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Titans-Jaguars Postgame Quotes

Posted Dec 22, 2013

TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK

(On getting the win) “The second half was finally how we wanted to play. I thought in the first half we were inconsistent in all phases. We didn’t look as good as I hoped coming out (for the second half), credit them for that. I felt the second half was really how well our defense played. We held them to about 85 yards of total offense. Our offense went out there and controlled the line of scrimmage to run the ball well. They converted on third downs, fourth downs and CJ (Chris Johnson) had a huge gainer at the end. The guys made plays and that is the good part. Even when they scored before halftime and we kicked the ball out of bounds, it was 7-6. That was a depressing drive because they scored a touchdown. But Bernard Pollard blocks the extra point and that is why they went for it when they were down four instead of being down three late in the fourth quarter. It’s just our guys again. I talked at halftime about how good that play was. The same thing happened (a blocked kick against) San Diego which I think give us the momentum on a bad situation at halftime. The guys stepped up and played. The beginning wasn’t like we hoped, but we worked our way through it. Both (running) backs had 90 yards each or close to it and that is what we envisioned and it was great to see it today. Nate (Washington) had a big-time game. We were blocking well and had only one turnover, but we got one back at the end because George (Wilson) makes a great play. This (win) meant a lot to them like I have been saying all week for obvious reasons that we hadn’t won in a while and it was a division game. It was close and we did accomplish a lot of things today.”

Nate Washington led the Titans with six catches for 117 yards and a TD. Slideshow.

(On why Nate Washington had a good day) “It was a combination of things. I think we had a couple of formations we wanted to throw. We put him into a position so he could take advantage of some matchups. Once I saw he was running some very good routes, we started to call some plays for him because of how he was doing some certain things so I thought it was well done there. Two things. The run game. Once I found out what we were doing well, we got with it and stuck with it, more of what we hoped to do earlier in the season happened. Having Shonn (Greene) as healthy as he has been this past couple weeks is what we envisioned. Unfortunately, we never got these types of games. It was good to see today.” 

(On the late Jaguars drive that resulted in a fourth down stop) “I think the third down play was big. I believe (Jason) McCourty made the tackle on the quick screen. It looked like they were going to convert there. Having that and knowing they were going to run there and they did a great job there at the line of scrimmage. It’s the difference in games. Today we made the play. George made the play, Bernard made the play on the block and we had some good runs. We made some plays in this game. Unfortunately the way things have gone the last two games, they may convert there so it was great to see us get the stop.”  

(On the fight they showed coming back) “It started at halftime. We didn’t come out the way we hoped. The offense began three-and-out, but when the defense got them off the field then that is when we started to get something going. When we got the run game going, everything else started going. Heck, we even ran on a third-and-3 and didn’t pass it. The guys believed we could get something like that. We rose up and converted on a couple of fourth down conversions. Guys made plays. We got stopped on the goal line and that was hard to take early in the game. It was those ups and downs. We were down 10 on the road again and this thing could have gone the other way, but it didn’t. It goes to the character we had the whole time. We are not happy with the season, but the best we can do is to win two division games. We got one today, finally and we will do our best to get one next week.” 

(On the Jaguars wide receivers finding success)  “I think in the first half they caught us with a few different things. They got the ball in there a few times. They were hurting us for a little while with the quick screens in the first half. They got more out of those plays than we hoped. We missed a few tackles there. I thought we had a few errors on our part on getting into position to help. We got caught in man (coverage) and guys got beat in the coverage a few times. I felt we settled down. Jerry (Gray) and Gregg (Williams) did a good job in the second half realizing what we needed to do to help the guys that needed it in those spots. We got a good feel on how to spot them in the second half. We adjusted as the game went on.”

(On if they game planned for the Brad Meester pass) “I knew when he went out there (from center to tight end) that it was the same thing we tried to do with Bruce Matthews on the goal line back in his last year. We were trying to get him a touchdown play against the (Dallas) Cowboys which didn’t work. Luckily, he (Meester) didn’t score on us. You figured something was going on and we didn’t cover him. He almost ran the thing in and scored, I think.  Meester had a great career and I grabbed him afterwards. When you play 14 years in this league and watch the tape, he is a good football player. It’s quite an accomplishment to play more than 200 games and 14 years in this league.”

QB RYAN FITZPATRICK

(on the win to snap a three-game losing streak) “We felt like we could come in here and run the ball today. The guys up front did a great job and the defense did a great job too in holding them, allowing us there at the end to kind of grind it out. I think the guys up front really stepped it up today and the running backs stepped up and did a great job.”

(on Chris Johnson’s first down on third-and-4) “I thought that was a good call. We had been running it well. Even though it was third-and-4, that particular play and a few of the run plays that we had dialed up with that personnel group, we were getting chunk runs. You could see the determination there by CJ on that run to get the first down. I thought that was great to see and he knew where the sticks were and he gave everything he had to get it. It wasn’t just one of those things where he got the four yards. He had to make a few guys miss, bounce off a few tackles and reach out for the first down.”

(on the touchdown pass to Nate Washington and his big game) “You never really know going into a game, whose day it’s going to be, and I think that’s a good thing for us as an offense. Nate is always a guy that is a solid pro and you never know when it’s going to be his day. I think that’s his third 100-yard receiving game of the year and he had a couple of big plays early. He’s been so reliable all year long and he’s a guy that I really trust and look to in the man coverage stuff and he did a good job today.”

(on the victory) “There was a lot of reasons it was an important game for us, but just the locker room after, to get that winning feeling back, to be able to get in victory formation at the end of the game and take a knee, that’s the kind of stuff you want to be able to do in a football game and we haven’t been able to feel that for a long time. So just getting the victory was the most important thing.”  

S GEORGE WILSON

(on late interception to seal victory)  “We were playing Cover 2 and it was a second down situation. We know that with the two-minute drill they have to get the ball down the field to get into position so they can take some shots at the end zone. Just from our scouting, we know that on first and second downs they like to get the ball down the field. I saw the play-action play-fake to my side and I saw the tight end going vertical.  Once I saw him clear me, I had my underneath coverage so I know I’m getting depth. I had my eyes back on the quarterback and he was eyeing the tight end going up the seam, and I was able to make a play on the football.

(on coaches’ preparation) “At the end of the day, studying their two minute situations, that’s the one thing that our coaching staff did a great job to know their first and second down tendencies and what they like to do in third down situations.”

WR NATE WASHINGTON

(on finishing strong) “We have one more game left so the season is not over.  We have another game we need to win.”

(on coming back) “We were only down a couple of points, so we don’t even consider this a comeback.  We just executed and needed to put up points in the second half.”

WR KENDALL WRIGHT

(on Washington’s day) “Nate had a big day. He works hard every day and he had a great day. Hopefully he’ll have an even better one next week. My stats were not exploding today but my presence out there was good.”

(on getting the win in Jacksonville)  We have been playing in cold (weather) for five weeks straight.  We had a great weather and a great atmosphere. I’m glad we finally got the win.”

(on Fitzpatrick’s play) “Fitz is comfortable out there and as receivers, we just have to make plays for him – keeping our eyes on the ball and catching them.”

(on rivalry) “We are still playing for a lot.  We’ve been close a lot this season and just want to finish out strong.  It’s a plus that it’s a rivalry, but we feel like this week and next week (vs. Houston) that if we played the way we were capable that we’d come out with a victory.”

 

JAGUARS HEAD COACH GUS BRADLEY

(Opening statement) “First of all I want to thank the fans for the whole year. I don’t know if that was the biggest crowd that we had but it sure felt like it. Just outstanding support through our whole home series that we’ve had this year and really genuinely appreciate all that they’ve done and the support through this whole journey. I’d also like to make special appreciation to Brad Meester. At our team meeting we took a couple of minutes to talk about Brad’s accomplishments. I think it was important for our younger guys to feel everything he’s done for this organization and the right way to do it. That’s what Brad Meester is all about and I want to say something from our team that we really hold him in high regard for everything he’s done, and I know for our coaching staff we appreciate it as well.”

“As far as the game, we come in at halftime and there were some good things that took place. I think we came out in the second half and we struggled a little bit. I think we got the interception right away, momentum seemed to be going our way. We ended up trying to go for it on fourth down as well as they did many times. We felt like we were bold in our opportunities and some we captured and some we did not. The blocked extra point ended up being a big play in the game but I think there’s other plays that led to it. Running the ball, they did a good job running the ball against us. We had some things we had to clean up, some things maybe that we counted on in the past due to some new personnel in there. We just had to tighten it up a little bit and it was hit and miss, there was some inconsistencies. But overall I think some guys stepped up; Laamar (Thomas) did a nice job making a big catch, Jordan Miller was thrust in there with the Deaderick injury and played a lot of plays so those guys got opportunities. What I love about our team is we competed from start to finish and everywhere in between, and that’s what we said we were going to do. I don’t think our guys flinched one bit with new personnel in there and I really appreciate that part of it. Sometimes, I told them, you can’t climb a smooth mountain and sometimes there’s going to be roughness on the journey and we need those spots to learn from for us to continue on our journey and make it closer to where we want to go.”

(How important was it to run the play for Brad Meester?) “It was a couple of things. First of all we thought we had a great opportunity to score. We weren’t going to run it anytime; if we felt like we got in the red zone in that area we felt we were going to run the play. Second of all to give him an opportunity. I think the players were amped up about it and I think it really goes to (offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch’s) creativity. We want to try to find a way to do something and utilize guys’ strengths and the players enjoyed it during the week but they also felt like it was a great opportunity for us to take advantage of some things.”

(You were up 16-6 at one point. Disappointing to lose?) “Especially coming out in the second half getting the pick we could have really did some things there and we didn’t capture that. That part’s disappointing. I think there was two series there where they scored back to back touchdowns and the one series they got in heavy personnel and ran the ball on us pretty well. I think that series that they had there I think we got set back a little bit right there as far as having to come to the sideline, regroup, I give credit to (defensive coordinator) Bob (Babich), we changed some defenses, did a better job against that personnel and then they got out of it.”

(Inaudible) “You have to be aware of the different styles of the backs. When they have 44 carries today…44 carries that tells you that they’re really committed to the run and they feel they have confidence in running the ball, and that’s what we don’t want to have a team generate. We don’t want them to generate where they can run the ball. So much of this game is you’re trying to get them the third-and-7s, third-and-9s. Obviously first is to get the ball back but if you do get them into third down get them in those type situations and when a team can run the ball like that, you’re forced to third-and-shorts or where they have the confidence to go for it on fourth-and-short and those things happened too many times today.”

(Did you envision a game with so many new players?) “I don’t know. I haven’t gone back to check that but we really didn’t make that big of a deal about it, but we did talk about was to really go in there and sometimes special stories take place with opportunities. That’s what we did but we really taught our whole team the mindset you’ve got to have to go in there. Sometimes guys go in there and feel like they have to be world leaders; ‘this is my first chance, my only chance and I’ve got to set the world on fire.’ Our guys didn’t go in there with that mentality and I think it really showed up where they made big plays in critical times like Laamar’s (Thomas) catch is a great illustration of it. Like I said, they didn’t flinch, it didn’t matter. They came out 16-6 and a new personnel in there, that was not the issue. The issue was we didn’t get some stops on critical times and then when we had opportunities on offense we didn’t capture those. Special teams we gave up a block.”

(On two starters out. Did that hurt the run defense?) “Hopefully through the week those guys got enough reps. They’re also NFL players and they’ve practiced too. Even though they got limited reps when their number is called upon they have to perform. I’m sure we will see some good things that they did on tape. It’s just the consistency. That’s what you have to battle through sometimes.”

(Jedd’s idea on the Brad Meester play, who’s idea was it?) “Jedd.”

(Did he come to you?) “We said be creative in finding ways to get guys the ball and Jedd came up with the idea.” 

(Did you practice it?) “Yeah, we practiced it a couple of times during the week.”

(Would you run that play if it wasn’t his last home game?) “I think it came together with that. I think that was a big part of it. Real big part of it.”

(On blocked extra point) “We just showed them, I know (special teams coordinator Mike Mallory) showed them that play before. He got one earlier in the season. Maybe it was last week I believe. We just watched it last night, same technique, drop shoulder, got by, coaching point and we just missed it. We tried to punch them and we didn’t get enough on them. He has a knack for doing it and he showed up on tape and that’s what’s frustrating.”

(View on the field on fourth with five minutes and twenty one seconds left to go) “I know they got some penetration that deviated his path and when they get some penetration like that on a fourth-and-1 that’s the last thing you want.”

(Was it an easy decision to go for it?) “It was not an easy decision. I didn’t think about that. There was part of it that was saying kick the field goal, momentum on our side, kick off, hold them back, get a three-and-out, kick a field goal and win. There was part of that that came in. I think at that time it was a no-brainer to go for it but I’m not going to say that that part didn’t enter my mind.”

(comparisons to this year and his first year in Seattle) “I don’t know if our team would say let’s go next week and get our fifth. I think our team would say we’ve gotten better from the time we started to where we are now. At least there’s a sense that we’ve grown and that we’ve gotten better and we’ve been more competitive and it’s given us a chance. We always talk about concentrate on getting better and give your best to be your best and position yourself to strike. That’s what we want to get to; position yourself to strike. We were in position today and we didn’t finish it. Last week we were in position and we didn’t finish it. Those are the things that we’ll grow on but I think we’ve accomplished some things up to this point that the players feel it. The challenge next week is let’s continue this. In that fact are there similarities? Yeah I guess if you compare it that way there’s always some growth that takes place.”

QB CHAD HENNE

(On throwing the ball to C Brad Meester) “We repped it so many times this week. You never really know if it’s actually going to work out like it does in practice. You have to shift the guards and shift the tackles and Brad goes out to the tight end. It came open for us and was a hell of a play.”

(On if he was disappointed on the way the game ended) “Yeah, in that situation, you have to force some throws in there. You have to make a play somehow. (George) Wilson just made a great play on the ball. You always want to take plays back, but that was the right place for me to go with the football.”

(On why the team went for it on fourth down) “I don’t know if everything was ‘go for it,’ (but) it was just the way the game was going. We got down there in the red zone, down by four and we had one yard to go. When it was four points, it was a different story than if it was three points, whether we kicked the field goal or not. In that situation, we felt we could get one yard and it just didn’t happen.”

(On what adjustments Tennessee made in the second half) “They were playing a lot of two deep, sometimes they were playing man, but it wasn’t anything we hadn’t seen on film. They were just playing man coverage and doing well with it. We had one series in the third quarter. Three plays, that’s all we had. You just have to take care of the opportunities you have. Three and out, four plays and out, we just have to do a better job on offense.”

(On how the receiver corps has stepped up due to injuries, etc.) “The receiving corps has been banged up all year, but they’ve done a great job. Kerry (Taylor) coming in off the practice squad in Arizona and given the opportunity, he’s made plays for us and big plays for us. Mike (Brown) has been very consistent for us all year. You just see the progression of Ace (Sanders) week-by-week trying to get involved in different things. He’s making some big plays for us.”

RB MAURICE JONES-DREW

(On the injury) “It felt great all week. I went out there and did some cutting drills. It felt good. There is always a chance you will wake up a little sore from doing the things that we did during the week, but it felt great. We wanted to ease into the game and see how it went and then obviously in the second half I started to get more of a workload, but being off two weeks was pretty tough. I’m going to have to do some cardio, but other than that I felt good.”

(On the fourth down play) “We ran that earlier in the game against them. They did a good job of fitting the gaps. They put some big guys in there. Usually we were able to find a crease and the crease was outside. I think a guy just came off and grabbed my foot and I couldn’t get to the 31 (Bernard Pollard) one-on-one. They did a good job. We ran that play earlier in the game. We got the first down on fourth-and-inches, so they knew that play was coming. That is our bread and butter. We have to continue to work hard at that and they did a great job of stopping it.”

(On Brad Meester) “It would have topped it off with a touchdown and a victory. I thought it was pretty cool to see his daughters on the Jumbotron and all the messages. A lot of linemen don’t get love like that, so it shows what he has done for this organization. We’ve all had our personal experiences with him, but what he has done for this community and organization, that means a lot to take that time out for him. ”

(On the Meester reception) “I know. He can catch. I thought he got stuck on his cut a little bit. We’ll critique that on Tuesday. I thought he was going to get in. The whole team was ready to get a penalty so it was kind of good that he didn’t score because I think everyone was going to run on the field if he got in. The bench probably would have emptied. I’m not going to lie to you.”

(On the team) “This coaching staff has done a tremendous job with us from going zero and eight to what we are doing now. This week was about Meester’s life, so we saw baby pictures of Meester and him growing up. Gus had this story every day about him and then to go out and finish it with a catch. I think there aren’t too many linemen that get a catch, especially a center. It was awesome that they did that for him because he deserves it. He deserves recognition for what he has done. We have to try to get him in the Pro Bowl pretty soon. I think this might be the last shot, so we’ll see if everyone can vote for him so we can get him in there.”

(On your future) “No, not at all. If it is, it is and if it isn’t, then I had a great run. This is just part of this game. We all know that. It is the business aspect of it that nobody wants to talk about. It is the pink elephant in the room. That is what this is. Sometimes you have to walk away and sometimes you can stay. So hopefully I can be like Meester and be back. We have a couple months to figure that out after next week. We’ll see how it goes.”

(On Meester lining up at tight end) “When linemen are at tight end, sometimes they are just in there to block for a run play. Marcedes (Lewis) is a very good run blocker. I think you saw everybody shifted toward Marcedes and nobody really covered him either. It was crazy. It was fun to see how fast the lineman block on the screens when Brad gets it. It is a little different than when everyone else does but that’s ok.”

G DREW NOWAK

(on the pass play to Brad Meester)  “Every day we practiced it and made sure that Brad was in the right spot at the right time, he had to block a little bit come back and catch the ball to get up field. He was so close, so it was fun. I got out there and got a little block for him and when I got to him he was laying on the ground breathing really heavy, but it was great. I’m glad he got a chance to catch it.”

DE JASON BABIN

(on his thoughts on the play of the defense) “We had a moment where we had to knock off the early run downs but they were able to get chunks on the early downs and it put us in situations where we were third and short, that are not optimal for a defense.”

(on making plays when you have momentum) “If everyone does their job then we’re successful. This is a team sport so when everyone’s on it we’re on it.”

(on his thoughts on the team’s effort) “The effort on this team has never been a question and I think it’s great that all the guys keep fighting to the very end.”

(on if the team is buying in what Coach Gus Bradley is selling) “The thing about Gus and Mr. Caldwell’s philosophy is that it’s real. It’s not fake and it’s from the heart. It makes it very for guys to see that and buy into it.”

G UCHE NWANERI

(on the pass play to Brad Meester) “It shows the appreciation for Brad even though this is (the coaches’) first year here in Jacksonville  they understand what he’s brought to the franchise for the last 14 seasons and they really respect what he’s done and what he’s all about with his professional nature and how he’s always been a leader on the team. Brad has always exemplified what it is to be a professional athlete and how to be a student of the game, so we really enjoy every moment we get with him. The coaches respect him so much; that’s mostly got to with the fact that they gave him a play just for him that’s something for him to have a great memory and I only wish we could’ve got him into the end zone.”

S JOHNATHAN CYPRIEN

(on how he helped the inexperienced players get ready for the game) “I know how it is. I just gave them that little advice, let them get focused, take one play at a time. We played hard; I know that I gave my best effort to try to make the defense as good as possible and as physical as possible and communicate as much, but we didn’t get it done this time. We will, we’ve got time.”

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