting tight end and then Jake (Locker) not having a full season to put things together and missing so many games, it wouldn’t be fair for me to put something out there, not sure. We all have to get healthy and get back together and just see where it takes us.
(on if he thinks that the Titans will pick up his contract)
I’m not sure. Honestly, I don’t know. No matter what happens I will prepare that same way I always prepare in the offseason and just see what happens.
TITANS DE DERRICK MORGAN
(on coming back after a slow start in the first half)
That’s what Coach Munchak told us. We left a couple of plays out there at the beginning of the game and we needed to capitalize better. We started coming on towards the end of the game and finish the way we were able to finish. Every time you step no matter what you’re playing for, you to step away with a win. I think guys could have quit and packed it up after last week’s game. But we have a lot of guys with high character on the team and we wanted to finish strong.
TITANS LB ZACH BROWN
(on getting two interceptions today)
It felt good to get the picks. The first one, I dropped it, but coach told me he’d (Jacksonville QB Chad Henne) throw me another one. I was just waiting for it. He threw it to me two times, and I should have had two more. It is what it is. He (Henne) had a tendency to stare down where he wanted to throw it, so I just took a little ‘quick peek’ to see who was over there and I just ran to the closest guy, normally number 89.
(on scoring two touchdowns)
It feels good and it was something that as a defensive player you want to do. So for me, it’s just a cool thing that happened for me, so I can just check that off my list and next year I’ve got to get another one.
(on the Titans’ victory)
It feels good. Our goal was to never let that (last week’s result) happen again, to let somebody drop 50 points on us. So once we were getting it rolling, I was like, ‘Let’s drop 50 points on them so they can see how we feel.’ … We were playing to win. I mean we’re not in the playoffs, but in any event, we’re still playing to win. So for us it’s just pride kicking in. If you don’t like to play the game, and play the game to win, then you shouldn’t be here at all. So for us it’s play to win. We lost last week, but we had to come back and win.
TITANS RB DARIUS REYNAUD
(on his record-breaking two punt returns for touchdowns)
The first one was blocked well. I’d seen all the coverage in the middle of the field. … When I hit the sideline I didn’t see nothing but green, I just hit the hole after that. On the second one, I saw all those guys on the right side. It was a right return. So when I planted and I slipped, I turned back around and I saw all my blockers to the left side. They made good blocks and I just finished after that …. When I saw Coty (Sensabaugh) make that last block, my eyes just got big. I thank those guys for blocking. It’s not just one guy on a return, so I thank all those 10 guys for blocking.
It feels good knowing where I came from, I never thought this would happen. I’m glad that it happened the last game of the season, just to give those fans something to look for, for next year … I pray about it every time before the game about getting in the end zone. I ask God that’s where I want to be. So he lifted me up today and I give him all the glory for what he did for me today.
(on ending the season with a win)
Coach Munchak said we wanted to finish strong. That’s what we did today. We finished on a high note. A lot of guys came out healthy after this game, so we’ll give the crowd something good to look for next year. As for today, we did a real good job with the victory.
TITANS FS MICHAEL GRIFFIN
(on how the defense played today)
I just know you play this game to win, no matter what tomorrow is. You never know what tomorrow will bring. We knew we weren’t going the playoffs. But at the end of the day, we knew when this first season started we had 16 games to play and there’s no guarantee you’ll get to play another down of football. You have to give it your all when you go out there and play because you don’t want to add to any regrets when your day is over playing football, that you didn’t give it your all. Just to go out there and continue to fight and play hard, that’s all we could do today, and we managed to come out with some points and end up getting the win.
JAGUARS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY
Like I just told our team, I am not sure how that one got out of control like it did, but it did. Big point swing when we were down there getting ready to put points on the board prior to the half. It’s one thing to throw an interception, but to throw an interception for a touchdown that’s a huge point swing and huge momentum changer. Obviously the punt returns, you really can never have turnovers that go against you with special teams, touchdowns or interceptions for touchdowns. Statistically, you have no way of winning those games especially when you do it more than once. It was a shame to get out of hand because we felt we were in control of that thing right up to that interception and loss control of it.
(on the dropped interceptions by the Jaguars)
I wasn’t sure why it was happening. They had a couple of dropped interceptions. I have a hard time without looking at it again from film to give a fair evaluation, a fair comment on it.
(on the punt coverage)
That’s a dangerous guy anyhow but you really don’t want to punt the ball right down the middle of the field. We loss (Antwon) Blake early, our gunner, who has done an unbelievable job all year long of covering punts. We had some new faces on the punt team because of injuries and we tried to do some things to make up for it. No matter what we did, we just couldn’t compensate for where we were with our guys on that squad. We have had a lot of core guys that are on that team have to go play either on offense or defense. We had a new bunch of players out there and we got exposed, we got caught with it.
(on that changes begin due to injuries)
Yes, Montell Owens and the guys like that, Greg Jones and the guys that are normal. That’s kind of what happens unfortunately.
(on the offensive line play after giving up interceptions, sacks and punts)
All I can say about those guys is they did the best they could. We had some, you know, we haven’t had really a solid, same group of guys up there all year long. This week was no different. We had Steve Vallos in there. Again, I can’t say exactly where but we had a lot of pressure up inside with the rush. They did a good job. I’m going to give them credit but a lot of it, it wasn’t just their blitzes. It was just losing battles of pass protecting. It is where we are and that’s where we were.
(on getting away from the run in the latter stages of the game)
Well, we took a shot on third-and-one and we were trying to make a big play. We saw something on film that we could hit a big one. I think it was there. Again, I think that’s the thing we are going to learn from. I think if Justin (Blackmon) flattens off his route, he can’t get undercut there or the ball batted down. Again, just a good thing that hopefully we do something like that, it’s going to be a lesson learned. We had a chance on the play for a big gain. On the second-and-one, we tried to run the sneak. We had movement. We were just trying to get a first down to get a fresh set of downs. You know, it’s easy to say you should have run the ball on an interception but you know, we felt we had a good play that could go against everything they were going to do.
(on if Chad Henne missed the player and was undercut as a result from his vantage point)
Well, I saw what he saw. There was another route outside to out cut and they ran underneath that so he immediately did the right thing. Don’t throw it out there. Dump it down and the guy read it right, read his eyes and undercut us underneath.
(on Keith Toston’s work today)
Yeah, I was proud of him. I mean, really. He took a lot of reps in practice this week. Montell (Owens) has been banged up. Really, we were planning on starting Montell prior to the game. We just felt that the knee wasn’t stable enough to go so we worked him out on the field prior to having to make those decisions about who was on the inactives and didn’t feel like he could go so the next man up is Keith Toston and (Richard) Murphy. I was pretty pleased with what he did. He made some good, hard runs. Again, he joined us whatever week it was when we’ve had a number of guys at that position as well.
(on how much responsibility he and his staff feel for the criticism after a 2-14 season)
I think we all take everything personal where we’re at. We all work extremely hard. Everybody has, from Gene (Smith) on down. I mean, everybody has and not to have any reward at all in some of these instances, especially these games has been difficult. That’s been the most disappointing thing, especially for me to watch the players. They’ve done everything we’ve asked them to do and to have really no reward in sight has been very disappointing but the one thing about this group is they have laid it on the line every week. There has been no give up. There has been no quit. Not by any of these guys. I give them credit. I think they can walk out this locker room, whatever their record is, with their head up, knowing that they did everything they could. That’s all we’ve asked them to do. Do the best job you can and you can walk out and go to bed at night and feel good about yourself. If you can do that, you’re going to be successful on the field, when your career’s over, whatever it is. We had a bunch of guys that did that this entire year. We had new faces. They just kept coming in, doing the best they could. That’s all we kept asking. Gene knows nothing else but to do the best. We’re all disappointed with the way the outcome of this season. Very, very disappointed because there has been an absolute, insurmountable amount of work that’s gone into this. There’s never been a let up in game planning, never been a let up in trying to get things for these players in the right position. There’s never been a let up from any of these guys and that is a credit to the coaching staff, to Gene, to the players, to everybody. That you can go on the field every Sunday and think you have a chance to win the game and I’ve been on teams and that has not been the case. These guys believe we were going to win every single week and that’s hard to do in the National Football League.
JAGUARS LB DARYL SMITH
(on the game as a whole)
It was an unusual game. I probably recall one game that I have been in that was sort of like that. We were up, and the next thing you know, I don’t know what happened first, the turnover or the return for a touchdown, but things just got out of hand quickly. We just weren’t able to bounce back and weren’t able to get a win today. It sucks. We have been talking about it for a long time and everybody wanted to finish with a win, but this is what we got today.
(on his future in Jacksonville and how much he wants to be part of the future in Jacksonville)
I definitely want to stay. Jacksonville is my home. I am there year-round. I have been fortunate enough to be around and see a lot. I know that it’s a business. I would really love to stay. The record doesn’t show it, but we are headed in the right direction. We do have pieces in place and it is just going to take some more work and some more time and some things will turn around. I do want to be a part of it.
(on rumors of general manager Gene Smith’s future in Jacksonville)
Until I hear something from Gene [Smith] or Coach Mularkey or somebody on the team that actually tells me I am not going to believe it. There has been speculation for weeks and who knows. We will see and time will tell. I tend to not worry about things that I have no control over and I think most of us feel the same way. I’m not going to get into speculation and all of that because I don’t know.
JAGUARS QB CHAD HENNE
(on if he was trying to force the ball to Justin Blackmon because of the unfamiliarity with the rest of the receivers)
Well obviously we knew he was out there and some of the plays were designed for him and trying to fit in some holes. I take all of the credit for it. I am the one with the ball in my hand and making those decisions.
(on assessing his performance since taking over as the starting quarterback)
I felt I had given it my all. I never gave up. Obviously you want plays back and you want to play better, but overall I felt I was playing at a very high level and doing some things that I wanted to do.
(on his approach heading into the 2013 season)
We’ll see. I’ll watch the film from when I was in there and study myself and get better that way. Obviously everything is up in the air right now, but I am just going to try and get better each and every day this off season and be ready to go next season.
(on the change that needs to happen in Jacksonville next season)
We just need to handle what we need to do here. We have opportunities in games to win these games and it’s all on us. Obviously you need some help in some places, but overall we’re a team and we had our chances to win the games.
(on the interceptions in the game)
He [Zach Brown] just made a good play on the ball. On the Marcedes [Lewis] one he made a great play, and on the other one I tried to give it to Justin [Blackmon] on the cross, which was open, but I got hit while I threw it and the ball sailed on me. They are just both my fault and I’ll take them and just need to get better.
(on the first interception for a touchdown changing the game)
Absolutely. We were moving the ball tremendously and still moving it at the end and we just didn’t capitalize on a lot of things. We hurt ourselves again in the red zone a couple of times with some false starts and some penalties. But overall the plays were out there to be made and we just didn’t make them.
(on the difficulty of the season)
It is really tough. But I tell you what, there is a group of guys in here that are resilient. I have never been on a team that just kept fighting and just kept believing in each other, never pointing a finger and great leadership here from top-down, to Coach Mularkey, from the coaches, to players. I just thought this group really kept battling and some of the things just didn’t go our way.
JAGUARS TE MARCEDES LEWIS
(on the potential of Jaguars GM Gene Smith not being retained after the season)
Obviously, you hate to see somebody go—especially a good man like that. As long as I’ve been here, he’s been a straight shooter. I have a lot of respect for Gene.
JAGUARS DT TERRANCE KNIGHTON
(on changes to the Jacksonville organization expected to come after a 2-14 season)
I’m going to be a professional about it. If you’re going to be here, then be here—if not, then continue to work. Wherever it falls at, be a professional there. You really can’t worry about it, whatever happens happens, and you have to just focus on what you do as an individual.
(on if he’d like to return to Jacksonville in 2013, and if he thinks he will return next season)
I’m not sure. If the reports are what they’re saying it is, a new guy is going to come in and pick apart the roster and see who he wants to keep—the pieces that he feels like he needs to win, and go from there. Hopefully, I’m part of the pieces that are here, and if not then I have to go about my business.
(on the highs and lows of this season for him as an individual player)
I don’t know, that’s something that you can’t really put a finger on what went wrong throughout the season. You just have to learn from it. Maybe it’s a lesson we’ll learn from down the line in our career, but as far as me and my eye, God blessed me and it’ll come back healthy, I was in shape all season and it wasn’t a factor.
JAGUARS LB PAUL POSLUSZNY
(on the 2012 season)
To finish the season the way that we did, with some of those plays, it’s outrageous. It’s outrageous. What our record is, the whole thing is very, very disappointing because we came into this year with such high hopes. We felt like we had a special group of guys that could do some things. We did not play to the best of our abilities.
(on what they need to do in the offseason to have a better season next year)
That’s the thing, as the guys we feel like we’re close. Our record doesn’t say that by any means, but a couple plays here, a couple plays there, we get a couple key additions to our team and we feel like we can be right there. We feel like we are a lot closer than our record says.
(on his relationship with GM Gene Smith and the reports that he will not be with the team next season)
I owe a lot to him. He gave me a chance to play football here. He talked to me about the type of organization he wanted to build and the type of guys he was going to bring in. I trust him. I think he is extremely intelligent and he does a great job. On the field we did not perform. We did not live up to what we were capable of on the field. If changes come, we don’t have anyone to blame but ourselves, but I owe a lot to Gene.